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Monday, September 23, 2013

Home is where the hearth is



Nothing like a fire in the woodstove on a cool wet September day.



Something was lost when central heating came into vogue. The hearth was were the family would gather. It provided physical warmth, true, but it also provided social warmth. Now everyone scatters into their own rooms and into their own electronic devices.

Not that I've got anything against our electronic miracles. I've set up my laptop in the kitchen with a nice view of the fire. Call it the best of both worlds, if you will.

My lovely wife and I had looked at a lot of kitchen woodstoves before deciding on this one. A big selling feature was the glass door looking into the firebox. It's a good compromise. We have the efficiency of an airtight woodstove, with the ambiance of open flame.

I've pretty much given up on central heat. Last winter we only burned 30 gallons of fuel oil. Almost all of our heat came from the kitchen stove. The kitchen was toasty warm. The rest of the downstairs stayed pretty comfortable. Our upstairs, with our bedroom and living room, was only about 55 degrees most of the time. That's good enough. Actually, I prefer it for sleeping.

It's pretty nice to have a big kettle of hot water on stove. We can have tea, or I have hot water ready for the stove top coffee peculator. If I want to make rice or pasta, the water is hot and ready to go. The oven is preheated at all times, ready for baking. The stove is always on.

My woodstove is old fashioned, but it isn't. Modern metallurgy and construction techniques went into its fabrication. Advancements in glass making guarantee a good safe see though door. Computer aided design assures efficient wood burning and even cooking.

Even so, it captures the essence of the old fashioned hearth: a place for warmth and gathering.

-Sixbears

27 comments:

  1. Couldn't agree more. We don't have central heating, (pretty old fashioned) There is a Rayburn ib the kitchen, no glass door unfortunately andwe got a wood stove in the lounge. The down side is that is it a lot more work to keep them going. We will have a wood stove on the boat, with glass door!

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    1. It's nice to watch the fire.

      I've a massive black steel woodstove in the basement, but only fire it up on sub zero (F) days.

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  2. I put in a wood burning furnace and ran duct work so I have wood burning central heat. It was the only way to keep this old farm house warm. The furnace room is my man cave I guess.

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  3. I couldn't, wouldn't live without my little fireplace on The Flying Tortoise.
    The window in the door is a constant source of enjoyment, better than any tv programme with no commercials and the top of the fire always has a container of water heating for whatever reason. And then, oh what a joy to cook on, vegetables wrapped in foil or a casserole simmering or a vegetable soup getting better by the day.
    A day without getting back to basics is a day not worth living for me...

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    1. You know exactly what I'm talking about. Watching the fire is the best color TV.

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  4. Now , if it only had an automatic stocker heh ?

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    1. My wife has an automatic stocker -it's me.

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  5. We heat with wood also and only use the oil for hot water. Saves a bundle of money!

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    1. It sure does!

      I don't see oil getting any cheaper.

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  6. There is nothing that wamrs your body and soul any better than a good wood burning stove. And to make yours one notch above the rest, it has a window. As you know, wood stoves warm you twice. Once when you cut it and once when you burn it.

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    Replies
    1. I am blessed. They warm you at least twice -often more.

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  7. You lucky booger you...I have two fireplaces, use only one, but it sure is nice when we light the first fire of the season. It gives the house that wonderful scent of oak. Enjoy.

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    1. I burned some nice cherry the other day. That's an aromatic wood.

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  8. I grew up with a wooden stove in the main living room, the kitchen kept warm with a new stove from 1950 it lasted well into the 2000's as I recall..Both grandparents gone from this earth but the wooden stove heated up the whole tiny tiny 2 bedroom home. I recall my grandmother complaining about a $15.00 utility bill, my parents always paid for it..can you imagine and my grandmother made all my school clothes and my sisters and my brother got his clothes from an uncle about the same size from the Montgy Wards catalogue. When we moved to the big city we were not happy, everyone was in our opinion to preoccupied about possessions and never even saw their grandparents let alone live out in the beautiful county..oh, for those days!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. You knew what was important in life. Glad you got to experience simple living at its best.

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  9. So how's cooking and baking with the new stove? Do you have more heat control with this one?

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    1. Cooking with this stove is a joy. Oven temps are very even, a big improvement on my old woodstove. Cooked a 20+ turkey in it. Bakes pastry very well. Easy to find the right temp on the stovetop.

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  10. The onlt thing I miss about my old house is the fireplace. It was a real fireplace, not one of those tin can inserts. The brick and block would still be radiating heat the next morning after the fire had long since gone out. I preferred to watch the fire versus the TV. Don't need it much in south Texas, but our tolerance for cold is a little lower. 55 degrees, I'd be freezing to death! It was in the upper 80s today, and lower 90s for the rest of the week...

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    1. There's something basic and soulful about watching a wood fire.

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  11. We've always called our fire during winter "the bush telly". Far more entertaining than the black screen of misinformation.

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    1. I love that name. Mind if I steal it? We used to just call it our color TV.

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    2. All yours Sixbears. I misappropriated it from somewhere else anyway. We might be in spring time here (SE Aust) but it is cold enough today to fire up the stove for some slow cooked dinner, warm slippers and, yes, bush telly! Yay.

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  12. I'm so glad I spent extra to get the glass window for my wood stove. We had a cool day and I got to fire up the stove and and set all the paint and get rid of any fumes from installation,
    we have a few cool days coming up and I will try and get a picture of the wood stove burning.

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    1. It's great, isn't it? If you are going through the expense of a stove, might as well have one that's fun to watch.

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