I'm in the midst of writing a post on my tendency to become over-invested in certain political outcomes. As an antidote to such things, I have once again tried to focus on the small and the basic: food and the storage and cooking thereof.
A few weeks ago I picked up what I thought would be a nifty way to use our woodstove to bake on - this little campstove oven. The salesperson at the camping store thought it might not get hot enough on top of a woodstove, but when I explained that it was our household woodstove, not a camping woodstove, he and I figured it would be worth a try.
Well, it works about as well as my home-made solar oven, getting up to a maximum of 250 F. I am still roasting some veggies in there right now -- they've been in for about 5 1/2 hours so far and the potatoes still aren't soft. So unfortunately, this neat little stove will have less utility than I though it would. The good part is that we did pick up a used Coleman campstove at a garage sale this summer, and that's what the oven is designed for. So it is not a total loss.
Also, this weekend we have finally gotten our basement pantry shelves assembled and securely fastened to the wall. We looked around a few places for some used shelving, and also tried to cobble something together out of some wood we already had, but in the end decided to go with two very reasonably priced wooden shelving units from Rona. Both Gord and I are very happy with them - they turned out well and are quite sturdy.
I've been ramping up my food storage over the past six months or so, and I put what I had stored so far on our wobbly ping-pong table onto these sturdy shelves. It's a good start, but I can see that I have a ways to go towards my goal of having 3 months worth of food stored.
These shelves, combined with our small freezer and the pantry upstairs should give us enough storage room for that goal though, and now I can easily see how much of each type of foodstuff we have. I think we're good for peanut butter for a while! And pasta and rice. But I could do with some more canned fruit and soup, and my two little cans of pickled beans look pretty lonely. But it feels good to see food on the shelves, and know that I can cook and bake without electricity, even if it is a little slow!