Ward House

Wood cook stove goodies & black walnuts

     We picked up the wood cook stove this weekend and began the cleaning process.  While baking soda does a great job on cleaning the enamel front, nothing breaks down 100 year old grease like a little Easy Off oven cleaner.  Normally I shy away from using these chemicals; however, after spending several hours of scrubbing with steel wool (not on the enamel!) and plenty of elbow grease, I broke down and carried the peices outside, laid out newspaper, sprayed, waited 20 minutes and rinsed/scraped and voila – cleaned oven peices.   The doors and such are done and now I have the warmer peice to tackle.  This will definately be an outdoors project and one I will probably need to wait until this next weekend to start as it is usually dark by the time I get home from work.  My dilema on this large peice is that once I spray with the Easy Off, hosing it down means that these chemicals will run down the driveway and get into the grass or into the root system of the two maples that live in my front yard.  I am trying to save/protect these matrons of Ashwood.  Any suggestions?

     While scrubbing/soaking a piece like this, one wonders who cooked on it before; what history has this stove seen?  How many hands has it warmed in the winter, meals cooked, kitchen table conversations witnessed.  I hope to add to it’s repertoire.  This stove will help to carry us through the in between time of when it is too warm for the wood furnace to run and still too cool to not have some heat in the house.  I cannot wait to get her up and running!!

     After Ronnie and I were done with the cleaning, I went to Home Comfortthe web to try to find a website that will allow me to order parts, should the need arise.  As it turns out we have a 1923 Home Comfort wood cook stove – I found the cookbook/owners manual at Lehmans.com, which appears to have some great books for homesteading, living without electricity, etc.  Anyway, I ordered the book last nite and hope to have it later this week. 

  Saturday we drove out to a moving sale and bought some cast iron cook ware – two 6″ pots, a square skillet and several smaller round skillets, and a cast iron bell (the kind you hand on the cowbellside of the house and ring when dinner is ready).  I am not sure at which door to put this.  We use the side door primarily, though the front door is used for other peeps coming to visit.  I do not have a door bell.  Any suggestions?  My bell is similar to this, though the cow is not b&w and there is more scroll work above and below the cow & bell.  I read something interesting on the Mother Earth News website about how to care for cast iron cookware – for those items that are slightly rusted and not pitted, I can use Coca~Cola to help clean off the rust!  Who’d a thunk!

     Another interesting read from the Mother Earth News site is that I can compost my black walnut hulls – anyone else heard that?  Or I can sell them to someone who sandblasts.

     Gotta run –  more pix this eve.  Ciao!

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January 12, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

1 Comment »

  1. Annette,

    Thank you so much for mentioning us on your website. We’re glad you enjoy Mother Earth News.

    Great post on oven cleaning. We’re glad our Coca-cola tip was helpful.

    Laura Evers
    Mother Earth News

    Comment by Laura Evers | January 13, 2009 | Reply


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