Cooking on a wood stove is easier than one would think. Consider it a cook top. Add more wood to make it hotter, let it die down some to lower the heat. Use a trivet to adjust heat by raising up pot. Always use cast iron; other pots cannot handle the heat!
When I was a very young woman, my great-aunt Donna allowed me to take my children to her circa 1800’s log cabin in the woods. I loved cooking on her wood cook stove. Seventeen years later, in an 1800’s homestead on the prairie, Doug and I had a wood cook stove. We learned that it does not heat a home, but I did enjoy cooking on it. Seems food tastes better. Stirring chopped onions from the root cellar, or flipping eggs from the coop; it is all very satisfying.
When I am feeling old fashioned (or ornery), I will walk around our homestead and turn off the computer and unplug chargers and anything that has a damned light, and cook on the wood stove. (Of course the Christmas lights are all on…) Yesterday I made a fine mushroom risotto soup that was piping hot by the time my husband walked through the door. It was delicious! Served with garlic toast and a glass of wine, this homestead meal felt very fine indeed.
Mushroom Risotto Soup
- Pour a good swirl of olive oil into cast iron Dutch oven. Place on stove.
- Chop an onion and place in pan.
- Give a stir with a wood spoon, then go chop 5 cloves of garlic. Add to the pan.
- Chop up about 3 cups of shiitake mushrooms. Add to pan with 1/2 teaspoon of smoked salt (or sea salt) and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper and stir well. Let that saute for a bit until onions are soft and everything is fragrant.
- Add 1 teaspoon each oregano, thyme, paprika, and parsley and 1/2 teaspoon of red chili (or other hot chili). Saute a bit more.
- Push vegetables to the side and add 1/4 cup of Arborio rice in a thin layer and let saute for a few minutes to toast rice.
- Mix everything together and add five shakes of liquid smoke.
- Give a good pour of Marsala wine to cover. It will fizzle real nice- stir, and let absorb.
- Add 2 cups of vegetable broth. Once it begins to boil, it will be ready in about 20 minutes. You can take it off the stove until you are ready for it. Adjust seasonings.
- Before serving, put in a tablespoon of butter and a splash of cream (I use Miyoko’s vegan butter and unsweetened organic soy milk). Place back on stove and heat through.
When my daughter and I were out wood stove shopping, we couldn’t resist running our fingers over a new, red, shiny model of a snazzy wood cookstove. Some day!