|Photo by NordWood Themes via Unsplash|
|Our modular kitchen almost a year ago…|
Long story short, functional as our little kitchen is, we simply want more space.
The two of us cook a fair bit and generally enjoy spending time in the kitchen. Currently every inch of space serves a function and does not yield any room for leisure or socialising and certainly not for not dining. Cooking elaborate meals, especially in the weekends is something I and James love to do together, but there is frankly not enough space to do it comfortably. Our dining room, although adjoined to the kitchen, feels very separate and does not allow much communication between people dining in and the cook. For structural reasons, opening up the wall between the two spaces is not practical, thus we have decided to convert the dining room into a joint kitchen-diner. The room is certainly big enough and it has direct access to our favourite part of our home, a large north facing balcony.
It is sad how commonplace it is to dispose antique kitchen elements in favour of, for arguments sake, IKEA flat packs. Beyond their historical and decorative value, old cast iron ranges can be made to work with a bit of elbow grease and are not that complicated to use. They chuck out good amount of heat in the winter and being mostly great big lumps of iron, they do stay warm for longer than your average modern wood burner. Sure, not nearly as environmental and efficient as their modern counterparts, using an old one is still safe and easy as long as you understand basic principles behind heating with wood and take good care of your chimney.
|Don’t let this phone camera horror show fool you – there is a beautiful stove hidden in there.
|This cooker is nearly identical to ours and for sale in Samur 😉|
|In this model, the wood goes in through the left hand side hotplate.|
You can’t beat a good gas fired range when it comes to reliability, but the routine of cranking up a wood burning one is something I wholeheartedly enjoy. James and I both have enough confidence in our cooking skills to know what to expect, especially after making meals on top of our little stove here on the West Riding Kindred Spirit on a regular basis. Having said that, a thermometer for the ovens would not be a bad thing to get. And a really thick pair of oven mittens. I am not much of a baker, but I got a long list of traditional Finnish dishes lined up to try once our cooker is in operation. It is nothing too fancy: rye bread, root vegetable casseroles, karelian pies, baked porridge… – just your typical northern comfort foods that lack a certain je ne sais quoi when made in a conventional oven.
I promise to invite you all for tea and pie when it is all done. Do not wait by the phone though, it may take a few years to make this plan to a reality. In the mean time, you will find me browsing pinterest for wood burner suitable recipes and tile inspo.