A cold, wet Sunday and the floodwaters are rising, but here in Hobbitland there’s a warm, delicious aroma and the promise of hot soup soon!
With an increasing number of predictions of power cuts this winter, we thought we’d experiment with the Hobbit woodstove to see how much we could use it for cooking. This is in addition to its normal functions of room heating and dog drying.
An antique copper kettle had been gracing the stove for some time but now it was time to see how fast it could boil water and whether we could get it to simmer as well. No problem! Seven minutes to a full boil from cold when the stove was getting up a good heat (it had recently been lit using Hardwood Cobs), longer once it had been stoked with denser briquettes, such as Verdo or Nestro, to produce a sustained heat. Simmering was achieved by using one or two iron trivets, depending on how hot the stove was running at a given time.
Green tomato chutney
The next experiment was to use up the last of the November tomatoes and see if it was possible to make a decent green tomato chutney on the woodburner. Using the cast iron Hobbit casserole and trivet set actually produced a really flavorsome chutney in about two hours at a gently simmer. It has to sit for a couple of months to mature now but even straight off the stove it tasted great! Recipe available on request!
Today’s creation has been a gently simmered vegetable soup, again using the Hobbit casserole. An hour produces an excellent soup but it can happily sit on the trivet and keep warm for several hours, gaining flavour all the time.
It looks as if casseroles, even breads, should be possible on the woodburner. Can’t wait to start the next experiment.Please note that no Hobbits were harmed in the making of these recipes.