Monday, August 31, 2009

Hidden Spaces

In this cottage in Surrey, England, are various niches and cupboards and hidden spaces. A child would have loads of hiding places for treasures. To the left of the dining room fireplace is a small cupboard.  Inside is a note explaining its purpose:

This is a typical example of a cloam oven. It was heated by burning large bundles of kindling wood in the oven. When enough heat had been generated the ash was raked out and baking commenced.

The interior is all brick, igloo shaped (round with domed top), about three feet in diameter.  A bricked-over space on the outside house wall is probably where the oven was vented to allow smoke to escape.  It seems such a sensible oven, and although I know it is much easier to turn a knob and have an oven pre-heated within minutes without all the fuss and bother of building a fire and raking coals and ash, I still wish this one were functional so I could try it.


  1. What would you bake in that little oven? A loaf of bread, a giant cookie, a story idea?

  2. Hi Sharon: Thanks for checking out my blog, and for your generous comment. I found a copy of "Bloomability" in my room at Pam's and I have to tell you that I couldn't put it down; it took me back to my days of reading Judy Blume books, way past my bedtime, under the covers with a flashlight! I love Dinnie's character and the way she sees the world--and having known Mrs. Fleming, and paying many visits to the TASIS campus in Lugano, made the book all the more visual and exciting for me. Brava! Take care. Tante cose, Brette

  3. Brattcat: the oven is bigger than it appears. You could roast several turkeys in it at the same time. A dozen loaves of bread. But it's not big enough to bake a story idea, nope.

    Brette: So now if you've read Bloomability, you have to read the upcoming UNFINISHED ANGEL, as it is also set on that campus, esp. in the spooky tower of Casa Fleming. . . Tante cose, Sharon.