Its always a pleasure to come inside from the winter chill and be greeted by the warmth of our wood stove gently ticking away making the kitchen warm and cosy.Our wood stove is my all time favourite kitchen ‘tool’. It cooks the best roasts, bread, puddings, and long slow stews and just about everything else .Cooking with wood impart a special quality into the food and the stove chugging away creates a real presence in the house. It can transport you to another time that moved more slowly and in time with the seasonal rhythms.
Our stove is Australian made, (actually Albury NSW.) the Themalux Supreme is always ready to cook something at the same time heating the hot water (very necessary when there is no sun to work the solar panels.) The system also has a tap direct from the hot water jacket that provides instant hot water for washing dishes, hands, cold feet or getting the pasta water to the boil quickly which saves the water coming from the hot water service which takes a while to come through hot.
Another plus is that all the wood to run it is grown on our property. We planted a firewood forest back in 1987 to provide all our cooking and heating needs. As eucalyptus trees are harvested they coppice producing a sustainable source of fuel. As a bonus it is now home to koalas and kangaroos as well as a vast array of birds and frogs.
Winter also heralds a change in lunches, the aroma of warming soup and wholesome bread greet us and visitors at the kitchen door. The home garden can provide most of the ingredients along with the pumpkin harvest and never forget the chestnuts nor the chicken.
The stove also provides a focal point and is the most popular room in the house being warm, cosy and with the fragrance of something in the making.I doubt I could cope with one of those open plan kitchens that melts into the rest of the house without any personality of its own.