In the summer of 2007 here in Ottawa, we no longer cook with wood stoves. But on days like these even lighting a gas stove can seem like turning on a furnace. On days like these I dream of having a summer kitchen.

I first learned about summer kitchens at Upper Canada Village. In the nineteenth century all the cooking during the long hot months of the year would be done in an alcove or out building behind the house. In this way heat from cooking was kept out of dwelling spaces.

Some day, finances permitting, I’d love to have a summer kitchen built behind our house. In the meantime, we make do with a plug in hotplate, a toaster oven, and a solar oven, cooking our suppers on the back deck, keeping the heat out.