Food is a central theme in all of my books. Maybe because it’s such a central theme in my life! At one point, one of my characters was going to be cooking on a wood stove. I ultimately moved the timeline forward and he got an electric range, but I felt comfortable writing about a wood stove, because I’ve cooked on one.
Knowing my grandmother had produced farmhand feasts using a wood cookstove, I had often wished to try my hand at using one. Then I discovered Log Cabin Cooking. Barbara Swell offers cooking classes out of her historic cabin less than 10 miles from my house. She teaches participants to cook on her gorgeous, antique stove as well as in the fireplace.
I and several other ladies learned to make cobbler with dumplings (sinkers AND floaters) on a lovely summer evening. It was great fun and frankly, cooking on a wood stove is, in some ways, nicer than electric. The chopping and hauling wood is a downside, but the fact that the entire cooktop is heated and you can just move your pots around to find the right temperature is fantastic. Baking, though, is tricky.
I left with enough knowledge to write about using a wood cookstove and plenty of delicious cobbler. A win, win!
If you’re a writer, what fun things have you done as research?