Monday, 26 December 2011

The Heart of the Home

The Sunset on Dec 23 was spectacular!

Many people seem to consider the kitchen the heart of the home and I suppose it is, however, for me the heart of the home is my wood cook stove. It took some time to decide how we were going to cook and heat our home. There are so many choices! One thing we knew for sure was that we were going to be using wood heat and I would be cooking on a wood cook stove. Our cold temperatures start in October and last until late May or early June so staying warm was a priority! But could we combine the two? We originally thought this would be impossible. Most wood cook stoves while beautiful have very small fire boxes and would never heat a home. Especially at -35 degrees Celsius!

Then I found an amazing stove produced by Country Maid Stoves. It was an airtight wood cook stove with a large firebox.  Would it work? Now I think I have said before that I am mostly a practical person. So, while the lovely ornate cook stoves of old were aesthetically appealing they were just not what we were looking for. I wanted something that would do everything! We finally choose the Pioneer Maid. It is a large rather bulky stove but it had everything I needed. A large fire box, a 10 gallon water reservoir and a warming closet.
So, I know this one doesn't look as nice as the one pictured on the website but maybe that's because it is used every day?
10 gallons of hot water always ready.

The warming closet. OK... I do like pretty things too. That is one of my favorite Princess House casserole dishes. I just couldn't give that one up. 

The oven

We actually had to have it shipped by train as it weighs approx 650 lbs. I was SO excited when we picked it up from town. Because of it's weight we had to have help getting it in the house! You have to love neighbors who while they would never live the way you do are always ready to lend a hand when needed.

Things I love about a wood cook stove:
  1. The cooking surface is always hot. 
  2. Depending on where you put the pot or pan you can fry, simmer, stew or heat anything. 
  3. No need for a crockpot as I just place the pot where it will simmer slowly
  4. Hot water always ready
  5. Due to it's large fire box we fill it with wood before bed and it lasts until we get up, even if we sleep in.
  6. Need to keep something warm as Mountain Man is not ready to eat yet? Put it in the warming closet!
Things I'm not so fond of:
  1. Who decided to make it black?? Do you know how hard it is to keep black looking perfect? Seriously!
  2. The water reservoir had only a small opening to take water out so Mountain Man put a spout on the bottom. Now it flows out just as fast as can be.
  3. The oven takes quite a while to heat up, and is a bit uneven, so it is important to be patient and takes some getting used too. When I first started using it I wondered if I would ever learn to make items look and taste right. It does take a bit of practice!
All things considered, how can you not love an item which keeps you warm, cooks your food and heats your water all at once?


  1. We have the same stove and my wife loves it. had ours shipped in on a tractor trailer but it is a great stove. We got one of those little fans that run off the heat and it heats our house quite easily.

  2. It is so nice to hear from you! We were such newbies and still are in some ways so it is nice to hear we made a good choice! :)

  3. So interesting! So far we are using a gas stove for cooking, but we intend to do a wood stove some day to be more sustainable. In FL heat is not as much of a need, and so far we have used a small gas heater when necessary. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Takes me back to childhood when my Grandmother cooked everything on a wood stove. Had they not moved a new RTM onto the property in '86 she'd still be cooking on it. It did make it's way into the new house - only in the basement instead. Sigh - I remember filling the reservoir with snow in the winter and oh, the ladle hanging close by so anyone could did and have a drink. Good times. Haven't thought about it in a long time...thanks for taking me down memory lane LOL

  5. Rose: I can't see using one in Florida as the weather down there is so beautiful but way up here it is a necessity.

    Missy: You are welcome! :)

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