I have a new wood cook stove. I pondered this decision for a long time. In the process of building our tiny house, I realized that I couldn't fit in a wood heating stove and a regular electric or gas stove and oven. I had to choose one or the other. Since I like to be warm in the winter, I chose the wood cook stove.
Why the Ashland? I am sure there are many good cook stoves on the market. It so happened that Michael and I were visiting an Amish home in the fall and I mentioned to Mrs. Yoder that I would like to get a wood cook stove. She took me into the house and showed me her Ashland stove. It had the feature I wanted: a switch-over apparatus that made the heat go around the bottom and up the side and then out the stove pipe, thus heating from the bottom. There are some other stoves that do this, but they are too large for my little cottage. I fell in love with Mrs. Yoder's cook stove.
We drove all the way to Jamesport, Missouri to buy it. You gotta hand it to the Amish - they've been doing this off-grid thing for a long time and they have learned to make it as convenient as possible. Mr. Ropp spent 2 hours explaining everything to us and helping us to get all the pieces necessary for the stove pipe set-up. He was so kind and offered to give us advice any time we needed it. He advised me, "Now don't go cook your husband's birthday cake first thing in the oven. Try some biscuits first." We sat and fellowshipped a while, discussing everything from religion to politics.
One thing about Missouri is that there are many Amish communities. They are a treasure in our midst. Michael told one Amish fellow who was working for a local farmer, "One day people will come to you asking you to show them how to live as you do." "They will?" asked the shocked young man. Yes, they will. People like us, people who want to change the way they live, to slow down, to eat well, to enjoy friendships and communities.
I look forward to having folks over to eat meals cooked on our Ashland cook stove. But first I have to bake those biscuits!