Welcome to A Stove With A House Around It. My name is Dianne Ketler and I will be your hostess. What is this blog about, you ask? Food, people and places that have great meaning to me, and the stories that connect all three. As you can see from that paragraph underneath the photo of my dog way over there on the right, the site is named after my stove. I grew up in the kitchen, learning about the magical alchemy of cooking and baking from Mom and Dad, but it wasn't until I made the acquaintance of my South Bend range that I began writing about food. The marvelous appliance of which I speak is located in the kitchen of our 1852 home, which is also home to one hell of a pantry (thanks, Dad!) and enough storage space to indulge my ridiculous Fiestaware habit. Though I toil away as a freelance grant writer (gas doesn't make its way to the stove's six burners for free, you know), what I really do is cook. And bake. And write. And take photos. And eat. Yes, there is the eating.
I share my home and my stove with Husband, a Beatles scholar who is an absolute caricature of himself, my pre-school and toddler sons (and their curly hairs and cheeks), and my Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Abbey Road. Abbey arrived several months after we lost our first-born Chessie, the glorious and sweet Jet, much too young to a host of illnesses. Jet remains everywhere in this house, on this blog, in my heart, in spirit, forever. For my part, when I'm not cooking, I'm reading Tolkien, listening to Bowie, drinking beer, and shopping for new cookbooks. I also love the TV, including the diverse line-up of "Chopped," "American Horror Story," "America's Test Kitchen," "Jake and the Never Land Pirates," and any/all home improvement shows produced by Mike Holmes.
If you are a regular reader of the site you might have noticed that I have a strong affinity for Australia. This love affair with a distant land began when I was but a 15-year-old exchange student. I lived with a delightful family in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney who have become like my real family, inspiring many cross-Pacific journeys in the intervening years. Though I love my small-town Ohio hometown, that vast and beautiful southern continent calls to me. So if you're wondering just what is up with all the references to Tim Tams and Australian cooking magazines and ANZAC biscuits and the Australian Football League, well, it's because in a past life I was Australian. Or something like that.
My current kitchen obsessions include baking bread from scratch, cooking pasta with chickpeas over and over again, eating turkey tacos and canning my homegrown tomatoes. I am crazy for an extremely well-stocked spice cabinet and an extremely well-stocked beer cellar. I prefer recipes that take several hours, maybe even days, to complete. I cannot live without pasta, fresh basil leaves, sharp aged cheeses and perfect tart apples. I also cannot live without my immersion blender. But lest you think I am totally crafty and domestic, I also really like ramen noodles. You know, the kind that are 10 for $1.00.
If you would like to e-mail me, please do so at stovewithahouse at gmail dot com. I would love to hear from you. I hope that you enjoy reading about my nostalgic little food life, but more than that I hope you enjoy creating your own.
Thank you for stopping by.