Vintage Appliances

Discussion in 'Your Vintage Home' started by Rosie, Dec 2, 2006.

  1. Studebaker Driver

    Studebaker Driver One of the Regulars

    So...
    Since I've become a widower I have been cooking as therapy. I can't eat that much, so I've been cooking for the neighborhood. Most Saturday nights I have busied myself with giant pots of spaghetti, boneless country ribs from Costco, fried chicken, tri tip roasts, mashed or fried potatoes, rice pilaf, biscuits, garden vegetables (broccoli, lettuce and spinach are going gangbusters in California now), gallons of soup, bread, all sorts of breakfast stuff, pies, and more.

    But here's the thing.
    The only kitchen range is a wood burner and that is what I've been using.
    When I bought the stove, I didn't do it on impulse, really, but I did it with the suspicion it was going to be a décor item more than anything.

    I could not have been more wrong.
    It is wonderful and getting to know it has not been the arduous ordeal I feared, it has been great fun. I swear, the stove remembers how to cook. Biscuits have been the greatest triumph. For years I searched for a good recipe. I made batch after batch of biscuits promised to be "high, fluffy, delicious..." Well, they weren't, they were flat, dense, bready, disappointing. While visiting the neighbors, the lady of the house called us into the kitchen for little biscuit sandwiches with ham and cheese. The biscuits were unbelievable and I had to try them. The following Saturday I mixed them up according to the recipe, placed them on the cookie sheet and crossed my fingers - they were perfect! They were several inches tall, layered in flaky buttery layers. Everything I've cooked has been similar.

    I've never made fried chicken in my life. I got a recipe from a former coworker and set out to do it on the woodstove. Holy cow, it could not have been better! I built the fire, clanged down a cast iron Dutch oven over the left hand lids (directly over the fire) and the temperature of the oil rose to 360 degrees and held there. It was perfect. The oven was perfect for those biscuits. The rice, the Brussells sprouts (with bacon), the pie, all of it cooked with the single fire. It just WORKED.

    I know people have been cooking over fires for tens of thousands of years and grandmas have been cooking over wood fires for generations and within my memory. But this was ME doing it. And I DID IT. It works. It just works.

    I am sure I will not be impressed with the stove in the summertime when the temperature is over 100 degrees (the house has no A/C), but that is when you DON'T cook on it! Go out to eat. Or use the grill. Or order take-out.

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  2. Studebaker Driver

    Studebaker Driver One of the Regulars

    chicken dinner 20180310_183808_resized.jpg 20180310_183803_resized.jpg 20180310_183755_resized.jpg
     
    Cocker, Mr. Nantus, vitanola and 4 others like this.
  3. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,258
    Location:
    Small Town Ohio, USA
    That's a fantastic story to relate! I've said (and written-- I have a weekly foodie column in four newspapers) that the skills it must take to cook under the conditions pre-1940 or so are unfathomable. Grandma HAD to really know what she was doing. No setting the burner to "medium," you had to just know what you were about.
    And good for you, bringing people into your home to share in your good food. That is what it's all about.
     
    Studebaker Driver likes this.
  4. David Conwill

    David Conwill Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,839
    Location:
    Bennington, VT 05201
    Very impressive, Studebaker Driver! Heritage cooking is really interesting. While I haven't contemplated getting a wood-burning stove, I have a real desire to expand my smoke roasting adventures from my gas grill to a full-fledged pit, or "stick smoking" as the barbecue community likes to call it. I have an excellent reference book on cold smoking as well, though I'm not quite ready to try that out.
     
    Studebaker Driver likes this.
  5. Studebaker Driver

    Studebaker Driver One of the Regulars

    Thanks, you guys. This Saturday (tomorrow) will be baked pork chops, biscuits, green beans (maybe with bacon, maybe not). Something else. I don't know. Maybe a pie. Apples are still really good right now.

    Tell me about that car, David.
     
    David Conwill likes this.
  6. Studebaker Driver

    Studebaker Driver One of the Regulars

    Today, Saturday, is baked pork chops, garlic mashed potatoes, biscuits, broccoli from the garden and salad from the garden.

    Life is good. It doesn't feel complete, but it' good
     
    vitanola and BobHufford like this.
  7. Mr. Nantus

    Mr. Nantus New in Town

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Munster Indiana
    When I was 4 or 5 years old we lived in northern Wisconsin and mother cooked on a wood stove. I burnt my ear on it one time, ouch. That is where we got our hot water from too. Your house and meals look grand, love the dinning room.
     
  8. 59Lark

    59Lark A-List Customer

    Messages:
    453
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Studebaker driver wish I had a woodstove like yours to use at least in the winter, used to rent a cabin from a Mennonite and used the woodstove or the gas range or the barbeque outside to cook enjoyed the experience immensely,
     
  9. 59Lark

    59Lark A-List Customer

    Messages:
    453
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    oops hit the wrong button I operate my Studebaker car I lot more expertly than this laptop , Studebaker driver what kind of Studebaker do you drive . ,mine is a 59 lark v 8 with 52,ooo original miles on it, original brake lines , interior and original dirt , 59Lark.
     
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  10. Studebaker Driver

    Studebaker Driver One of the Regulars

    Hi, 59Lark -
    I have two Studies, both are 1915 Series 16, 354 cubic inch 6 cylinder cars, a 7 passenger touring and a roadster. I'm not sure I can get pics loaded from my phone, but I will put some up from my computer tomorrow.
     
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  11. Studebaker Driver

    Studebaker Driver One of the Regulars

    So it's Sunday, the next morning after another massive, heavy dinner. Only modesty prevents my posting in all caps how good it was, but in lower case it was awesome. Pics tomorrow for anyone bored enough to see them.
     
  12. Studebaker Driver

    Studebaker Driver One of the Regulars

    Dang, this stove is a stud.
     
  13. David Conwill

    David Conwill Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,839
    Location:
    Bennington, VT 05201
    The car belongs to my buddy, Brian, out on Long Island. He's a member of the Barnstormers and was kind enough to let me take a turn behind the wheel at The Jalopy Showdown last year. It's a Ford Model A speedster built from a stockish chassis (still has mechanical brakes, but has a hopped-up Model B engine now), a 1940s hood, and a Rootlieb speedster cowl. Piloting it around the dirt track at Lattimore Valley (on the campus of the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing) was a really amazing experience.

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  14. Studebaker Driver

    Studebaker Driver One of the Regulars

    That's very cool, David. I like it.

    The aforementioned Studebaker touring, it's the one on the left, closest to the camera
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  15. Studebaker Driver

    Studebaker Driver One of the Regulars

    Pork chop night had a change, instead of broccoli, it had carrots cooked with butter, garlic and honey. Also blueberry-lemon tart and brownies that, I hasten to add, I did NOT make! But they were delicious.
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  16. Studebaker Driver

    Studebaker Driver One of the Regulars

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  17. Studebaker Driver

    Studebaker Driver One of the Regulars

    I had no idea when I bought it this stupid stove would bring me so much happy fascination. I tried different books and You Tube channels for useful hints and most of them were of dubious value. They seem to make it all way too complicated and it's not, really. By the time the stove was made, the bugs had been pretty much worked out of the product. The firebox is sized to cook well; it's not made to heat the house or hold a fire overnight. It is expected to heat fast using as little wood as possible and to offer as much useful cooking area as possible. It does these things. It is well behaved, it doesn't smoke. The highest normal heat is not crazy hot, it is still a useful heat (like for frying or searing). Just slide the pots to the right for less heat. The whole flat top is the cooking surface. The most I have had on it is four pots and pans, but I was using big diameter ones.

    For years the little hoarder who lives inside of me has been making me buy cast iron cookware whenever I saw it. So I had what seems like hundreds of pounds of it. Since December I have been making a project of taking a piece or two at a time and cleaning it down to bare cast iron and seasoning them. It, too, has been therapeutic. The filthy, blackened and rusty pans clean up and come out like new, only many of them are far smoother than new-made ones.
     
  18. Studebaker Driver

    Studebaker Driver One of the Regulars

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  19. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

    Messages:
    13,531
    Location:
    New York City
    vitanola and Studebaker Driver like this.
  20. Studebaker Driver

    Studebaker Driver One of the Regulars

    Ha! Thanks, Fading.
    That train was my grandfather's, given to him on his 5th birthday in 1922.
    I have no idea why all the wine bottles are sitting around, the side server cabinet is nearly empty.

    One thing about the house, it absolutely is NOT a museum. Everything has to function (or have the potential to function with minor repairs) and just about everything is used regularly. I love having people in the house. Stop by sometime and I'll cook for you. Tell me what you want; I only draw the line at fish and sheep. Let's do fried chicken! That was fun! Or the boneless country ribs! I can whip up a batch of biscuits from scratch in about three minutes and about 15 minutes to bake them and I got the garlic mashed red potatoes down pat.

    We can listen to some good jazz on the Cheney phonograph, crack open some Angry Orchards and sit in the Adirondack chairs on the porch with the music wafting through the windows. It's supposed to get to 80 here this week.
     

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