Life without a Stove and a Recipe

I have mentioned before that sometimes it seems like I spend a lot of life stumbling on common knowledge and cliches for myself. The past 10 days I have been learning the old “necessity is the mother of invention”.

Our electric oven and stove failed us about 10 days ago and we still have a few more days to wait before a new one will be delivered.  In the meantime, we have been cooking with just the toaster oven, an electric frying pan and a very old crock pot. The electric frying pan came from my neighbor a few days into this stove free period when the children were starting to beg for non-toaster items like eggs.   We have always been microwave free here too, mostly because they give me the creeps and I know if there was one in the house it would be used.

It’s been sort of a fun challenge and has taught me how many times a day I glance at the stove clock (about 30), and how we rely on the easy convenience of the stove top all the time. I have also learned that challah comes out fine in the toaster oven as long as you make tiny loaves and several batches.  And guess what, children like the tiny loaves better.  And I learned that you can fit in a lovely visit with friends in the time it takes to cook a box of spaghetti on their stove.

The slow cooker has been a bit of a challenge and I have had a few failures (like adding pasta to soup –which turned to a doughy mess).  But tonight I came up with a great soup recipe that I think is worth sharing and I would make it even when my normal cooking options are returned.

So here goes, my first attempt to share a recipe via my blog.  Well, it is not an official recipe which tells you how much of this or that to add, more of a guide piece in case you want to try it. Here goes:

Parve Mock Stuffed Cabbage Soup

In the slow cooker:

beans (I used a mixture of soup beans but any pre-soaked will be fine)
tomato sauce
sliced cabbage (fresh from our farm)
add water until it looks like soup, add more later if you need it
salt, tumeric, parsley, paprika (as much as you like)

In a saute pan:
onions, garlic and olive oil, sauteed the normal way and then added to the crock pot. This makes a big difference for flavor (I know because I tasted it pre-saute addition and it was bland.)

Finally, I added some cider vinegar and a little honey for the sweet and sour stuffed cabbage like taste.  I also added some leftover quinoa which reminded me of the rice in stuffed cabbage. Any grain would be fine for that effect.

Maybe you will give it a try. If so, let me know how it worked out!


  1. Hey Tanya, Sorry about your oven. Just a note that dried beans sometimes don’t cook when you cook them in tomato sauce or with tomatoes at all or with any acidic food. Some beans will soften and some won’t. I killed a whole batch of black beans (or was it kidney beans) before I knew that.

  2. thanks Debby – I didn’t know that but somehow this one worked out. And thanks for the crockpot, it became essential around here.

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