Over the years many have asked me about my old woodstove. Here she is in all of her glory! She's a good old fashioned DutchWest cast iron workhorse capable of going up past 1000 degrees really quickly once you fire up the catalytic converter! When we left our farm in Burton, I couldn't bear to leave her there, so I uninstalled her and now she lives with good friends of ours who enjoy her warmth on a regular basis.
I've written about this stove so many times that she's begun to really have a persona of her own. I loved sharing life with her, she was the provider of many a fine breakfast, lunch and dinner at Windesphere when the power would go out. Even when it didn't, I'd still wake up on a cold morning and cook pancakes and bacon on top of her broad hot shoulders. The best oatmeal in the world is oatmeal that you've put on the night before in a cast iron pot, set on top of the warming stand on a woodstove and allowed to simmer gently though the night. Add cinnamon, raisins and whatever spices you want and you've not only got breakfast, you've got potpourri!
These days, although I've moved into the city, I'm all about inspiring others to create as much self sufficiency as possible and for me a woodstove is one of the most important things that you can ever install in your home. When the power goes out and you need drinking water you can boil it, when the power goes out and you need food and warmth guess what? Just fire up the stove and you're as cozy as can be. Everyone should have the experience of cooking with fire at least once, if not for any other reason than to just know that it can be done and besides...there's no better pot of chili , vegetable soup or chicken and dumplings in the world than when they are cooked slowly on a stove just like this!
I hadn't seen her in over 8 years but we went out into the country a while back to have dinner with our old neighbors and there she was, logs ablazing, standing stalwart in the corner heating their home as capably as she'd ever done to ours. It was so good to bask in her warmth again and furthered my resolve to have a smaller version of her in place in my home by next winter.
If you're interested in a stove of your own grab a cup of tea and biscuit with jam and cozy up to Lehman Brothers and have a look around! You'll find all kinds of wonderful things to bring joy to your homesteading heart!