Friday, September 21, 2018

The Beginning of the Full-Time Cookstove Firing Season 2018-2019

Well, today was the day.  Yesterday (and for several days before that), our high temperature was in the nineties.  After a terrific rain storm last night, a cold front went through, and today our high was in the sixties.  With lows in the forties tonight, tomorrow is not supposed to reach seventy degrees.  The long-range forecast has a few seventies in it, but nothing too terribly warm.  Thus, after Nancy's shower this morning, I turned off the electric hot water heater and our season of firing the wood cookstove every day has officially begun.  I do believe that September 21st is the earliest we have ever done this.

Supper tonight was just chips and fresh salsa, raisins, and apples, but while the fire was going to heat some dish and laundry water, I cooked some more red raspberries for jelly. 

Another cooking job that I had been saving was the sugar pot from our Monday Market baking.  When I turn out a pan of sticky rolls, we catch the caramel syrup that runs off them in jelly roll pans beneath the cooling racks.  That is then scraped into a stockpot, and at the end of the season I make pancake syrup out of it.  It is quite delicious, and this way the sugar is not wasted.

The first step in that process is to add water to the pot and bring the whole thing to a rapid boil.  Tomorrow I will skim the butter and cinnamon layer from the top, make sure it is the right consistency, bring it to a boil again, put it in canning jars, and seal them in a hot water bath.

The kettle of red raspberries on the back of the
firebox and the sugar pot at the front.
This was not the first fire we've had in the stove this season, but with the electric hot water heater turned off, we are now committed to daily fires.  I'm really looking forward to it!


  1. So exciting to see the changes in the seasons. Is this a record year for early starting or late starting?

    1. Hi, Robin! Good to hear from you.

      To clarify, this is the earliest that we've ever turned off the electric hot water heater. I'm going to edit the post to make that clear.