Today I am going to tell you about the cookstove in my kitchen.
It's one of my favorite things and I will share with you some of the things I tell guests who visit.
So grab a cup of something hot and stay a while.
My cookstove is a Pioneer Maid steel stove that I have had since 1999. When we first moved to this house, we installed it in our old, smaller kitchen. That was pretty unbearable because it puts off a lot of heat (like melt-the-butter-from-across-the-room hot). When we removed the old kitchen and built the new large kitchen addition on the back of the house, we planned around my cookstove and made the perfect spot for it. Now it is quite comfortable to live with and in addition to cooking, we use it for heating the back half of our house the whole winter long. And we are warm.
There are lots of beautiful stoves out there, like the Enterprise Monarch (...drool...) or the Heartland Oval (be still my heart...those things are just dreamy!) but what we were looking for in a stove is a really big firebox (the place where the wood burns), a really good sized oven, and enough money left over to still eat and keep the house. (In case you didn't look, the Oval alone is over $5,000! --cha ching!)
Enter my Pioneer Maid. She's not as fancy but she sure does a great job doing what she was designed for. First, she heats about 1500 square feet. Easily.
And second, she cooks. The top is great for cooking and simmering. I love it. Seriously. You can use large pans and there are no hot spots in the middle to scorch foods. I have a huge cast iron skillet that works great on the cooking surface. You can push the pans over to the side to keep things warm while, say, you're finishing up the gravy or maybe the guys haven't come in from outside yet.
The oven works great and is really pretty big. Unlike in a normal kitchen stove, the oven is deeper than it is wide. You get used to working with it after a while and you learn what is easy to cook with the oven. Things that roast or cook slowly are great...turkeys, ham, stews, etc. You have to plan for more exact things like cookies, but actually, that is as much knowing your wood as it is knowing your stove. It all becomes second nature after a while.
|a big roaster full of apple crisp...|
|some Friday night tuna patties in the big skillet...|
|just a lift of the lid reveals the deep firebox...|
On the top is a warming oven, which is handy for things you're waiting to serve or if you're my kids, you put your mittens up there.
There is always a dog or two camping out near the stove in the colder months. (which, for the chihauhaus, is any month other than maybe July or August)
|Our old dog, Woody.|
If you ever have any questions about living with a cookstove, please feel free to email me.
But for now, I'm going to check on my pot of chili.
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