By SUSAN LYNCH
If you know Kellie Hunt, you probably think of bibbed overalls and rubber boots, but the idea of her cooking on a wood stove and milking cows may come as a surprise to those who don’t know Kellie personally.
Kellie and her husband Marvin own about 20 acres out Crooked Creek Road. Their property is covered with critters of all kinds. To go along with their 150 chickens, they also have 45 rabbits, seven cows, six ducks, six guineas, two alpacas, two geese, and two turkeys.
There is also an occasional pig hanging around just waiting to be made into sausage. The Hunts come as close to living off the land as anyone I have or ever will meet.
I guess that brings us back to the wood stove. About eight months out of the year, Kellie does all of her cooking on a wood stove, and yes, you read that right. From frying eggs and sausage for their grandson, “The Boy,” on the mornings they have him, to cooking soup beans and cornbread, Kellie has mastered the art of wood stove cooking.
I have always been very curious about Kellie’s cooking methods, so I took the opportunity to ask her earlier this week how she managed to cool her house three times a day.
She was gracious enough to explain to me that cooking breakfast on a wood stove doesn’t really require a huge fire.
“I cook my eggs on a corncob fire-it gets hot fast and goes right back out,” Kellie told me.
Since canning season comes in the middle of the hottest months of the year, Kellie fires up her wood stove on the back porch to help keep the house cool. She also uses a crock pot and electric skillet during those months. Kellie uses fresh milk from her cows to make butter, cottage cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, ice cream, and of course, the family drinks it.
“You never buy milk from the store then?” I ask in amazement.
“Nope, I even freeze milk so when the cow is dry we still have fresh cow’s milk,” Kellie told me.
Marvin and Kellie eat a lot of chicken, rabbit, pork, and deer. They also have fresh eggs almost every day. Their seven-year-old grandson’s favorite treat is fresh cooked sausage.
“Kellie even takes him a sausage and biscuit, when she picks him up after school,” Marvin told me with a grin.
The Hunts recently bought “The Boy” a cow for his birthday. It’s a gift that keeps on giving. Not only will they get milk to make all those awesome goodies, but the cow has already given birth to its first calf, and will do so about once a year. Their grandson will earn a sweet little paycheck every year that the cow calves.
In this fast paced world where most of us live on McDonald’s and microwaves, the Hunts have slowed down, and they are enjoying life the way it was intended to be enjoyed-one day at a time.
Perhaps a few of us, myself included, could use a few lessons on the simple life. If you’re interested, I think I know a pretty good teacher.