Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Kitchen Queen

We’ve heated with wood for several years so I’m aware that there isn’t anything easy about the art of cooking on a wood burning stove. There is wood to be cut and hauled, a fire to be maintained and ashes to be cleaned out. Helping my Amish friend, Rhoda in her bakery, I’m also aware that using a wood burning oven is not nearly as convenient as turning the knob of an oven thermostat. I’ve learned that starting a fire on a cold blustery day can be a frustrating and smoky experience and that I could have an entire meal prepared in the conventional oven in the time that it takes to get the wood burning oven hot enough to bake! Regardless, I love the “simplicity”.

In my mind, food doesn’t taste any better than that cooked on a wood burning stove
and there is nothing more cozy than nestling into the warmth of a crackling fire on a cold winter day!

Wood burning cook stoves were the centerpiece of most kitchens for nearly two centuries! By the 1920s, gas ovens had replaced the wood burning cook stove in most homes. While I’ve always had the convenience of owning gas and electric stoves, for as long as I can remember, I’ve dreamed of living in the wilderness, cooking on a wood burning cook stove and birthing my babies at home. As my early adult years unfolded, I got distracted and off track and those dreams got buried in the trials and responsibilities of life. Unless Father has plans for us, as he did Sarah and Abraham, I’m done having babies, however we’ve concluded that it’s not too late to nestle into our little country home enjoying the beauty and warmth of a wood burning cook stove.

As always, we did our homework to determine what would best serve our needs at the best price. We decided on The Kitchen Queen! The Kitchen Queen not only has a 43”x21” cooking surface, she has a huge firebox that provides heat for 2000 square feet of living space for 12-16 hours and the ability to siphon 40 gallons of hot water per hour into our hot water tank! My favorite feature is the spacious oven. Not only will my 16” pizza pans fit in the oven, I can bake eight loaves of bread at one time!

Once we made the purchase, we got busy preparing a noble spot for the Kitchen Queen! Off the backside of our kitchen is a good size closed-in area with a concrete floor. We gave everything a good cleaning, insulated the exterior walls with heavy duty insulation and put a fresh coat of paint on the interior walls. I hung all of our cast iron cookware and filled a large bookshelf with all my canning equipment. Tada! Our summer kitchen was ready! As the days went by, the excitement rose. When the freight carrier called and said that he was thirty minutes away, we could hardly stand the wait! However, we were informed that their job was to unload it off the truck…period! The Kitchen Queen is no feather weight that you can easily slide around in order to dust under her! She weighs in at 900#! Getting her into position was no easy task! With their game-plan in place, a lot of fancy maneuvering and muscle, brother Art and Gary got “the queen” onto the “throne” that we had prepared just for her.

“The queen’s” debut was homemade pizza baked in her oven! Today she and I are canning pumpkin butter on her stove-top. Now that I’m getting the hang of how she operates, “the queen” and I are going to prepare a very special meal for Gary and Art for all their hard work to make it possible for her to be a part of our family.

The Kitchen Queen! She’s beautiful! She’s regal! She’s a dream come true!


P.S. Please feel free to contact me with questions, thoughts, topics you’d like to ponder or to read past articles at: You may also contact me at:
Bonnie Jaeckle
In Search of the Whole-Hearted Life
Diagonal Progress
505 Jefferson St.
Diagonal, IA 50845

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