So MOH (my other half) trundles out on the ride-on mower with trailer attached, in which lies his chain saw, helmet, protective gloves and goggles, to warm himself up cutting the trees to manageable lengths for storing for a couple of years, before using on our woodburner to heat the house.
When we bought this house, the only source of heating was electric convector heaters. As there was a chimney, MOH explored the wall below in the sejour, cut away the plasterboard lining and rockwool insulation and exposed an attractive stone fireplace, ready made to accept a poele a bois!
What a marvellous investment. We've got our own supply of free wood, we keep the fire burning day and night, it's reduced the electric bill by a few hundred euros, and for the dogs, it's a case of 'first come, first served' for the warmest spot on the hearthrug in front of it!
I've used the top of the 'poele a bois' for heating soups, browning jacket potatoes (wrapped in foil, of course), warming plates, simmering casseroles - all standing on cast iron trivets - and as a heat source for proving bread rolls before cooking in the electric oven.
This week I decided to try frying on it. We've got a cast iron griddle, ideal for such use and, wiped with olive oil, I cooked tomatoes and mushrooms as an accompaniment for chops cooked under the grill.
So I searched on the Internet for some other ideas, and came up with the following website. Recipes here include Chicken Noodle Soup, Potatoes and Sausage and Roast Chicken and Vegetables.
Unlike Cindy Myers, my poele a bois does not have an oven, but you can still cook the above on top of the woodburner.
If anyone else has recipes and suggestions for cooking on top of the woodburner stove, I'll be very pleased to feature them.
We're lucky that we have a bergerie in which to store wood for the fire. If you're not sure about the best way to store your wood, what quantities to buy, etc. here's a very useful article.