It worked!

Ron showed me how to build a fire and tend the stove this afternoon. It’s 55 degrees outside right now and 79 in the house — too warm, but it’s supposed to drop into the 30s in a few hours, and we wanted to build our first fire on a night when it was warm enough that we could open the windows if the stove started smoking or the paint wasn’t cured well enough or something.

I sauteed onions and garlic in a little cast-iron skillet on the lower (hotter) level of the stove and added them to a pot of vegetable soup that is now simmering away on the upper level. The onions cooked so well in the skillet that I decided to try making a quick supper: scrambled eggs.

If I’d added more butter instead of trying to cook them in the residual oil left after I sauteed the onions, they probably would have tasted better, but even if they weren’t the best scrambled eggs I ever made, they were certainly the most fun to cook.

The soup smells good. I think it’s going to turn out pretty well. If it does, I’ll post the recipe later.


This mockingbird was hanging out on top of the chimney when we went out to make sure the smoke was coming out like it’s supposed to. (It was, as you can see in the background.) Our chimney sweep bird-proofed the flue, so hopefully we won’t have any feathered intruders this winter.

Hope you’re having a nice, cozy Sunday evening wherever you are.


UPDATE: The soup is done, and it’s really quite good. Recipe forthcoming in the next post.

8 thoughts on “It worked!”

  1. Congratulations! I wish we still had a wood stove. There’s nothing like a good beef stew that’s simmered all day on the stove, or chili, or pot roast, or Italian beef…I’m sitting here eating a danged old microwaved wienie with bread-and-butter pickles on a stale bun. Poop.

  2. I’m not trading back. 😉

    I just took the soup off the stove. It’s kind of a halfhearted minestrone. Pretty good stuff. I could have let it go longer, but the vegetables were cooked, and the pasta I added a few minutes ago was al dente, so it was time to stop. It was really boiling.

    I am now experimenting with muffins. I got a foil muffin tin and some Jiffy mix and have put the tin inside my big cast-iron Dutch oven, which I have been heating on top of the stove all evening. The muffins are supposed to bake at 400 degrees, but the Dutch oven is only 325. I think they’ll work anyway; it will just be a slower process.

    I can’t remember … did you use Ursula to bake bread one time when I was little? I seem to remember something like that, but I can’t remember whether you actually baked the bread with the stove or just set the dough nearby to rise.

  3. Here is a good soup recipe I use all the time that doesn’t take real long to make but would be nice coming off the wood stove:

    Spinach Tortellini Soup (or as Geoff calls it, “Snot Soup”)

    butter & sea salt for sauteeing
    yellow onion, chopped
    (1) 1.4-oz. pkg. Knorr Vegetable Soup, Dip & Recipe mix
    (2) cans chicken or veggie broth
    (2) cups water
    (2) 10-oz (or thereabouts) pkgs. frozen creamed spinach
    (1) bag frozen cheese tortellini

    Directions: Sautee chopped onion in butter & sea salt. Add broth, water, and soup mix, heat following directions on recipe mix box. To boiling soup, add frozen creamed spinach. Return to boil. Add tortellini, cook 5 min. and serve. Very rich & creamy!

    I usually serve mine with cheese-stuffed breadsticks, but it also goes well with mushroom pitas. Lots of times, I just eat it by itself, too.

  4. Here is another easy one I use all the time. I made this a couple of nights ago – it’s the only thing I know of to make that Geoff will always eat seconds of!

    Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

    -butter, sea salt and course black pepper for sauteeing
    -yellow onion, chopped
    -garlic, chopped (to taste)
    -basil (to taste)
    -2 boullion cubes (I use chicken flavor)
    -(1) large can diced tomatoes
    -(2) regular cans sliced stewed tomatoes
    -(1) can broth (chicken or veggie)
    -(1) cup warm water
    -2/3 of a small carton of heavy whipping cream
    -1/2 cup grated parmeasan cheese

    Sautee onion and garlic with butter, sea salt and pepper. When the first pieces of onion begin to look transparent, add basil and boullion cubes (mashing cubes as they heat up); sautee the rest of the way. Add the tomatoes, broth, and water; use wooden spoon to mash up any too-large chunks of tomato. Heat to simmer; add cream and stir. Return to simmer; stir in grated parmesean cheese. Serve topped with shredded mozzarella cheese, and grilled cheese sandwiches. Yum!

  5. I never baked anything besides potatoes on Ursula, but behind her was a great place to let the dough rise. I put the old McCoy bread bowl on a little metal shelf unit pulled up close enough to keep it nice and warm and away from drafts. After it had risen up over the level of the top of the bowl, you kids would fight over whose turn it was to “spank the bread”, beginning the punch-down of the dough before making loaves out of it…hmmm, I need to make some bread, since I can’t make a fire in a woodstove. Something needs to “feel like fall” besides just the weather. It’s getting pretty close to time to start gathering fruitcake ingredients too.

  6. I was drooling at the store yesterday because they had pumpkin pies out. I knew they wouldn’t be as good as homemade, but it took five minutes of standing there before I talked myself out of buying one anyway…

  7. I know! I keep waiting for a day when I have enough time on my lunch hour to post about the wedding…i have a virus right now that is pretty rotten. I came down with it last week. I have only been back at work since yesterday, so my piles of work are pretty huge. 😦 I am eating China Express right now while I fill out Purchase Requisitions to maximize on my time and get stuff done…

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