Right now it is still early morning. I awoke around 5AM, almost three hours ago and when I checked the temperature outside from the comfort of my comforter… it was -3. Inside the house was a comparatively blissful 54 degrees. I lit the fires in the house and set a percolator of strong coffee on the top of my trusty BunBaker in the living room. This is how you know it is morning at Cold Antler Farm, the sounds and smells of perking coffee next to a crackling fire.
Last night I cooked dinner in the oven. It was my second night roasting a chicken breast over a bed of kale and carrots, all three brushed with a little olive oil and herbs. Last night the fire baking was intentional, but the night before it was not. I had left a plastic-handled spatula in the oven and pre-heated it without realizing. What resulted was a fire and angry petroleum fumes that made me open all the windows. So I popped the chicken in the cast iron skillet and cooked it right there in the oven below the firebox. I let it bubble and crisp while I chopped wood and did evening chores. About an hour later I had a perfect meal waiting for me in my living room. Brigit's Fire, I love that little stove.
Keep looking! Next to the coffee pot is a cast-iron kettle used to economically steam out water, not to drink tea from. It is a tank of a pot, replacing the humidity in the air that the fire dries out. At the Bunbaker's feet you can see drying socks and gloves, worshipping combustion next to an iron stag. The stag is one of the symbols of blessing on this little farm, and you'll seem them everywhere. Rabbit water bottles defrost from the night before. Hanging on a horse head shaped hook is a damp wool scarf and Merlin's bridle, which was drying from our ride up and down the road yesterday. There is a dutch oven there, currently filled with fire starters and small kindling and a cast-iron sheep sits atop it. On the right side of the stove you can see slightly damp wood drying off in little pryers. To the left, you see the same happening with some new-to-me boots a friend gifted when she got a new pair. They were Patty's and when I tried them on after our sledding adventure this past weekend, Joanna exclaimed, You fit into a size 9 boot? You're 5'2"?! And I exclaimed, "Yes! I'm 5'2" and wear a size 9 and I prefer to go barefoot. I'm a hobbit" And looking at this stove, it only promotes the evidence further.