Use the heat from your wood-burning fireplace insert to do so much more than heat the house! The top of my insert forms a 12 x 30 inch shelf. We keep a big pot full of water and a full tea kettle on it at all times. Put a metal trivet under them and the water stays piping hot. Remove the trivet ahead of time if you know you'll need boiling water for pasta, or just transfer the hot water into a pot on the stove for a huge head start.
Make tea any time without turning on the stove. Use the hot water for dishwashing, handwashing or even taking a sponge bath to reduce water use. All of these uses eliminate the need to run gallons of cold water down the drain waiting for hot water to reach your tap from the water heater. Reheat soup. Heat canned foods in a pot (don't heat them in the cans, even if you've pierced the rim to let steam escape they will bubble over and make a mess!). "Flame dispersers" used for propane cooking achieve a simmer. "Roast" vegetables in a covered casserole dish or dutch oven. It takes longer than an oven (2-3 hours), but uses no extra gas or electricity. Experiment, have fun!
Source: "Original" idea (if any such thing exists!)
By Denise-Christine from Eugene, OR