Making Do With What You Have

Two weeks ago our oven died. The pilot light wouldn’t stay lit and neither would the actual oven if you turned the gas on.

I rejoiced. I hated that oven. It was some cheap, never-heard-of brand that came with the house. I had been looking for an excuse to replace it.

Of course we weren’t prepared for it to die and we’ve been insanely busy lately so going stove shopping wasn’t on the top of our priority list. Not to mention that it’s been hotter than Hades lately, so we normally don’t bake anything this time of year anyways. Plus the stove top was still working.

But sometimes you forget that you don’t have an oven and as you (or in this case, Jeanette) are putting together an amazing dish you realize just before you put the pot into the oven that it doesn’t work.

So the only option you have is to use the gas-grill-turned-charcoal-barbecue. But we didn’t have any briquettes or charcoal. We did have plenty of wood though, so a wood burning oven made from an old barbecue was the only option. Believe it or not, it worked splendidly, except for the permanent color change of the bright red dutch oven to a darker maroon color – which I think I like even better.

Tom has always wanted a Wedgewood stove. Now was our chance to get one because we now had a reason to get one. Except our kitchen is tiny and our current stove is wedged into a space that’s only 30″ wide between a counter and a floor to ceiling cabinet. That didn’t seem to stop us from bringing home a beautiful Wedgewood we found on Craigslist that was 40″ wide. So the cabinet has to find a new place. We’re just not sure where though.


  1. says:

    Great idea on the barbecue. I hear you! Our microwave is going out and we use it for popcorn or for thawing. I've been slowly learning to live without it.

  2. Nicole Kramer says:

    Three cheers for Jeanette! I love this!

  3. I've also seen her do lasagna and brownies in a barbecue before.

  4. I was thinking about how little we really need over the past few days…I spent a couple of quite comfortable nights in a tent…who even needs a house? We really are spoiled, aren't we?

  5. Curbstone Valley Farm says:

    We bake a LOT, especially bread, and looking back at my FB feed our 25 year old oven died July 19th this year. We were supposed to do a remodel this spring of the kitchen, but that's been postponed. I can't bring myself to by a 'temporary' oven, so like you we've had to make do. I'm actually perfecting sourdough on the BBQ (turns out very well), and it's been quite fun adapting to cooking some favorites outside, albeit unconventionally. The challenge for us though will be figuring out holiday cooking over the next few months, but I agree with Hazel, it can't be more difficult than camp cooking 😉 I can't wait to see your new Wedgewood stove in place!

  6. Recycling at it's best – I love it :)

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