|Heating, cooking, and drying things all at once|
This time of year, our house can get to be too hot by mid-afternoon, and stay too hot for a comfortable sleep early in the night. By morning, it's always lovely and cool, because our altitude causes a dramatic temperature drop overnight. We hate to lose our blissfully cool interior, so we try to keep our cookstove use to an absolute minimum.
I'm usually the first one up in the morning. I light a fire to heat hot water for the day. While the fire is going, I try to do as much as I can. First, of course, I make coffee. Then, I cook whatever I can for the day: things that can be eaten cold later, like potatoes for salad, or a roast for sandwiches. By that time, the oven is hot and I can put a loaf of bread in if necessary and let the fire burn out. The hot water can be used for dishes and bathing, then refilled so the dying fire can heat more for the rest of the day.
In the evening, we use a barbeque, outdoor cookstove, or propane stove to do any cooking that still needs to be done, like a steak or chop. In a really hot spell (which doesn't usually last very long here), we use the outdoor stove or propane for water, too, but that's a lot more work.