Thursday, May 30, 2013

Summertime Cooking

I love cooking with propane.  I really do.  But the one problem with using propane is the way it heats up the whole house, especially in the summertime.  The summer is when I am doing the vast majority of my canning.  Part of why I can is to live a little more frugally, but if I have to run the air-conditioner non-stop, I am not achieving that goal. 
Or I could do the canning in the middle of the night (I have done that!).  In theory the house has time to cool off again for a couple of hours before we get up and going.  However canning in the middle of the night makes me a little (!) tired and tired makes me a little (!!) cranky.  Fortunately for everyone, Mr. Marvelous found a solution.

Come, walk into my summertime kitchen!

This is my "counter" for drying herbs and (this year) peppers.  I love my dehydrator; found it for dirt-cheap at Aldi's a few years ago.  Works a LOT better than the home-made we tried.

My outdoor oven.  It has to share the counter with the dehydrator.  Since I was drying parsley the day I took these it got to take a break.  It deserves it; it's a pretty hard worker!

The canning section.  Nothing like a room with a view, right?!

Close-up of my "stove".  After doing a good bit of research we were pleasantly surprised to find that the BTU output of this stove is a little higher than that of our indoor stove.  One canister of gas gets me through about a heap of canning.  Last year it got me through all my tomatoes plus a good bit of jam.

Supplies are portable.  This was from apple-jelly day.

The computer is so I can look up recipes and listen to my hymns station on Pandora.  Unless it is between the hours of 1 and 4 when I will be listening to Dave Ramsey.  And one of my semi-faithful companions is hiding in the chair.  "Please don't take my picture!".

Meanwhile, back in the house, the temperature after an afternoon of canning (the clock was off by a few hours).  Nice!

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