1. Baking on the woodstove in a Dutch oven did not work, but I think I’ve got it figured out. I put a boxelder log in there because most of our good stuff was too big to fit in that little firebox. (Ron is going to remedy this problem on his day off.) Boxelder doesn’t burn as hot as hardwood, so the temperature dropped significantly while the muffins were baking. Next time around, I’ll keep the fire a little hotter. On the up side, I had a primo excuse to eat warm, half-baked blueberry muffin batter out of the little cups with a spoon….
2. The soup was good. Here’s the recipe:
1 bag frozen mixed vegetables
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can dark red kidney beans
1 single-serving bottle of V-8 juice
Fresh garlic, minced (I used elephant garlic from our garden)
1/2 large or 1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 tbsp. beef bouillon (optional)
Handful of macaroni
Saute the onion in olive oil until it’s clear. Add the garlic and cook briefly. Dump vegetables, tomatoes, beans, juice, bouillon, oregano, and onion-garlic mixture into a small stock pot, stir, and leave on the stove until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Add macaroni and cook until it’s al dente (done but not mushy).
NOTE: If you are not feeding an army, consider making the macaroni separately and adding it to each bowl of soup as you serve it. I made the mistake of cooking the macaroni in the soup, and of course by the time the leftovers sat in the refrigerator all night, the macaroni had soaked up extra liquid and turned to mush. Bleah.
Other than that, the soup was really good….
I let the fire burn almost completely out because the house was getting too hot last night, but then the temperature dropped outside, and I stirred things back up again and added another chunk of hardwood before Ron got home. He was pretty happy with the stove’s performance and decided to toss another log on the fire and close up the dampers before we went to bed so the house would stay warm all night. It was a little bit cooler than I like when I got out of bed this morning, but I resisted the temptation to kick on the furnace. I really want to rely on the stove as much as possible this winter.
It was really nice to nap on the couch in front of the stove while I was waiting for Ron to come home last night.
I want to get a nice kettle that I can keep on top of the stove so I’ve always got hot water for tea. Twinings makes a wonderful decaf Irish breakfast, and of course I can never have too many cups of Red Zinger….