“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat. In our mad rush for progress and modern improvements let's be sure we take along with us all the old-fashioned things worth while.” Laura Ingalls Wilder

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Getting A Little Steamy ~ Ma Walton Style

... well ... at least over the wood stove (LOL).

You need to hydrate the indoor air of your home when you heat with wood.  Fancy decorative steaming pots, kettles, etc. are pricey ranging from $50 to $100 dollars new.  And I've been told that you shouldn't use the hot water because such devices are not food safe.

While browsing a thrift store recently, I purchased an oval enameled roasting pan (minus it's lid) for $1.50.  It does a wonderful job of steaming and humidifying our air.  Adding a teaspoon of white vinegar along with water when filling it up keeps mineral deposits from forming on the inside of the pot ... and doesn't in the least give off an odor.

You know, there's got to be 101 uses for wood stove heat:

  1. heating
  2. clothes drying rack placed near stove when weather is too damp to hang outside
  3. toasting bread ~ place a piece of foil on top of stove, lay bread on top to toast
  4. warming up the dinner plates
  5. drying shoes and gloves by setting near the stove
  6. yogurt and buttermilk set up perfectly when placed near the stove
  7. emergency cooking
  8. ambiance light
  9. heating up your coffee
  10. using ash in the garden and compost pile
  11. using the stove top for dehydrating my sprouted wheat when the fire is med-low
  12. hot water for dishes
Care to add to this list?


Dani said...

LOL - having a permanently boiling kettle...

And heating pearl barley in the oven section to slip inside a home made cotton cover and use as a bed warmer. Or, if you have no oven, then place in a pot on top of the stove. Shake every now and then to prevent only those near the bottom getting hot (and possibly burning).

Best part of winter - wood stoves :)

Sue said...

I miss our wood stove at this time of year.
The BEST night of sleep I EVER had was in front of a woodstove---so I guess I can add "sleep aid" to the list!

Terry said...

the very best thing you have on this list mrs. mac is "warming up the dinner plates"...i only have a gas stove but whenver i make dinner, i always warm the plates on the top of the stove with just a sliver of flame!
what i would add to your list is the perfectly wonderful smell that the stove gives..the people next door to us have one and the smell of that burning wood when you breath it in makes you feel so comfy and makes you think that all is right with the world!....love

ps..as far as drying out shoes or boots, i would never dare with that bernie fellow's foot gear...the smell would be if a different sort!..hahaha!

Felisol - Elise Ljung said...

My mother has taught me always to burn potato and carrot peel in the oven. Prevent ""fat ash" in the chimney, and dangerous chimney fires. I know it works, because my mother was always complimented by the chimney sweeper for her clean chimney. ( In Norway one is obliged to have one's chimney swept once a year.)

If it's cold outside you can hang socks on the barrel in front of the oven to heat them, or you can hang the kitchen towel to dry after washing up.

Also in winter; a pot of hot chocolate ready for use when coming in from the cold.
Make logs of milk cartoons to heat.
I guess I could write all day. I love wood ovens.
My mother would also place orange peels on the oven for the Christmas smell in the kitchen.

Wendy said...

good tip about the vinegar. Fun that you can use the stove for all those other things too!

Mrs. Mac said...

@ Dani ~ that is a great idea about making a bed warmer out of heated barley placed inside a cloth pouch .... LOVE IT!

@ Sue ~ I do think it's very relaxing to fall asleep by a wood stove.

@ Terry ~ never mind that Bernie fello's shoes ... you are a hoot!

@ Elise ~ I like the idea of the orange peels and the hot cocoa! I did check online about the potato peels .. and found a few by-lines about them .. are you to dry them first?

@ Wendy ~ thanks for stopping by!

Becky said...

roasting marshmelllllowwwwsss! ha!

Laurie said...

I need to try the vinegar tip. We have incredibly hard water here. I sometimes use the woodstove when making soap, to warm up or keep warm either the water/lye mixture or the oil mixture, when they don't cool in exactly the same time frame.

Diane said...

Towel warmer.........loved that as I was growing up. Momma would place the bath towels over the stove in winter and they would be so cuddly warm when we got out of the bath!

Deb said...

Yogurt and buttermilk set up perfectly???!!!! You are something else. I think the Amish is really in YOUR family tree. (refer to my comment on you chicken recipe post)

Mrs. Mac said...

@ Becky .. hubby would like toasted marshelllowwwsss for sure.

@ Laurie ... I so want to start making soap again .. except it's hard to find lye on the grocery shelf because of THOSE people that use it for ill gains (drug making)

@ Diane ... yes .. warm towels .. or just getting dressed in the morning.

@ Deb .. I don't think I'm Amish .. but I have a lot of pioneers in the family tree (but who doesn't) .. you just have to 'tap' into the past. The chicken recipe is similar to the ones that call for a can of cream of mushroom or chicken soup .. but this recipe is from BEFORE canned soup so doesn't contain ingredients you can't pronounce.