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Welcome to Home Shalom and Shalom Farm. We pray your visit here be blessed. We are learning to walk in the Ways (Torah) of our Father YHWH and follow Y'shua, His Messiah until He returns to "set things straight". We call it a "Messi-Life". Our walk is neither tidy nor perfect, but it is filled with passion, devotion and desire to serve our King. We are learning to be humble servants, and to be good stewards of the things that He has entrusted to us: His Word, our marriage, our children, our family, our community, our health, and our farm. Hitch your horse and stay a while--our door is always open!

Monday, June 27, 2011

My Summer Kitchen

The heat has kicked in down here in Southern Tennessee and we are not using air conditioners...(Well.... their is one on the back porch I have not convinced my DH to give up yet...but he'll get there!)So we have kicked into full "summer kitchen mode". What do I mean by that? Well, we do not turn the stove on indoors. Instead we do all our cooking outdoors or on the porch.

Although, I use the grill year round, we use it a whole lot more in the summer. Everyone knows there is nothing better than grilled meat and veggies (don't you??). But I have learned to use it for things like grilled cheese, garlic toast, toast (of all kinds to top with bruchetta or whatever sounds good), tuna melts and even homemade whole wheat pizza in the summer time!

I have to wipe things down before I get started, but it's a shady spot behind the house, so I don't mind. We have two of these 8 ft picnic tables and two of these stainless steel tables that I use as work surfaces as needed or serving buffets.

This is my camp chef Taho. I LOVE this stove. It runs a bit hot - but man does that makes it nice for quickin' and canning! I have a huge two burner cast iron griddle (set off the side there) that gets LOTS of use year round - but it was made for this stove. You can also see here a few of my dutch ovens. I can cook or bake with these using coals. I spent a whole summer two years ago, training myself in how to do that. I am pretty handy with it by now. I hope to share some posts on that one day. Anything can be done in a dutch oven! Many of you know how I am about a crockpot...well cast iron dutch ovens are even better! (They just take alittle more doin')

This my Zo (Zojerushi bread machine). She doesn't get much action any more - but it is a great back-up appliance for no-brainer hands-off bread. Sometimes, if I want bread for breakfast and I don't have any made, we will toss the ingrediants in here before bed and wake up to a delicious 2lb whole grain loaf of goodness! This machine was so helpful when I was pregnant and operating at 1/4 normal.

This is a portable roaster oven, I have 2 of them and LOVE them. It is the latest addition to my gadgets less than 2 years old. I use it all the time! It is so wonderful to provide extra oven space for large projects, like making food ahead or preperations for Shabbat or making extra for food to send ahead for other families in need. It is also a wonderful tool for large gatherings, as you can set it up on the counter and serve from it like a crockpot. (But it is twice the size! of the largest crockpot!) It has a removable pan insert for easy cleaning. You can find them at Walmart for less than $40. It is very handy for quick summer cooking. They heat up very fast and don't give off as much heat as the main oven does. Not to mention, I use it on my porch or run an extention cord and do it on my table outdoors.

I can also use my crock pot on the porch or outside...but find I don't use it as often as I do in cooler months. However, I do still find it handy to make my beans..which makes lovely fast taco's, nachos or bean salads fo summer. It also makes lovely carmel sauce for homemade icecream. Hailey just recently requested some Chai to put on ice...OK I guess it still has it's place in my summer kitchen too! :-)

Lastly, We have the good ol' fire pit papa made us several years back. You can get some coals going in there for the dutch ovens or use wood. It's good for more than beef wienies and kosher marshmallows! This tri-pod over top makes it very flexible to cook over. You can put food right on the grill to cook it (like meat or large veggies) or use it like a stove top with a pot. Either way, if its too hot, just raise it higher away from the fire - if it is too cold, lower it down. Simple cookin! I absolutely LOVE campfire cookin'!

I find we eat a lot more fresh and raw foods. A lot more fresh salads and more "snacky lunches" (like raw veggies and dip, cheese and crackers. Ants on a log, things like that) We eat fresh fruit like crazy! I think that is the way it is suppose to be. It seems to me that our bodies rhythm and needs change with the weather and longer hot days. It is good to eat seasonally for a whole host of reasons...but that is another post. :-)

It is part of the farm vision to build a VERY large pavilion in the back yard. At one end of it will be storage for tables, chairs and some kitchen supplies, as well as a wood cook stove. This will not only serve as a place to exercise hospitality year round (and dance!)- but it will also double as our permanent summer kitchen.

I hope you enjoyed this little tour of my make-shift summer kitchen. Stay cool (unless you are my friends in Australia - you stay warm - would ya). ;-)

I shared this post on the Homestead Barnhop


Anonymous said...

I love your stove! I too want a permanent outdoor kitchen! I have a little "oven" that sits on a camp stove to bake with! Another note- we call the fruit of the passionflower- mountain apricots- very delish jam. That was a true find! We are still using our ac- ugh! I tried to do w/out but my insulin pump died and my bs sky rocketed for days. I could not cope w/ the heat and hbs. I love to read your posts! Thanks so much Yah Bless!
Crystal in E. TN

Mommy Set Free said...

Thanks for the encouragment!

I hope I am so blessed as to get enough fruit harvested from the Passionflower for jam!

Yes, special health concerns are a real issue with electric. Maybe all the more reason to have a back up system in play though! Do you have anything in the works for that?

I have seen those ovens and always wondered how they preformed. Oh don't temp me. This where my love for tools and my need to budget for cash living like to collide...Yah give me strength! :-) (As I repeat to myself in closing...I have my roaster & dutch ovens to bake in the summer. I have my dutch ovens to bake in.) :-)

In Him, p

Moira said...

Shalom Pamela,
Everything looks like a wonderful adventure! I love this idea! I thought of going without air, but realized that with our humidity mold grows quite nicely, so we keep it on, but on low, about 82. It feels like a fridge when you come in from outside 100 + though,LOL! Thanks for sharing!!

Mendy said...

What great ideas! I'm so impressed by your skills...I'm trying to learn dutch oven cookery and wanting to find more off-grid cooking methods as well. Where did you buy your propane range? Do you find cooking with propane to be cost-effective? I'm always trying to think of a way to quickly process my frozen foods in the case of a long-term power outage. It looks like your set-up would provide a great solution.

Mommy Set Free said...

I don't remember where i got the stove it was about 5 years ago. But if you google Camp Chef Stove - you should be able to find them. They have several models.

I do like propane - wood would be more would probably be cheaper, but propane is more convienant. :-)

Amy© said...

I am going to buy a portable roasting oven this week! I am constantly thinking to myself how much I wish I had more oven space or another oven!

lusi said...

Oh for summer! Lol No we are thankful for each season Yah sends. LOVED seeing your outdoor kitchen - how wonderful! May you all enjoy many fun and happy times out there together this Summer.
Much love,
Your cold friend in Oz ;-)

Anonymous said...

No A/C? Just now getting hot? That just doesn't sound like a sane idea out here! Lol! Honestly, I sit there and wonder how it is Texan pioneer women did it and in long sleeves no less. We go outside only in the early AM or late afternoon/evening because it is just so HOT outside, and we're outside people! Who knows, maybe if houses were designed for better circulation like they were once upon a time it would be bearable. :).

Love your gadgets by the way. I'm going to have to put quite a few of them on a list to look out for!!