Today was not our family's official Thanksgiving dinner. That will be tomorrow when we all get together at my parents' home. This was the year for my brother and sister's families to be with their in-laws. so since our get-together isn't until tomorrow--on a non-official holiday--my brother wanted to have one of those days where we all bring things we've never made before. (Stay tuned for a post about one of the dishes that I'm making for the first time.)
While tomorrow will be fun and interesting, some of us were a little sad because we wouldn't have any of the traditional foods that we eat on Thanksgiving. Therefore, Nancy and I hosted the traditional dinner today for just eight of us: Nancy's folks, my folks, my aunt and grandma, and Nancy and me.
Of course, this meant that I had the perfect opportunity to blog cooking a whole Thanksgiving dinner on a wood cookstove. I have read a description of cooking on a wood cookstove as a "dance" as you move pots and pans around to the appropriate heat levels for where their respective foods are in their cooking process, and you can see from the movement of things in the pictures, that there are lots and lots of movements to this dance.
Last night, I cooked the cranberry sauce and put the bread for the dressing in the warming oven to dry out.
|This is a picture of the pumpkin pies when they first went into|
the oven. The firebox is open to prove that I'm cooking over a
|The pumpkin pies after they were finished baking.|
|Celery and onion frying in butter for the dressing.|
|The turkey liver chopped fine and frying in a lot of butter. It|
will later be added to the dressing.
With the turkey in the oven, there was no room for anything else, and I still had lots of things that would need to be baked. Thus, I had to get one of my stovetop ovens out. In the picture below, it is heating up over the firebox. On the open door of the warming oven, you see two pans of dinner rolls rising. The turkey neck and gizzard are in the saucepan on the far right, cooking for the cats.
Then, it was time for a few more things to begin to cook. The first pan of dinner rolls is baking in the oven on top of the stove. The dressing is in a 9"x9" baking pan sitting on a simmering pad under the lid to the roaster. The pot on the left is the mashed potatoes, and the frying pan contains the syrup for sweet potatoes beginning to cook.
I'm sorry that this next picture is a little blurry. The dinner rolls that had been baking in the stovetop oven were nearly done when I transferred them to the cookstove oven. However, they had not browned on top, so I put them on the top shelf of the oven. The second pan of dinner rolls is beginning to bake on the bottom rack in the back, and the dish of scalloped corn is beginning to cook at the front of the oven.
It is important to note that the second pan of dinner rolls didn't brown very nicely on the bottom, so I later transferred them to the bottom rack of the stovetop oven beneath the dressing, and the bottoms browned perfectly. I didn't get a picture of the little stovetop oven full of both dressing and rolls, though.