The first snow of the season fell on Mallorca this week, in the UNESCO World Heritage Site Tramuntana mountain range. The magnificent mountains are a long way from our home, but it still felt pretty cold here in our valley. Like other parts of Europe, we’ve been battered by fierce winds for a couple of days.
Indoors, at least, we’re keeping warm – thanks to our much-loved Jotul wood-burning stove. We often say that this chunk of metal, in our north-facing sitting room, is the thing we love best about winter.
Here are the reasons we’re so glad we invested in this essential piece of kit for winter on Mallorca:
It keeps us – and the house – warm around the clock. We feed it a big chunky log just before we go to bed and it burns gently through the night.
It makes great jacket potatoes. Once prepared, with a good bathing of olive oil and dusting of flor de sal, the potatoes are wrapped in a double layer of aluminium foil and placed on the fire bricks lining the sides of the wood-burner. One hour later, we have fluffy jacket potatoes with crispy golden skin. Bring on the butter!
Plate-warming is easy: we’ve placed a small metal trivet on top of the stove and I put the plates on top of this to warm them while I’m cooking dinner. If you try this, do make sure the trivet and plates are well-balanced. On one occasion, I placed the plates slightly off-centre on the trivet and they crashed to the ground, smashing into dozens of pieces on the stone hearth. Plate-warming fail.
Cooking soup on top of the wood-burner is a breeze, and saves butano. I simply prepare everything on the kitchen hob and then when the soup has started to bubble gently, the pan goes on top of the stove, to sit there cooking gently for the morning until lunchtime
It successfully proves bread dough. I never make my own bread in summer because it’s much too hot to have the kitchen oven throwing out even more heat. But, in winter, I bring out my inner baker and get kneading. Unlike our old home in England, we don’t have an airing cupboard in which to prove the dough. Instead, we use the log-burner: placing the bowl containing the dough on a table in the same room as the fire makes easy work of the proving process.
It keeps Minstral, our elderly Birman cat, happy. It’s only in the past couple of years that Minstral has decided he likes the warmth of the log-burner. Once upon a time he would give it a wide berth as he walked past but, at the age of 17, he’s finally realized that there’s nowhere more inviting than the rug in front of the hearth.
It makes everywhere dusty. OK, so this isn’t exactly A Good Thing – unless you love dusting (which I don’t). But with so many benefits, The Boss and I can forgive the Jotul for endowing the sitting room with a layer of dust more befitting Miss Havisham’s home.
Throw on another log . . .
Jan Edwards Copyright2014
13 thoughts on “7 Reasons to Love a Log-burner in Rural Mallorca”
You make it sound so cosy! Wish I was there! Sounds perfect for Christmas time. Minstral looks really sweet – bless him. Stay warm Jan!
Yes, it is cosy. We rarely want to go out at night in winter, because we don’t like leaving the cosiness! Minstral is doing well for his age, but having a few kidney problems (as most cats do when they get old). He’s on daily medication and a special diet (if you can call a diet without chicken and prawns special!), but is otherwise in fine form. Still loves a cuddle! x
Cats often live to a great old age! l think they dont want to leave the warmth of the fire lol
I have one very similar. The current head count is four asleep in front of it, as I write this. 🙂
How lovely. There’s nothing more homely than a few cats in front of a fire – as long as they don’t hog all the warmth! :-))
I love picking them up. They’re like furry hot water bottles.
Oooh it sounds so cosy! They mustve lived like this in the olden days! Love the thought of the soup cooking on there all morning and you eating it with big chunks of crusty bread! Yum!
These are the things that make winter bearable (or bareable if the room gets too hot) :-))
I never think of Spain as being cold in winter….how cold does it get?
Well, we currently have snow on the top of the Tramuntana mountains! We have had snow at home a couple of times in the past decade, but it’s not common. Mallorca tends to be very damp in winter, but we often get lovely sunny days with bright skies. Not today though . . .
Damp just like England!
I don’t know why I didn’t see this post earlier. Oh well. We also have a Jotul woodstove and we love it, too. It’s the one thing that makes winter here in Colorado tolerable, I think. I use it too for cooking slow cooking dishes like a stew or soup. Out little Westie and our ginger cat like to sleep next to it. I don’t think I could ever live somewhere where I couldn’t have my Jotul!
I’m with you there – love our Jotul. Minstral, our Birman, does too.