Funky Soul Stew was Once Cooking in Carleton Place

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old-wood-burning-stove

When you thought of housekeeping with the one and only girl in the world– A Pandora Kitchen Range could be bought for an even $50 dollars at Dick Singleton’s Hardware Store in Carleton Place.

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Established in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1881, the Wrought Iron Company was founded by Henry Harrison Culver and his two brothers. The Wrought Iron Range Company introduced the Home Comfort Range in the late-nineteenth century and continued production until the early 1940s. These stoves, made of cast iron and coated with enamel, revolutionized cooking in America as homemakers no longer had to bend over a hearth in order to prepare the family meal.

wood

On February 5th 2012, a Home Comfort wood cook stove, in excellent condition, was sold on eBay for $1,200. This particularly example was made in the late 1920s and would have been transported by salesmen from door to door or shop to shop in order to sell them individually.

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Back in 1925, the Findlay foundry began production of the now-famous “Oval” wood cook stove. Today, years later, the company now known as Heartland Appliances is still building the Oval, virtually unchanged save for a few technological improvements that have come along since Findlay’s time.

oval

My Grandmother, somewhat of a warrior, would bring in armloads of split hardwood and kindling every morning and evening and pile it in the woodbox beside the stove. The little shelves on either side at the topwas where I dried my mittens in the winter. There were six round covers on top where the wood was put in, and you could take one off if you needed a really hot place to put the frypan. It would fit right inside the biggest hole.

Grammy would cook the most wonderful meals– baked beans, brown bread, and lots of roasts and stews. Not to mention delicious cakes, pies and cookies of all kinds. Food just seemed to taste better for some reason when they where cooked on the wood stove. Muffy, their cat, would always be asleep on top of the woodbox, except when I came in and she would hightail it under the stove.

Grammy,always had a little clothes line in the corner of the kitchen behind the stove for drying the dish towels. It intrigues me that a woman could spend her whole life cooking for generations on one stove. Its metaphoric, I suppose. It is amazing what delicious food those ladies could provide using the most elementary equipment.

OLD FASHIONED BAKED BEANS

SERVINGS 4-6 UNITS US
2 lbs yellow-eyed beans
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 medium onion
1⁄2 lb salt pork
1⁄4 cup brown sugar
1⁄2 cup molasses
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
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DIRECTIONS

Soak beans overnight, well covered with cold water.
Pour off soaking water and pick over beans to remove any bad ones, or debris.
Put beans in a pot.
Cover with fresh cold water and add 1 tsp. baking soda.
Bring to a boil and cook until skins of beans crack when you take one out on a spoon and blow on it.
Cut onion in quarters and put in bottom of a bean crock or large casserole.
Add the partially cooked beans.
Put cut up salt pork on top.
(Some people use the salt pork fat. I don’t like fat, so I prefer to use the salt pork meat.) Combine brown sugar, molasses, mustard and salt with 1 1/2 cups boiling water.
Pour over the beans.
Add more boiling water, if needed, to come just to the top of the beans.
Also, if needed during baking tme, add more boiling water.
Bake, covered, at 300 degrees F for 6 hours, or until beans are tender

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Craig Wilson found this old pot on his property. It’s an old Findlay pot that he found buried beside a big maple on his front lawn while he was raking and it caught the edge of the buried handle. It will be going to the Carleton Place museum.. You never know what you can find.

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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