Cooking with Gas

As you may or may not know, I love Susan Branch. She is an artist, a writer, a mother of cats, a wife (I think!), a partner at least, a cook, a traveler, and generally an all-round modern Renaissance woman. IMO.

I subscribe to Susan’s blog, and the one that came in my mailbox today (my E-mailbox, that is) is so wonderful that I wanted to share it with you:

Heart of the Home, by Susan Branch

Click above to read current blog entry.

This whole blog is almost entirely about her stove. You wouldn’t think that a simple appliance like a stove could fill up a long and beautifully decorated blog page such as this one is, but it has…. and it’s a really fun read!

If you are not already on Susan’s mailing list for her blog, why not try it out? She publishes this page only about every couple or three weeks, so it’s not like you’d be getting inundated with emails from her. And her blog entries are artistic masterpieces, to boot – eye candy – food for the soul as well as the tummy!

I do not have her “Autumn” cookbook as yet. I did buy a couple of her other cookbooks and love them both. I also love her travel book about her trip across the ocean, by ship, to England and her month spent there, writing, painting, and eating her way around that beautiful real estate.

But this entry, which is all about her beloved stove, just makes me smile from ear to ear. With every scroll down the page, with each new view of this antique gem that she uses every day at her home on Martha’s Vineyard, a sunny warmth emanated from her page out into my very soul. It’s all good. It’s a good thing, as Martha would say.

Susan isn’t Martha, and although I do love Martha for her special professorial presentation of cooking and the living of the good life, there is just something a little more personal and “girlfriend-like” about Susan. She refers to her readers as her girlfriends, but you men out there who might be reading this now, go take a look anyway. Men can enjoy beautiful writing, painting, and food just as much as we ladies can!

I really liked the part where Susan talked about when the electric power goes out on a cold winter night, she will cook something in her wonderful old stove which will, thereby, warm up the kitchen nicely – she’ll close off the doors to the room (who has doors to the kitchen anymore? well, Susan and Joe do) and the smell of dinner cooking and the warmth emanating from her old stove is enough to make you want to hop the ferry out to her house for a visit!


Cheers for the artists of the world who like to share!

Bex & Paul & Kip & Em


P.S. This video of scenes from England & Scotland is pure beauty!

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10 Responses to Cooking with Gas

  1. Irene Bean says:

    For years I cooked on a Chamber’s Gas Stove. There were 3 surface burners, another burner in a deep well for soups and stews (the original crock pot), and a combo broiler/griddle in the center. I believe it was purchased circa 1940s – maybe earlier – by my husband’s grandmother. I prefer cooking on flame – loved my stove.


  2. TopsyTurvy says:

    Yes, I read that post yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ve been watching her blog for new entries ever since you showed it to us the first time, Bex, and I’m loving her website! (I don’t subscribe to blogs as I’d end up overloaded with emails, I get so many per day now.)


  3. Sandy Freel says:

    Neat blog
    I cook with gas..wish I had her neat stove


  4. Bex says:

    Yes, Bonnie – just go to her page, and on the right-hand column, scroll down just a little way until you see an old photo of Susan as a young girl, black & white, and right under that is the link to click to get notified.


    Just go here and check the box called “Get Susan Branch Blog delivered by email”


  5. Bonnie says:

    I couldn’t figure out how to get on her mail list. Would you point me to that link?


  6. Bex says:

    There is a stove just like Susan’s for sale right now on Ebay, and the price isn’t too bad!

    here is the same one only $200 cheaper!

    The one I had looked just like this, only mine was that lovely ’70’s gold color. That door on the left hand side would open to reveal a grate where the heat came out.

    Click picture for more info on this heating stove.

    Check out this page about a couple who installed a stove like mine:

    Ruth’s Neighborhood.


  7. Beautiful video! I will be watching all day. Thank you for sharing that. The wonderful stone cottage melted me. Now I’m going to go read the blog!


  8. Bex says:

    Maggie, didn’t you see where that shelf folds down flat, against the back of the stove?

    I was drooling over her stove, just like you! And how similar it is to the one of her childhood!

    Our next door neighbors have a wood stove for heating their home and they have an oil tank, as well, but they also have two big propane gas tanks on the side of their house and they use those for things like drying clothes, I would assume, and for a back-up heating system. So they can switch between oil and gas as the market allows.

    We only have electric everything here. I used to use gas, in fact, when I lived alone in Salem, before we were married, back in the late ’70s, I bought an old fashioned heating gas stove that had a grill at the bottom that blew heat out into the room. With that thing going, the kitchen was always toasty, and I very rarely had to use the oil heat!


  9. What I did not know about myself was that I can actually drool over a stove!

    What a wonderful stove, it reminds me of the wood stoves my Granny used all her life. We don’t have gas here at the country house, but I guess that would work with propane. Like a woodstove, it could be used during power outages.

    I love the shelf, but how the heck would I get my 20 foot high pressure canner under it!!! (ok, I am exaggerating on the height of the pressure canner, just a little, but it would still be a concern)


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