Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Marjorie Has Arrived!

Until June of this year, we had a Qualified woodburning cookstove in our house kitchen.  I had ordered it from Lehman Hardware back in 1997 when I lived in the little house on our farm.  I cooked on it a little over a year in that house, then it got a year's vacation when I moved into the big farmhouse.  Once I had the old kitchen chimney re-lined with stainless steel pipe during the next summer, the Qualified was again in use.  This stove has cooked a great deal of food (including four or five Thanksgiving Dinners), done a lot of canning, dried a lot of clothes, heated a fair amount of water, and saved us a ton of money in home heating. 

The Qualified keeping us warm a couple of days after Christmas 2007.

The Qualified working hard during "Apple Fest" in 2008 or 2009.
As I mentioned in earlier posts, we are currently remodeling our house kitchen.  There is nothing wrong with the Qualified, but we wanted an airtight firebox (I don't much enjoy middle-of-the-night trips downstairs from a warm bed to refuel) and a stove that would heat our hot running water.  As a part of the remodel, we removed the Qualified in June and ordered a Margin Gem cookstove from Stoves and More Online.  It arrived this month and now sits awaiting the kitchen remodel to be finished.  We named the stove Marjorie because Marjorie the Margin Gem seems to have a nice ring to it.

Marjorie was shipped from the Canadian factory to the Conway trucking terminal nearest us, and I went to pick her up after school a couple of weeks ago.  She spent a few days in the back of my grandma's pickup in a shed here on the farm, and then we uncrated her and invited helpers over to put her in the utility room for right now.  There she will sit in a sad state of disassembly until the kitchen is ready.

I wanted to post a few pictures that may help to illustrate how she was crated since I was quite curious to know about this before she arrived.  I'll apologize right now for ruining the pictures by being in them.  As you can see, I was not in charge of the camera.

The crate as it looked when loaded by forklift to the back of the pickup.

Reservoir side of the stove once the right end panel of the crate was removed.
The backsplash and warming oven were in a cardboard box that lay horizontally
on the cooktop.

Same view with two more panels of the crate removed.

The body of the stove was covered by cardboard which was strapped to it with metal bands.

Once the cardboard was removed, the plastic that the stove had been wrapped in was accessible.

Note the 2x4 frame attached to the bottom of the crate to support the oven side during shipping.

Front view with custom order sticker still attached beneath the firebox door. 
I'm figuring out how to remove the firebrick to make it as light as possible for unloading.
We can't wait to get it installed, but we have a long way to go before the kitchen will be ready.  My goal is to have Marjorie employed by November.  We'll see.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Wood Cookstove Cooking for the Family Reunion

Since Nancy and I live on the home place for my father's side of the family, we host a family reunion every so many years.  My dad's brothers and sisters and their families all come, and we have a great time being together, playing together, visiting together, and, of course, eating together.  My dad also had nine aunts and uncles on his mother's side of the family, and that branch traditionally had get togethers at our home when my grandparents lived here, so we invite his first cousins as well.  If I have counted correctly, we only had 39 guests at our maximum on Saturday night, but we planned on about fifty.  We actually ended up with enough food for 100, I think.

At any rate, we used the cookstove in the summer kitchen to cook corn on the cob for the crowd, so I wanted to show you a few pictures of what we did. 

My brother slow roasted a hog that he had purchased at the 4-H premium sale at our county fair.  He had lots of help and interested onlookers, and it smelled fantastic all day.  He set up the borrowed cooker next to the summer kitchen so that water was nearby.

Supper was scheduled for six in the evening, so I started the fire in the stove in plenty of time to get water boiling for the sweet corn.  We had four pots of corn cooking at once.

Lids removed on the pots to the right for the photo only.

Once the sweet corn was cooked, I pulled it out of the pots and put it in a stainless steel bowl.  The bowl was put on a cast iron trivet and sort of rested above the reservoir and the far right side of the cooktop.  The stove was putting out plenty of heat to keep the corn hot, and I poured a little bit of the water from one of the pots that the corn was cooked in into the bottom of the bowl just to create steam to keep the corn moist.

The large cooktop of the wood cookstove certainly came in handy for cooking for a large crowd!