As readers of this blog will recall, I heat my cabin with wood stoves, one in the kitchen-dining room area, and one for the rest of the place. When the outside temperature is above zero, I depend solely on the kitchen stove—an old, heavy, cast iron cook stove. I bought it used in 1968, which means I’ve had for 47 years. It was an old stove when I bought it, so I really don’t know it’s age.
The stove is a Home Comfort, and for it’s day it must have been the most up and coming cook stove on the market, for it is a combination stove. On one side it burns wood, on the other side it has four gas burners. We seldom use the gas side of the stove, maybe a few times in the summer when it’s too hot to light up the wood burner.
The oven door even has a thermometer, with the following readings, “warm,” “moderate,” “hot,” and “very hot.” But it’s broken; the faded red needle is stuck on “warm.”
In winter, the old stove not only warms much of the cabin, but its surface is perfect for cooking—nothing tastes better than vegetable soup or chili that simmers on the stove for a couple of hours.
I also have an old-fashioned teakettle that sends up a little cloud of steam to add humidity to the cabin, and provide me with hot water when I want a cup of hot chocolate.
The other day I was reading that those of us who have desk jobs, which includes those of us who are writers, should get up and walk around every hour or so or we may die an early death. I’m too old to die an early death, but nonetheless, to keep my stove going I have to get up every hour or so to feed it more wood.
THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Wood burning cook stoves have benefits that go beyond cooking and keeping you warm.
LOOKING FOR INFORMATION
I am working on the history of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in Wisconsin, which will be published as a book by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press. The CCC operated throughout the country from 1933 to 1942, and had a strong presence in Wisconsin. CCC boys planted trees, helped with soil conservation, improved state and national parks, fought forest fires and much more.
I am looking for photos, letters, diaries, and stories told by and about Wisconsin CCC members—the work they did, what they did in their free time, how they related to the communities in which they worked, and whatever else someone might have. Many Wisconsin families were involved with the CCC and their story has not been told.
If anyone has such information, please get in touch with me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, February 4, 6:30 p.m. Mt. Horeb Library (The Quiet Season and The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County.
Saturday, February 14, 2:30 p.m. Garden Expo Madison. Garden Wisdom
Tuesday, February 24, 7:00 p.m. River Falls Library, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County.
Wednesday, February 25, 11:30-1:30 Chapter 2 Bookstore, Hudson, WI. The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County & The Quiet Season.
Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fund raiser for them):
The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs, Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps and Jerry Apps A Farm Story.
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including The Quiet Season (on which the DVD A Farm Winter is based), as well as Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm, (which are related to the DVD Jerry Apps a Farm Story). Also available is Jerry’s new novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street