Thursday, November 14, 2013

Our First Wood Cookstove Cooking Workshop!

Last Saturday, Nancy and I had the pleasure and privilege of hosting our first wood cookstove cooking workshop here at our home.  A person who lives east of the Des Moines area had contacted me via the comments section of one of the blog posts a couple of months ago.  After e-mailing back and forth, we settled on Nov. 9th as the date of the workshop.  Seven people came: two married couples and three additional ladies.

They arrived around 8:30 in the morning.  We started both the Margin Gem and the Riverside Bakewell once they got here and commenced quite a bit of cooking.  First, they made and canned grape jelly using juice that my sister-in-law had canned.  Then, we started our noon dinner consisting of baked onion-crusted chicken breasts, homemade noodles with buttered bread cubes the way my great-grandmother always cooked them, pork and beans with homemade ketchup, and green beans with bacon and sauteed mushrooms and onions.  (You will note the conspicuous absence of a dessert.  I forgot that we had planned to make cinnamon apples--oops!)

After dinner, we baked oatmeal raisin cookies and white bread in both stoves.  I was disappointed in the quality of the bread, and I know that the reason for it not being as good as usual was because I was too busy talking to pay as close attention to the dough as I should have.   Talking too much is one of my weaknesses.  I'm sure that you couldn't possibly know that from reading my egregiously long blog posts!

The seven guests who attended the workshop were all exceptionally nice people.  If I have my facts straight, they meet once a month and do something with food.  They had made cheese together the last time they met, and after using our Atlas noodle maker, I wouldn't be surprised if making noodles shows up on one of their upcoming agendas.  Nancy and I both had a wonderful time visiting with them.

A picture of the Margin Gem which was taken
by one of the guests.  The canner is over the
firebox, and the sauce pan on the far right
contains the pork and beans.
Besides the cinnamon apples, Nancy and I forgot to snap any pictures of the whole event.  Luckily, one of the guests sent us the one above.

The whole thing was great fun for both of us, but I told Nancy afterward that we'd better be careful.  I might become completely impossible to live with if given the opportunity to talk about wood cookstoves with a group of interested people very often! 

Anyway, our thanks to the attendees for such a fun Saturday!


  1. Jim and Nancy were great hosts. Great people, great food!. Jim is very knowledgeable in the art of using a wood cookstove and is a great cook. We all learned a lot. Nancy was wonderful and was able to keep Jim on task :) Thanks for the wonderful day.

  2. Way cool Jim!!! Great way to show people the magic of wood fired cook stoves.

  3. Janice & I really enjoyed the workshop. Not only was it informative but had a very at home feel. Jim & Nancy are really down to earth and made us feel welcome in their home. Thank you both for a most wonderful day.

  4. Would have loved to have been able to attend such a wonderful event!