It has a water trough on the back to heat water, and David will talk about that in the second part of the blog post, but it also has an oven, and we thought Susan could take you along for the ride of her first foray into baking with it! .....
"Go Ahead, Bake My Day"
I had grown fairly comfortable with cooking and heating things on our newly functioning wood burning stove top, but the oven seemed like this intimidating metal monster with its steely stare saying "Do you feel 'lucky' punk? Go ahead, bake my day." Well, I figured I didn't have much to lose in that our propane oven had been broken for a time, so I overcame my hesitancy with this opportunity to bake again. And if it was edible - bonus!! I couldn't go "too" far wrong with simple cookies, right?
So, while I still had the courage, I hurriedly prepared my snickerdoodle cookie dough, took a deep breath, walked ten paces towards the oven, nervously opened the door, quickly slid our inaugural cookies onto the baking shelf and closed the door yelling "Bake THAT!"
Well, we soon found that 375 degrees F are not the same in different ovens, according to how quickly these were baking:
I'm still not sure which oven has the correct temperature, but I was thrilled something had actually gone from soft and doughy to hard and crunchy! Practice makes perfect, so I attempted to disarm the metal monster by singing "Getting to Know You" to it.....
My attempt at making a new friend must have had some impact. Here is my second batch after adjusting the temperature and baking time. Much better!
I don't have to tell you which batch is which. ;) They were all very tasty, though! (Clarification: I didn't personally eat them all, but I did take the liberty of sampling the heck out of them):
I figured I'd keep going and strike while the oven was hot, so I made up some dinner rolls and shoved them into the metal monster's mouth, as well:
You'd think I would have learned from the cookies, but I still needed to fine-tune these batches. I'll let you guess which was batch number one. :) But it was all edible, thanks to God! Another monster slayed; another friend made! Hopefully, my baking in this new stove will get better over time. Thankfully, I have a wonderfully understanding, patient and supportive husband:
We are so thankful to have this method of baking that doesn't rely on anything we need to buy. I realize women have been baking this way for hundreds of years, but now I'm one of them!! With God's help, if He wills it, I hope to continue to improve in my baking and utilize this stove for many years to come.
Wood, Ashes and the Hot Water Trough
We're still a little unorganized with our wood piles, but here is some of it stacked inside where the kitchen counter will, Lord willing, go one day. I do plan to build an indoor wood pile stacker:
And here is the staging area outside next the house entrance:
This is where we're collecting our ashes. This fairly large, handy galvanized pail works great!
In our first wood-burning attempts, we didn't really know how to get the ashes to burn all the way down, so some charcoal was left over. I'm thinking after wiping off any ash these could be crushed up and used as activated charcoal:
And here is a video of the hot water coming out of the water trough. It works great! Not that the water is really potable, but I figure the animals' health won't really be compromised by using the hot water once in a while when their water is thickly frozen on top and it dilutes with the water already there:
We are thankful once again to the Lord for granting the provisions of the wood burning cook stove and some successful oven and hot water trough usage!