I love open fireplaces. There is something very cosy about a fire. Who doesn't remember fondly the camp fires from our childhood, which unified us and made us feel safe and happy in a company of friends or family.
I also love to sit in front of a fire in solitude, such as my fireplace at home. A few years before I actually had it built, I was able to enjoy a fire outside using my "Mexican Oven".
I obtained it in an unexpected way. One day, when I came home from work I saw a strange looking thing made of clay next to the garbage cans in the parking lot. It looked like some sort of an oven. Upon talking to my neighbors I realized that it was once a property of the temporary occupants of a house that is now being renovated next door, which they rented briefly from the current owners. When they moved, they left the clay object behind and gave it to one of my neighbors. Now it was though not wanted anymore and my neighbor was getting rid of it. "Do you want it?" his wife asked me when she saw the puzzled look on my face. "It is a clay oven, a Mexican oven and it would be a lovely addition to your terrace " she added. "Yes!" I exclaimed imaging immediately cosy summer evenings in front of a crackling fire. "Then just please take it", she said and this is how I became the owner of the "Mexican Oven".
At that point, I knew nothing about the origins of this lovely outside fireplace, which looked more like a piece of art than an oven. Upon a search on the net I quickly realized that this was a somewhat expensive piece of clay and most likely I would not have been able to afford buying one, should I have ever chosen to do so.
Correctly called "The Chimenea", this is what is written about its origins by the wikipedia; "Originally, all clay open fire garden heaters imported to the U.S. from Mexico were known as chimeneas. As the story goes, chimeneas originated hundreds if not thousands of years ago by Mexican tribesmen who developed the chimeneas as a means of providing heat for their family as well as a vessel for cooking and baking. The original chimenea was designed to keep the rain off the fire and the family warm using merely a couple of sticks".
I love this wonderful clay oven, which prolongs the precious Scandinavian summer days into wonderfully warm and cosy summer evenings.