How to make a Dutch oven
When we learned that
electricity was a long way off, I decided it was high time to start
really cooking rather than hastily heating up leftovers and hot dogs in
the wood stove. Our exterior wood stove is singularly ill-suited
for cooking, with a sleeve around the stove providing hot air to be
blown indoors and also preventing the surface from reaching cooking
temperatures. The inside is generally far too hot to cook in
But I had nothing else
to keep me busy, so I decided to create my own Dutch oven. I dug
up an old roasting pan out of the barn, set it up on a cinderblock, and
filled it with hot coals shoveled out of the wood stove. A pizza
pan fit well on top, and a big lid enclosed the heated surface. I
had moderate luck "baking" chocolate chip cookies but great luck frying
up bacon. Maybe the latter tasted so good because of the bit of
leftover chocolate melding with the bacon juices?
I was starting to get worried about our water situation. We still
had seven jugs of drinking water, but I could easily see us running out
and the dirty dishes were stacking up. I was pleased to discover
that packing a pot full to the brim and then half again as high with
clean snow melted down to a nearly full pot of warm dish water in three
hours on the wood stove. I added a bit of bleach for safety and
revelled in the feel of warm water on my hands as I cleaned up the
In a pinch, we probably
could have gotten away with drinking the melted snow, but our generator
made that unnecessary. We've allotted ourselves an hour and a
half of generator time every evening, plenty of time to turn on our
drinking water pump and UV light to fill up another dozen or so milk
jugs. And time to feed my blogging bug!
This is the last installment on the Monday CD. Stay tuned for more details soon (I hope.) Meanwhile, check out our microbusiness ebook.
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