Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cooking Adventures in the Winter Kitchen

I love cooking during winter months when it is cold and dismal outside but bright and warm in my cozy green-walled kitchen. A pot of water for pasta will warm up the house, or a pot of beans, or soup.

I've already started my annual soup-making. During summer I don't bother but when winter hits - and today IS the winter solstice - I love to make soup, cook my own pinto beans for refried beans, and warm up the kitchen the natural and fragrant way.

I don't use my oven much anymore for several reasons: first, my baked goods are delicious and I eat too much of them, which isn't good for me. Second, the propane way out here in the country is expensive and hard to replace. Third, I haven't lit that oven in so long I'm a little leery of giving it another try.

I do, however, love to use my cast iron skillet which resides on my stove or over the sink on it's hook - where I dry it after each cooking/frying episode.

During winter it doesn't matter if I generate too much heat. Heat is always welcome!

Another thing I love about winter in this cabin is the cast iron cooking stove that sits between the living room and dining room. We've got a fairly traditional-looking Franklin-type stove and it has plenty of cooking surface on top. At times we cook there instead of on the propane stove. It is like a flash to the past and actually an excellent place to cook a meal while the fire merrily burns beneath, warming the entire cabin.