The Outdoor Oven
One important structure on a Ukrainian settler’s homestead was an outdoor clay oven. It was built at the same time or immediately following the building of the first shelter or house. It was in this oven that the bread was baked. When large quanti- ties of food had to be prepared for occasions such as weddings and other celebrations, the cooking was done in large pots placed in the heated oven. It was ideal for both purposes.
There were small variations in the style of the outdoor ovens but the principle in the building of the oven was the same. The oven was built off the ground at a comfortable height. A wooden plat- form, about 4 x 6’, was placed on strong upright log supports or on a log base resembling the walls of a log house. Usually this platform was built of small round logs. Often it was covered with stones. Over the platform a framework for a rounded roof w as constructed of strong willow wands. This frame was covered with a thick coat of clay plaster both inside and out. The base also was thickly plas- tered. An opening for a door was left at the front of the oven but the back was closed in. A small hole in the roof was left for a vent, used during