This blog chronicles the importance of and efforts to return to Mother Earth in spirit and in body. This journey is not one of primitivism or reenactment of an earlier age. It's hope is to inspire me to find the middle ground between necessities of the 21st Century, the need to find a simpler way of life, and our ethical responsibility to protect the land and preserve our natural resources.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Ford Fiesta or a hot meal

I could get a loaded 2005 Ford Fiesta for the price of the best woodstove. The Fiesta has a cigarette lighter, and with an $8 adapter, it'll make coffee, Top Ramen, maybe soup. OK, then. I've already been to college so a wood stove is probably more practical.

Here in the Upper Peninsula, the weather is fairly cold all the time, so the stove is always running except in mid-summer. The first thing I do in the morning is light the stove. While the kindling is catching, I feed Muffin, our 15-year old cat. Then I add three or four pieces of wood, light the kerosene lamp, check the temperature outside and add logs to the fire. Now it's time to put the coffee pot over the fire box. Then it's back to the warmth of the bed. It takes about 20 minutes for the water to boil and another 20 minutes to perk. By the time the coffee is ready, the room is also warm.
—Deborah Moore, Makwa Ridge, Big Bay, MI
Countryside and Small Stock Journal,
November/December 1998
Many woodstove cookbooks indicate that patience is one of the main ingredients for dinner prepared in a log cabin. Each woodstove requires time for one to get to know how it circulates, the time it takes to heat, its consistency, and lots of trial and error. Apparently, cooking this way slows you down considerably: light the fire, let the stove warm, allow longer cooking times, let the stove cool, knock back the ashes to the ash pan, clean and season the stove, prepare the next day's fire, start all over again. Many cabins have a semicircle of chairs around the woodstove for gatherings when the cook is baking or preparing meals.


Anonymous borgwoman said...

That seems really expensive to me. Maybe you could just buy a regular electric stove and like a windmill or a solar powered generator to go with it. Of course, I'm sure those things are expensive too, but you could do other things besides cook with them.

Of course, none of those things are going to get you around town. Do you need a car now too?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006  
Blogger Storyteller said...

Once as a family group with a brother, brother's wife and child and a sister we spent a long weekend in a cabin with a wood stove. The sister and sister-in-law refused to use the wood stove but even though I had never attempted it, I wasn't going to go hungry. We fared quite well and no one went hungry It wasn't that hard.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006  
Blogger cabinboy said...

Where you do think Cabinboy gets his instinct to just "solve the problem!"?!

Too many people are afraid of the unknown. And I feel sorry for them. What's the worst that could happen? You burn a few beans? You go girl.

P.S. I remember another camping trip in Yellowstone years back when your husband decided (against the advice of park rangers) that if one compressed log was good in the stove, you might as well throw in a couple. Do you remember the heat those things generated? I'm surprised that anyone was left to sleep inside! (Or that the cabin didn't burn to the ground.) --Ask him about real wood, he's a genious. But give him a stick of some kind of man-made wood product, and ah, well, watch out!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006  
Blogger Storyteller said...

Yes I remember how cold we were after the ranger's program and the heat felt good for awhile. The stove turned bright red and we were ready to run! And the next morning it was cold when it was time to crawl out of bed and there was nothing but a Sunday edition of the newspaper for heat!

I wonder how many cords of wood he has cut and chopped for the fireplace over the years. He loved to cut wood.

His garden was always enough for us and all the neighbors. He loved to make compost and once tested the temperature with the candy thermometer. I bought a new candy thermometer

Thursday, July 27, 2006  
Blogger Storyteller said...

Pop wants to know if you remember the "cabin" you and he built down on the farm one 4th of July?

Thursday, July 27, 2006  
Blogger cabinboy said...

I do. It was leanto that overlooked a shallow, rocky gulch just east of
the first leg of the farm road. I have thought about it recently and wondered
if there were any remnants of it remaining. I also had thought that it was too far from water to be practical for me to move into. And come to think of it, a little drafty. I want to simplify, not throw my self on the mercy of the elements. Besides, the weather in Colorado is nothing to that back east.

Thursday, July 27, 2006  
Anonymous borgwoman said...

There are used stoves for sell on ebay. But you usually can't have the big items shipped.

If you get this message before nine o'clock, there is one for sale that would have to be picked up at Estes Park, CO. I think it is $500 right now.

That was the third listing I saw. I'm going to go back and read the others now.

Also, I am reading a book by a family who tried this stuff, and it says you'll want to switch to propane during the summer and on days that you have to clean the stove and such.

Friday, July 28, 2006  

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