Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wood Stovetop Cooking

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"There's a sucker born every minute." -- P.T. Barnum

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Survival nut that I am, I jumped at the recent opportunity to part with several hundred Federal Reserve Notes in exchange for a new-in-crate wood burning stove I found for sale on Craigslist. I felt kinda sorry for the previous owners who had paid three times what I did for my cast iron beauty -- which I'll be using to heat my house this winter and likely do a lot of cooking on -- all the while their new-found wealth slowly depreciates. Spend it quickly and wisely, suckers. I'd have suggested guns and ammo but, they were Liberals -- hopeless.

How well does it heat? With "black beauty" roaring downstairs, my whole 3/2 stays comfortably warm even when it's 40F outside, which is about the worst cold I'll face this winter in northern Florida.

Now, how to cook on it? Thank goodness for blogs like Margy's...

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Wood Stovetop Cooking

By Margy via Powell River Books

Using a frying pan with hot rocks was successful for stovetop cornbread, but I wanted to do some baking that just wouldn’t work as well in such a small “oven.”

I found a Coleman Camp Oven, but the price was a little high. Then I found a wood stove version that got me thinking. I found a toaster oven at the Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store for $5.00 with a one week guarantee which I immediately voided by removing the plastic siding, stripping out the wiring [Don't forget the plastic circuit board!] and taking off the bottom drop-door. I placed the stripped oven on top of my KOZI wood stove. The heat radiates up and is trapped in the oven compartment. I regulate the temperature by stoking the fire or letting it die down. It isn’t an exact science, but the price was right.

My first recipe was from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook. “War Cake” has ingredients that fit wartime rationing [or Greatest Depression shopping], and I needed one with no eggs. I made a few modifications and call it my Cabin Cake.

Stovetop Cabin Cake

¼ cup raisins
1 finely sliced and chopped apple
2 tablespoons margarine
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon cloves or allspice
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup water

Heat ingredients together in a pan until melted and the raisins plump. Cool slightly.

1 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and then add the wet mixture. Stir until blended. Add ½ cup chopped pecans (or walnuts) if desired. Pour into a greased and floured 8"X4” loaf pan and bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees in a conventional oven. In my wood stovetop oven it takes about one hour. When a toothpick comes out clean, it is done. I serve warm slices topped with whipping cream. A great winter treat!

Learn all about wood stoves, cooking tips and tricks, and see more of Margy's yummy recipes on her blog, Powell River Books.

Bon App├ętit!


Powell River Books said...

Hey, thanks for sharing my post about wood stove cooking. My stove came used and knowing the guy who built our cabin, probably was really cheap. It has served us well for eight years and I can't see why it won't last a lifetime. I've done a lot of experimenting with cooking on top and inside the fire box. You can see more at my blog. Come on over and take a look and ask any questions you have. - Margy