Having lost my wood cook stove has hampered my method of cooking now. The cook stove was old and we had planned on storing it in our barn until we had our kitchen remodeled with an addition. I was going to use it as a place to display and store my cast iron cookware collection since it wouldn’t be hooked up anymore. I planned on buying the Pioneer Princess. When my husband took it apart, it literally fell apart. It was amazing it had lasted as long as it had. Last winter, it smoked horribly and I could not breathe. I knew I did not want to use it another winter even though I dearly loved my Jewel Wood Cook Stove made by The Detroit Stove Co. I saved some pieces of it but most of it went to the metal scrapper place. It did bring in a bit of money since it was very heavy.
Once I got over my sadness of losing it and not having a cook stove in my kitchen we opted for a small wood stove for the time being since a cook stove is expensive and we were busy with other projects. After the new small stove was put in, I really liked it. The cook stove blocked the light coming into the kitchen. It was black, dark and a real dust collector. Since it was in front of a good half of the sliding glass doors onto the deck it also blocked my view of the outside. It has changed my mind about even replacing the wood cook stove. I have been looking at modern wood stoves that have no back above the stove and have an oven and a cook top. I didn’t want one with a glass door but so far that is all I have found. So I may have to settle for that, if we even decide to change to a different wood stove. I might get used to this one and not cooking on it so much. Especially if I can use electric appliances for cooking.
The little stove we got is too small for serious cooking. I can put one small pan on it at a time. We usually have a tea kettle on it all day for refills of instant coffee once the perked coffee is consumed. In the winter though, it is smarter to use the wood stoves for cooking. Then it serves two purposes. I am anxious to get rid of our dependence on propane and want to take our propane cooking range out. No sense paying for that if I am getting free energy from the sun and wind. The wood stoves take work and I am willing to do what I must to use them, but in summer I will be using the electric for cooking. Should be much easier.
I use a Bolo oven made by Griswold for baking on the top of our big wood heating stove. They are not easy to find, but you can also use the camping ovens that people use for baking on grills and campfires. A Dutch oven works good for baking also. In my Bolo oven, which is quite big, I can roast a whole turkey, a ham, bake pies, cakes or cookies, casseroles or whatever. It is wonderful even though it takes up a large part of the top of the wood stove. My heating wood stove’s top is quite large and can handle it along with a couple pots of water.
Our goal is to be self-sustainable as much as possible. What does it mean to be self-sustainable? This is what Wikipedia says about it: “A system is self-sustaining (or self-sufficient) if it can maintain itself by independent effort. The system self–sustainability is: the degree at which the system can sustain itself without external support. the fraction of time in which the system is self-sustaining.”
Copyright © 2017 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2017 Kathleen G. Lupole