Where there is no wood there is no fire. Having a wood burning oven and a wood burning BBQ means finding a fuel source. Wood is like any other seasoning. Those of us that love barbecue smoked or grilled over real wood have our favorites. Hickory, Mesquite, fruit woods and even grape vines all impart their own unique flavorprint on your meal. Personally I am partial to Oak. This is probably because it’s what I was raised on. In Northern California this is our primary hardwood. The flavor of oak is like nothing else. So naturally, when my neighbor asked if I wanted to split a cord of Almaden valley oak, I was in. The volume of a cord of wood is 4 x 4 x 8. This should last me for several months of asados. It was 280 bucks, split and delivered. A good deal by Bay Area standards.
The wood man was supposed to deliver between 2 and 4 on Thursday. Rain was expected, so I prayed he would be on time. Nobody wants wet wood. Of course he showed up at 7pm and dumped it in a pile in the dark – and in the rain – on my neighbors driveway.
We ran out and threw a big plastic tarp on the pile to keep it dry. The wood man half-jokingly mentions that he should charge extra for delivering in the rain… I was flabbergasted and not so half-jokingly told him he should give us a discount for being 3 hours late and delivering wet wood. About half of the pieces were not properly split due to the fact that his splitter blew a hydraulic line and he had to do the rest with a hand axe.
Chalk this up in the “You Get What You Pay For” column. Anyhow, my neighbor helped me stack it all, so I owe him an asado. I’m firing a few pizzas for the in-laws tomorrow so the fresh wood will come in handy.