One of the neatest things about working at a farm from the 1930’s is the wood stove. In most museums there is a velvet rope and the room set up beyond where no one can go. Not so here. This is living history and when we want to boil some water or bake biscuits we fire it up. I have long wanted one of these, one of the reasons I keep trying things out is to see if I really do want what I think I do, and in this case I can now say confidently that I would love a wood stove.
I had never cooked on a wood stove prior to 3 weeks ago and it is much easier than I had expected. The wood goes into the open door on the left and door below is to remove the ash which is dumped out by a hinged opening floor under the fire.
The door in the middle is the oven and the round black thing on the door is the thermometer. The box hanging off the right is the water tank which can be kept full of water to heat for washing. In this stove, which has a rather small wood box, about every 20 minutes more wood must be added and after about 30 minutes with a nice strong fire you can close the vent and heat up the oven. We got it to over 500 F pretty fast the other day and had to lower the temperature to bake some biscuits and later some rhubarb from the garden. I haven’t baked anything that needed a steady temperature for a long amount of time yet but with a little practice, and a big wood pile, it wouldn’t be too hard. Now I just have to see if there are some tricks to chopping the wood!