Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Cook while the oven's hot.

These wintry days, if you're looking for us, the chances are you'll find us in the kitchen by the wood cooker. Drinking tea up at the bench, kneading bread, rolling out pasta, chatting with the sour dough starter, stirring the soup, cutting up salad, or just supervising all of the above.


Our Esse is fast becoming the heart of our home. She is burning hot all day and right through the night at the moment, cooking our food and keeping the radiators in the rest of the house warm. And we've all been gravitating towards her.


It's comforting to read Little House On The Prairie to the girls every night and learn that it was the same back then too.


I guess that's what winter is all about.










The biggest differences we've found so far since cooking with wood are that;

  • the oven is always on, so we may as well pop something in it.
  • we are growing our own fuel source, which feels really nice and self sufficient.
  • the days of pressing a button and turning a dial are long gone.
  • there is about a one hour time delay between a warm oven and a hot oven.
  • a good seal and dry, dense wood is the answer to the overnight burn.
  • our kitchen is no longer the coldest room in the house.
  • I never have to get up in the night to check that I turned the oven off.
  • I am growing to love my kitchen.
  • slow and steady wins the race.
  • the wood cooker has her own personality and we are falling in love with her more as the days go by.
  • we are baking with no exact temperature guage and without a timer. The breads and cakes go in when the oven is hot and come out when they look and test done. 
  • cooking can be an absolute joy.


Now if only the dishes fairy would visit it would all be perfect.

So what's cooking with you, good looking?
Made/eaten anything extra tasty lately?
What are you having for dinner tonight?
Got a recipe to recommend?

See ya later, roast potata.
xx

PS ohmygoodness blogger, your spacing issues are killing me.

36 comments:

  1. I love this post. SO cosy and baking fragranced! xx

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  2. So jealous!! x x x sounds lovely x x x

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  3. We've been baking bread too, yummy fruit cakes (snap!) cupcakes and soups galore! I love your oven and all your kitchen bench shots of late..x

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  4. Warm and lovely as always Kate...sourdough bread and sourdough pizza bases slowly proving in my kitchen tonight. Your starter looks amazing :)

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  5. Obviously, I personally have not been baking, but I do appreciate the growing of own fuel to burn which we do. It's amazing how differently wood burns and how it effects heat in our fire place. We have been away for a few days do have eaten in cafes and restaurants for every meal but I am glad to be home again enjoying Chefs home cooking.

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  6. ohmygoodness ! that all looks fantastic ! can I come to your place ? ;)
    Lauren
    x

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  7. I was having an argument with my oven/stove today. It the cheapest piece of crap ever!!! Stoopid electric junk bag.
    Anyway...
    I thought of you and your Esse and I smiled. That gave me the inspiration to push on.
    It really is so wonderful reading about your woodfired experience.
    Thank you x

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  8. im jealous of all that cooking. I cant believe it all. (and I cook daily for 7 people but still) it really must become a part of life... thats what it looks like... a constant... which seems hard work yet seems simple as if ... of course we're constantly cooking....

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  9. I feel warm and cosy just reading your post!

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  10. I want to move on in!
    Sounds heavenly
    xx

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  11. Blogger spacing dements me. Years ago we had a we had a wood stove as our only cooking. We adored it in winter but oh, a Dubbo summer had us outside at the BBQ quick smart. I still miss it, I loved sitting by the kitchen fire....

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  12. I want a dishes fairy (and an Esse!) x

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  13. I love our kitchen in Winter because of our wood stove too. A bit of baking and a lot of slow cooked meals in my cast iron pot that make the whole kitchen smell nice. Our girl just got the set of Little house books for her 10th birthday, looking forward to them being a bit of a 'family book club' event. Lovely to read about your kitchen Kate, your stove is probably abit fancier and more reliable than mine!
    I am keen on that dishes fairy too!

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  14. oh oven envy, reminds me of my Nannas kitchen in Ballarat. Always the best spot to hang out.

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  15. I love your blog! In fact you inspired me to learn something new, bread baking! I'm in the process of baking my very first loaf of bread right now, the dough is rising and things seem to be going ok! I'm just hoping it doesn't turn out to be a brick... :) <3 Jen

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  16. this made me sigh, oh so happily. all that beautiful food looks so...real! i loved your description of cooking without a timer, and the way the woodburner calls everyone together. so wonderful! :)sarah

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  17. Your fruit loaf looks amazing - may I kindly ask if you can share your recipe xx

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  18. I'm totally impressed! All these lovely baked goods look amazing, and how wonderful to enjoy such precious family time. I love, love, love Little House on the Prairie!

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  19. Oh she is gorgeous!!! Our kitchen is just freezing, we close the door and sit in front of the fire in the lounge. I love the idea of a warm kitchen that everyone gravitates towards, lots of cooking, lots of laughs....and a lovely big old stove to warm us up. One day....

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  20. Have you checked out the recipe for "Fruity Beef Casserole" on taste.com? It is seriously yummy and well worth the slow cooking! The recipe is at its absolute best when you use homemade plum jam. Mmmmmmmmmmm!!!

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  21. Our first winter with a wood fired heater / oven too!!! We are heating our home, heating our water, baking sourdough, roasting veggies cooking cakes, frying eggs, simmering soup, braising winter warmer meals.

    And, from the look of your insulated water pipes it was installed by the same plumber... I am so looking forward to seeing how you cover them with your craftyness.

    Dinner tonight? Homemade pasta with a homegrown tomato based sauce.

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  22. My Hubster has a dream to own a wood stove, one day when we retire to our little patch of heaven in Tazzie - too hot here in Perth - however I might have convinced him to look into a small bakers oven for our patio area. This sort of post always inspires... Thank you. xx

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  23. Thanks for the inspiration, fresh baked bread for dinner it is. Just what I need to get me off the couch and into the kitchen.

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  24. Almost inspired (gas and electricity bills are killing us, I mean killing us!) but... I worry as I am the farmer at home whilst hubby earns bill money, is it just another job to crunch into the day? And, the amount of wood which would need to be cut worries me ( time not wood). So it's all about time here...seriously tempted!

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  25. I just don't think this post could be any more perfect! I want an Esse!

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  26. So impressed, wish i had woodfired oven..

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  27. Another hint for overnight burning in Esse or similar slow combustion stove or heater. Fill firebox with uniformly shaped blocks of split wood so that there is little gap between the pieces of wood. Leave a couple of minutes and then close damper(s) down.

    In the morning open damper(s) and leave about five minutes before opening fire door. A few lighter bits and it should take off well.

    Burning on high for about 30 minutes regularly helps in burning out any rubbish in flue.

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  28. I almost feel like I could be sitting at your table eating some fresh bread!

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  29. All so very good for the soul. But, I agree, the dishes fairy would be the icing on the cake. If we didn't have any dishes to do, imagine how much more cooking we'd do....

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  30. I love your photos and enjoy see what is coming out of your wood oven and the stories around it.
    We are all getting over the flu and a case of manflu that turned into pneumonia.
    Hoping we are all well this week and our weeks can gain some form of normality soon.

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  31. I would love to pop by, drink a cup of tea and have a good long chat with you leaning on your stove surrounded by yummy cooking smells. Bliss!

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  32. I am awfully envious of your sourdough starter Kate..for the life of me I just can't seem to get it right.
    Love your dress and skirt too, both very you :)
    x

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  33. Wow! I wish I was in your home to enjoy some of your delicious food. I would love a wood cooker too. Winter may just be your favorite time of the year from now on. xxoo

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  34. So glad this is working for you and to read Little House on the Prairie and NOT have to explain how it all works to the children...precious and lovely in this day and age. Bravo!

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Thanks so much for stopping by...

I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the way....so I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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