Thursday, February 10, 2005

Margaret's comment about cooking on a woodstove reminded me of my daddy's descriptions of his grandmother's cookstove. My grandfather was killed in a railroad construction accident a few months before my daddy was born, so Grandmother moved back home with her parents and lived there until she remarried several years later. My daddy used to tell such interesting stories of growing up in his grandparents' house, but the ones I loved the most were his descriptions of his grandmother's kitchen.

She had a wood burning cookstove that was a lot like this one:

It wasn't that fancy with all that nickel trim, but the basic layout is very similar to the pictures Daddy drew of it. There's the firebox on one side with the water reservoir under it so you always have hot running water in the kitchen. My great-grandmother's cookstove had two ovens in it, and it had two warming closets above, so the cooktop must have been pretty large.

Daddy said that the best thing about cooking on this stove was that it was so easy to regulate the temperature when you were cooking on the surface. Since the firebox was off to one side, that side of the cooktop was the hottest, so if you needed to boil a large pot of water you'd put it directly over the firebox. If you needed less heat, you just slid the pot farther away from that side until it was at the right temperature.

My dream kitchen has a place for a cookstove like that. Of course, I'd only use it during the cold months - but wouldn't that be neat?

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