Tomorrow will be better - I've done enough of these to know.
Charlotte is more interested in oatmeal than she was in rice. I promised that if she made it through her week of oatmeal, that we could try applesauce. That should be interesting.
I'm also still thrilled by last weekend. vynehorn and I went to an all day class on fireplace baking at Old Sturbridge Village. We made a pork and apple pie that went into the bake oven, and an apple and custard dish that baked in a dutch oven on the hearth. The other four ladies in the class made other things, and two dishes also utilized a tin oven. I didn't mind not getting to use that since it's out of our period. Aside from being a lot of fun, it was also very educational - I got a lot out of it. Aside from learning that she and I *really* need to work on our pie crust. It contained the pie perfectly, but lets just say that no one was nibbling our crust for it's own merits. I, of course, was fascinated by fire management, and tools therefor. I can see that I'm going to want to acquire a few things, and vynehorn found a lovely website that can sell us pretty much any tool that we need for Ziggy - all we need is an open credit card.
I think I'm going to hit up my dad to make me some more tools.
So flush with new ideas, I came home and promptly started roaming the internet looking at andirons. I do have a pair, but I have one pair and two fireplaces. Looking for andirons returned completely different search results than I've gotten before, and I was coming up with a very different assortment of fireplace supply houses - many of which carry... ash dump doors. At least now I know what they're called. Here's the revelation:
"Due to a couple of reasons these nifty little doors don't last long. In fact, they constantly need replacing:
1. Because they're located right in the firebox, ash-dump doors are subject to intense heat."
Two years. TWO YEARS I've been trying to figure out how to protect something that doesn't need to be protected, just replaced. The replacement part is $25 for one in cast iron, and it just drops in. The damn thing isn't even mortared in place. In my defense, we were operating from Bob's previous experience with these. A house he lived in previously had one, they built a fire on the hearth, and it warped. When he asked the chimney guy about it the response was that they would need to talk to a specialty masonry contractor about it. My suspicion is that because that house was built in 1929, it was a "good luck finding a part" problem. Also, he thinks that one was mortared in. Our house was built in 1979, and now I know that piece is a standard part. So I'm just going to order two from K's Chimney to stick on the shelf for when I need them.
So the next step is to move the andirons back into the living room fireplace and practice fire building.
This week's lesson: it's always easier to locate parts when you know what they are properly called.