Black Beauty

This is not the post I was going to write today.  Talk about evolution and word association, and memory.  In rereading my post from yesterday I began thinking about my grandmother, the food she would make, and the aromas in the house when she baked.  My grandparents lived in a half double house (I think today they are referred to as a duplex), in a patch.  There were not enough people living here to even call it a town.  My grandfather was a coal miner and they lived in one of the company homes that they had bought.

I’m getting sidetracked.  Anyhow, the centerpiece of my grandmother’s kitchen was the stove.  It was not just any stove, but a huge, black, coal burning, cast iron stove with chrome trim.  This along with a heaterola provided the only heat for the house.  This stove was my grandmother’s prize possession.  The stove was coal black and always kept shinning.  She would get up usually around 4:00 on a Friday morning, let the fire go out, and then spend about two hours polishing it.  This was a weekly ritual that continued until she was no longer able to get the polish she needed. When she finished she was usually as black as the stove.

For some reason food prepared on and in this stove always tasted better.  I remember taking the lids off of the top of the stove, impaling a slice of bread with a fork, and then holding it over the flames  until it was nicely toasted.  Probably not the smartest thing to do, but oh did that toast taste good…especially smothered in butter.

So getting back to today’s post, writing about Easter baskets and the food that goes into them reminded me of my grandmother. This made me think about all of the food she would make and especially the homemade bread made in her stove.  I then started thinking about that stove and the care my grandmother took of it.  This brought about today’s post… a tribute to my grandmother’s stove.

Black Beauty


Proud and Majestic

Beckoning but foreboding.


A massive cold iron frame

encasing a flaming heart.


Dispelling the cold of a winter’s night

with a rosy glow.


A behemoth to a toddler,

a comforting giant to an adult.


Welcoming some to a warm bosom

while making others shrink away with a fiery stare.


A presence, filling the room

with a aura that emanates throughout the house.


A cool attitude signals a want;

a cozy warmth says. “All is well.”


Filling the air with delectable aromas

that make the mouth water.


Imparting a distinct taste to baked foods

that nothing else matches.



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6 responses to “Black Beauty

  1. I distinctly remember the wall paper in my grandmother’s basement. I guess that’s because my sister and I played there a lot while the adults talked.

  2. My grandmother had the same kind of stove! We only got to visit her twice a year (but would stay for a week or so…sometimes my sister and I stayed all summer). She did not cook much on it as she had won an electric stove and did a lot of her cooking on it…but I do remember some bread from that black iron stove. Yummy. My grandparents had another stove in the living room that heated the rest of the house…and the upper floor. Thanks for your message about Nimbus. She was a good little kitty…but had lived through all of her nine lives and more. Jackie

  3. One more thing…when I saw your title I thought about one of my cats…Black Beauty…will write about him a little for tomorrow. 🙂

  4. I love the way you first wrote long about the stove and then narrowed the text to a poem. What a wonderful memory to bring live for us.

  5. Remembering begets more remembering, isn’t that great? What a stove that must have been! I am so glad that stoves have evolved and we no longer have to cook by fire, even if it tastes better. My favorite image: A massive cold iron frame
    encasing a flaming heart.

  6. Beautiful poem! Now my mouth is also watering as I think of the smell of baked goods, and warm, homemade bread with butter.

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