Monday, May 11, 2009

Part 4b House and Land




The Kitchen was "L" shaped with doors to the dining room, sleeping porch, pantry and back porch. The sink was a single type with a long drain board. It was painted, as the enamel came off of it when the old house burned.

The stove was a wood burning, Home Comfort brand that sat diagonally across the corner by the pantry. It had a warming closet with a sliding door at each side of the back, a hot water reservoir at the right end, (This didn't last a long time due to the iron content of the water causing it to rust and leak.), and six burner caps. Three dampers were located in the center of the warming closet. One damper would be opened to channel heat to the oven, one to heat the reservoir and one to open or close the stove pipe to regulate how fast or slow the wood would burn in the fire box. The left side and back fire box irons were removed to allow a hot water reservoir to be installed. This reservoir was piped to a hot water storage tank in the corner, behind the stove. When anyone opened a hot water faucet in the kitchen or bathroom, hot water flowed through the tank and out to provide hot water for dish washing or bathing. If there was no fire in the stove, you had no hot water. To check on the amount of hot water there was available, we'd feel the top sides of the tank. The warmer it was at the top, and the further down it was warm, would give an accurate estimate of how long hot water would last.

You could tell how hot the oven temperature was by the gauge on the oven door. The gauge was marked "WARM", "MED" and "HOT". This would let Mother or Lucy know when to cut the damper down, also, when to put the biscuits, "Lasses" cake or corn bread in the oven to bake.

There was a small warming oven below the reservoir at the right side, but it was seldom used.

There was an ash collection drawer below the firebox to allow for easy removal of the ashes.

There was a door on the left front side of the fire box and ash drawer, and one on the right front side by the reservoir/warming oven that swung out for access to what there were covering. These doors, the oven door, the sides of the stove and the warming closets were white enamel.

There was a "Home Comfort" emblem in the center of the warming closet, above the damper knobs.

If Mother didn't have enough dried (cured) stove wood, or if the wood was wet, she would open the oven door, after dinner, and lay sticks of oak wood in the oven to dry from the remaining heat of the oven. By doing this, anything cooked in the oven, especially biscuits, would have that great smoked flavor. Once Fred asked Claire why she couldn't make her biscuits taste like Mother's. She said, right quick that she didn't have to dry wood in her gas stove.

Once, Mother left the oven door open to keep the house warm. When she started to make biscuits, she would first build the fire in the stove, close the oven door and start hand mixing the biscuits as the stove warmed up. One day, while mixing the dough, she began to hear a cat "meowing." She looked around and didn't see anything. The "meowing" got louder and louder. She finally determined it was coming from the stove. She opened the oven door and our cat; "Daisy Mae" came bounding out of the oven. She never got back in the oven again to stay warm!

Mother kept the old Home Comfort for a long time after we got butane gas in the house. We had a two burner gas hot plate to do fast cooking, coffee making, etc. to help out the old stove. Finally, she got an electric stove, I think from Joe, and the old Home Comfort was given to Lucy.

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