Seldom Scene - Bonnie Chandler's Cookstove


Bonnie Chandler's Cookstove, Rice Cove 1976

My first years in Madison County, this was an universal and welcoming sight in most county homes. Still warm from morning biscuits and gravy, dinner and supper warming still. Pots with bubbling beans, both pinto and green; potatoes, creamy and rich with butter; applesauce; and water for coffee and washing. People who have eaten a meal prepared on a wood cookstove all utter the same thing: "It's the best eatin' I've ever had." Certain homes in Madison show this scene today, but not many, they are hard to find. Cooking on a wood stove is a lost art, one not taught in school, or by grandmothers anymore. There's smoke and ash to deal with, the time it takes for the stove to heat up. And keeping cookstove wood on hand is a chore most people shun, it's so much easier to just turn that knob and watch the eye get hot.