A Surprise Inside the Wood Stove

One day I arrived home from work to a surprise inside the wood cook stove.  My wife was cooking dinner on our propane stove, and left a note for me on the wood cook stove.  It was a late fall day, and the chill in the air beckoned for a fire in the wood cook stove each evening, but first a look inside.

Inside the stove, a small noise could be heard as something moved slightly about in the firebox.  Not knowing what it could be and hoping it wasn’t a maimed mouse brought in stealthily by the cats, I grabbed a flashlight and approached the situation from a bird’s eye view through the firebox cook lid opening. I peered down into the darkness hoping the flashlight expose what was inside.  The rest can be seen in the video as I change my work clothes into an old sweatshirt and use an old pillow case for the task of removing our stole away bird.

As can be seen, the removal of the bird was incredibly easy, but making the video was not.  I recently applied for a grant to improve my journalism class at school.  I was blessed to receive three Mac computers with the highly coveted Final Cut Pro program.  What I have discovered in the process is the painful superiority complex Macintosh has created in the PC world to over complicate simple computer use functions.   Where I can find simple help tutorials with Blender, Movie, Maker and Even Adobe Premier, however, not with Final Cut Pro.  A user must pay for a class to get what a simple user manual should provide.  I have never been a Mac user and I understand why. Last night I spent 45 minutes trying to get the Mac to recognize my flash drive and it still doesn’t.  I have to go online today and research more on how to get a normal plug and play device to play nice with Mac.  Video editing has been an adventure, and I am unsure if it is skill or pure stubbornness in forcing my will upon the program.  I hope to get better with practice, but it’s definitely a challenge to me.

“Bird.” The World Book Encyclopedia. Field Enterprises Inc, 1952. I find many uses for my mom’s World Book Encyclopedia Books to this day.

After much frustration with technology these past few months, I reverted back to a classic way to identify the bird who had inadvertently trapped itself in our wood cook stove.  Instead of turning to the vast amounts of overwhelming information on the World Wide Web, I turned to my mother’s encyclopedias she gifted to me.  My mom where given these encyclopedias by her parents when she was a child.  I have always loved my mom’s encyclopedia collection.  When I was younger, I would read them for fun, and as I got into high school, the Internet was still not invented yet, so I used them for reports I had to do for class.  Under the section devoted to birds, I found a variety of pictures and matched the bird’s features that impressed upon me, the narrow curved beak, the oval marks on the bird’s cheeks, the spots on the bird’s chest, the gray color of feathers.  Soon it became apparent that it was Flicker.  Now taking that new substantiated info, I was able to do a concise search online which gave me the characteristics of the bird, and how it ended up in our chimney.  The Northwest Flicker, one of over a hundred names, likes to nest in hollow trees and also use their beak to drum territorial signals to others of its kind on metal objects.  The chimney served both purposes, it made a load sound in which to drum its beak upon to broadcast the bird’s message. And, once the bird found its way into the chimney cap, it felt like a nice hollow tree to explore and make a home, until it ended up in the firebox.

Sixty-six years later and still useful. I find that many things our society has discarded as obsolete are still very useful and relevant to this day.

The rest is history.

 

A View to a Quiche

What inspired me to even attempt making a quiche happened many years ago.  My wife was out for the evening, and I was having a guy’s night in celebrating with a James Bond Marathon.  During the film A View to A Kill 1985 starring Roger Moore as James Bond and Christopher Walken as the villain, James Bond makes a damsel in distress a quiche out of the left overs in her kitchen.  I figured if James Bond could do it, so could I, and I grabbed a cook book and began making quiche out of what I could find in the fridge. We didn’t have any bacon, but plenty of chicken, so in a Bond like fashion, I made a quiche, which I proudly gave to my wife when she returned.  My wife loved it.  Mostly, for the romantic gesture, but also because she had a wonderful meal without the concern of preparing, cooking, or cleaning up after.


I wouldn’t go so far as to say baking a quiche saved my marriage, but I can honestly say the gesture did improve my ability to continually woo my wife’s affections.  Making dinner for my wife on her birthday has become our tradition.  I love doing it, but sometimes I catch her off guard and create a meal on a whim, which goes a long way in lifting my wife’s morale and stature as the love of my life.

A Quick Review of A View to a Kill

After creating this post, I decided to watch the movie “A View to a Kill” again.  I was amazed by the plot, which seemed to touch upon some present day concerns.  In the movie, a computer chip was developed by the antagonist, Zorin, which could survive an EMP attack, and this chip was intentionally leaked to Russia.  A computer chip was implanted into a racehorse to increase the horse’s speed at the push of a button, this is known as biohacking. Also, there was an inference that the antagonist was the by-product of biohacking himself to circumvent natural human development to increase intelligence, but the unfortunate side-effect was the creation of a raving sociopath. Next, Silicon Valley in California was stated to controlled 80% of the world’s computer chips in 1985 and was the target of the antagonist.  Once Silicon Valley was destroyed, he would control the world’s computer chip supply. If he could have waited for NAFTA, the WTO, and other trade deals with China, it would have been done for him within the next 15 years.

Sometimes I wonder if our movies are a script in which humanity watches, buries in the human subconscious, only to create the very path humanity chooses out of false implanted destiny.  Maybe, I give our media too much credit, and it is really a mirror reflection of what our culture is becoming and any quality think tank group could follow a similar path of development through a causal effect relationship.

I’ll I know is even though this movie was a typical Bond film of innuendo after innuendo to create coy shock and humor, it touched on issues that are now current media and even conspiracy topics of choice from the fall of Silicon Valley, biohacking, and an eminent EMP threat from possibly Russia.

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Thanks to the Fair Use Act for allowing this brief segment of the movie “A View to a Kill” to be used as an educational purpose in making quiche and the importance it has played into our family’s tradition.  I encourage everyone who is a 007 fan to choose their favorite Bond movie and enjoy an evening.

Chicken Quiche Recipe (See Better Home and Gardens: New Cook Book 1990 or newer to create an adaptation of your own.)

  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 ½ cups of milk
  • 1 ½ cups of shredded cheddar cheese, pre-mix cheese with 1 Tablespoon of flour
  • 1 Chicken breast chopped and cooked into bite size pieces season chicken breast with pepper, rosemary, whatever sounds and will taste good.
  • ¼ cup green onions
  • ¼ cup of olives
  • ¼ cup of mushrooms

Directions: Whip eggs and mix in large bowl milk with cheese/flour mixture.  Add dash of salt to ¼ teaspoon for taste.  Add other ingredients and mix thoroughly. Dump into precooked piecrust that is still hot out of the oven and place a complete quiche in the oven for 40-45 minutes at 375 degrees F.

 

Breakfast a labor of love

Our wood cook stove is truly the heart of the home during the winter.  It heats the home, cooks our food, and heats the home’s domestic hot water.  Thanks for joining us on this quick video on us cooking breakfast on the wood cook stove, a true labor of love.

If you have never cooked on a wood cook stove before there really is nothing to it. The firebox is on the left side of the stove under the bacon pan. The egg pan is in the middle of the stove, but cozied up to the area in which the stove pipe leaves the stove for more heat.  The french press coffee is keeping warm on the right side of stove over the oven box.  The surface of the wood cook stove top is like an electrical stove burner for a conventional electric stove, except for the entire surface is hot to some degree.  The electric burner has a high, medium, and low temp setting.  The wood cook stove also has these settings. The difference with a wood stove is the high setting is over the firebox. The medium setting is in the middle of the stove and the low or simmer setting is above the oven on the far right side of the stove.

If you have a wood stove and not a wood cook stove, you could easily cook on the top of it during a power outage.  The only differences between a wood cook stove and a regular wood stove for heating the home is the top surface does not have a medium and low setting for heat.  Ways to adjust cooking heat on a wood cook stove is to damper the wood stove down or you could place fire bricks on top or use a medal trivet with legs to remove pans or pots from the surface to create a lower or warmer setting for cooking.  Wood stoves are great during a power outage because it could be used for heat as well as cooking and boiling water for tea, coffee, or sterilization.

When we lived on the Oregon coast, we had many power outages.  During these days of no electricity, we would cook on the top of our wood stove often.  Anything you cook on the top of an electric burner can be done on a regular wood stove with just a little more effort and planning.

Cleaning the Wood Cook Stove Surface

This week I am demonstrating how to clean a stainless steel wood cook stove surface.  Many of you probably do not have a wood cook stove in your homes. This still may relate to you if you are considering purchasing a wood stove to have a backup heat and cooking source.


I have created a playlist on maintenance for cleaning a wood cook stove. After the several years of owning it, I have resorted to cleaning the stove during my vacations from school.  I usually clean it once during Christmas break, and again during or near spring break in which it is the last burn for the season. As far as cleaning the surface, I have only cleaned it once in the 6 years we have owned it. I probably would have gone longer if it weren’t for requests asking for a demonstration from YouTube.

I can honestly say I love having a wood cook stove.  The cleaning of it is not really that much effort when you consider the stove does not consume electricity or gas to heat the home, cook the food, or heat the water.  If it wasn’t for its versatility in our home during the winter, I would probably not use it much because of the need to gather firewood.  Gathering firewood is a chore.

We hope you enjoy the video.  We are making changes to our YouTube channel to accept our permanent demonetization and we’ll keep you posted on it soon.

Flashback: Lighting the Wood Stove for the 1st time didn’t work out so well.

Flashback to six years ago when we lit our Kitchen Queen wood cook stove for the first time.  We had our challenges trying to figure it out, but now it is easy.  We moved into our place for two weeks during December of 2011 to see if we could manage the home with the extreme cold of a North Idaho winter.   We managed quite well and decided to move full-time onto the property in January.


However, that first night was a very cold night.  The home was hovering at 39 degrees Fahrenheit and by the time we went to bed, the home had warmed up to about 50 degrees.   As we laid in bed shivering, with several blankets and a down sleeping bag as a bed spread.  My wife and I huddled together for warmth and the thoughts running through my mind was, “Oh, no, I bought too small of a wood cook stove, we are going to freeze.”

Needless to say, I did not share these thoughts with my wife as she whispered, “Do you think it’s ever going to get warm?”

I said confidently, “Sure it will get warm; give it some time.”

The next morning our heads were sweating as our knees were freezing.  The heat was trapped on the ceiling and hadn’t extended to the floor yet.  By evening, the concrete floor had warmed up and the entire house was warm to a balmy 85 degrees Fahrenheit.  My wife and I opened the windows to let the outside’s single digit weather balance our home’s temperature.  My wife changed into shorts and a tank top.  I just sweated and enjoyed the warmth.

Once we began to figure out the stove, controlling the home’s temperature has become very natural to us.  Now, we know when to open and close the dampers when to stoke the fire, etc.. Living off grid has been a huge learning curve for us.  However, I would say that it has made me a more rounded person.  I have begun to develop a talent for fixing things that I would never have attempted before.  My wife has also changed quite a bit as we have become more self-sufficient in maintaining and operating our systems.

Cooking with My Wood Cook Stove- Pioneer Pumpkin Pie from Scratch: 4/4

Welcome to Part 4/4, the final video/blog in my video mini series, Cooking with a Wood Cook Stove – Pioneer Pumpkin Pie from Scratch. My final video will show how I maintained my wood cook stove while cooking my pumpkin pie and will show you my Pumpkin Pie all cooked and ready to eat!

I hope these videos encouraged you that you can cook in your wood cook stove and that it is not that difficult. It is like anything new, you just need to use it and practice.

From talking with others, each wood cook stove is a little different. It is my hope that these videos will give you an idea of how to use a wood cook stove and then you can modify as you need for your specific stove.

One tip: Check the wood in your stove and make sure your fire box has the right amount of wood in it to create the temperatures you need. Typically, I keep the wood in my fire box pretty full with a good wood ember base. This keep the temperatures up and for the Kitchen Queen Wood Cook Stove this works great.

Enjoy and Happy Wood Stove Cooking!!!

Krista and Pie_Background

An up close shot of my Pumpkin Pie.  It tasted awesome!

Behind the Scenes:  While I was filing the last part of this video I was running out of time.  My husband and I were needing to pick up our son.  So While I was off camera, I was cleaning up the kitchen and praying that the pumpkin pie would cook in time.  To my delight the pie cooked in time and we were able to pick up our son.

Thank you readers for your interest and may you have a wonderful day.

Cooking with My Wood Cook Stove – Pioneer Pumpkin Pie from Scratch: 3/4

Welcome to Part 3 in my series, Cooking with a Wood Cook Stove – Pioneer Pumpkin Pie from Scratch. In this video you will see how I make pumpkin puree from a sugar pumpkin and how I make my pumpkin pie filling using the pumpkin puree. Also you will see how I maintain and use my wood cook stove to do this. How fun is that? May you enjoy part 3!!!  Part 4 will be coming soon!

part 3A Krista

Homemade pumpkin puree!

Behind the Scenes:  While I was filming this section of the video, the background noise you hear is from our plow truck. My husband was working on it out in our meadow and he finally was able to fix it and moved it to the front of our house, where he finished prepping it to be ready for when the snow falls here at our homestead.  As an extra tid bit;  As I am writing this we still have no snow on the ground, which is very unusual.  We may not have a white Christmas, which would be very unusual.

To all our readers:  Here is a sneak peek at my finished Pumpkin Pie from my final video, Part 4.

Krista and Pie_Background

My finished Pumpkin Pie! Mmmm!!!

Thank you for watching and may you have a wonderful day!