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There’s the snow and cold! For a quick minute I was wondering where Old Man Winter got to. Let the snowshoeing and cross-country skiing commence.

Farmers to Families

Mark your calendars to pick up a USDA Farmers to Families Food Box. Each box contains 12 lbs. produce, 5 lbs. meat, 5 lbs. dairy and milk. This program is open to all, no requirements. Collect yours on Friday, Feb. 19, 9 a.m. to noon at athenahealth and 1 to 4 p.m. at Mount View School.

Community matters

Bangor Savings Bank is making it possible for you to support your favorite local nonprofit! Vote online to support a worthy cause with one of 44 grants in the amounts of $1,000 up to $5,000. Go to bangor.com and follow the prompts, and don’t overlook the write-in line where you can add Jackson Food Pantry. Voting is open through Feb. 28.

Town Office

Next Planning Board Meeting is Feb. 16, 6:30 p.m. Town Report assemblers needed the week of March 8-13. Saturday, March 13, is final assembly day ― come in during the week to help prep documents for the Saturday assembly. Contact Brenda for more info: 722-3439.

Town transfer station

Yay! Additional dumpster has arrived at the Jackson transfer station! Please continue to do your part to help: Break down/flatten all cardboard, put all trash in bags, keep your bags light and throw them to the back of the dumpster. And don’t forget, Unity Area Regional Recycling is hungry for your recyclables. Speaking of hungry, you know when a good day to go is? Wednesday mornings! Then you get a twofer ― saving the earth by recycling and getting your Amish doughnuts.

Jackson (living) history nugget

There’s nothing quite like cozying up in a rocking chair next to a kitchen wood stove, while smelling dinner simmering away on the stove. Wood cook stoves have been around for hundreds of years, and many people right here in Jackson continue to cook with them; some have done so for decades.

I checked in with a few neighbors to hear what’s cooking on their stoves. Dave McDaniel maintains there is nothing you can’t cook on a wood stove. He and Heather have a Flame View stove and he stresses that you want to learn your stovetop. The heat flows from hottest, by the firebox, to cooler as you move your pot across the stovetop. This allows you as much control as any gas stove. Dave finds slow-cooked beans are a favorite, especially when home grown.

Kathleen Maseychik cooks on an antique Mayflower (from Kalamazoo, Michigan). She says that always having the wood fire burning encourages you to put something on to cook. One of her and Bill’s favorites is a beef and barley stew slow cooked on the stovetop. Kathleen is also pleased this stove has a thermometer in the oven door, this ― and the high wood heat ― helps make quick and perfect biscuits, every time.

Emily Mallory cooks on a Waterford Stanley Errigal, an antique Irish stove. She said that “It heats food so evenly, it’s bliss. Also, having a hot kettle all the time in winter is pure luxury.”

Ed Hamel had this to say about his and Molly’s 1910 Glenwood C wood cook stoves from Taunton, Massachusetts: “I grew up around wood cook stoves. Every farmhouse used wood for cooking and heat. The only tip I have for using a cook stove is use it a lot. Use builds experience and helps you learn about your stove. I think every cook stove is different and you need to learn your own stove.

"I cook about anything with the Glenwood. Roast chicken, pork, scones in the oven, rendering fatback or cooking a stew on the cook surface, grilling chops or steaks over the wood fire through the firebox side door, and of course cooking eggs, bacon, and home fries while coffee perks. I also wonder if the workers at the foundry in Taunton where the stove was built ever imagined that the stove would still be in use a century later. Wish we still built to last.”

I love that we’ve got some men at the cook stove, too! Happy Valentine’s Day!