Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Stepping back - the 1790's kitchen

In my previous "stepping back" post, my blogging friend Melissa asked if there was anything else I did at the living history museum besides candlemaking. The answer is yes. I teach hearth cooking. On this particular day I taught three groups of children how to make shortbread the 18th century way. While I didn't take any pictures of the class in session (too busy), I was able to take some photos of my prep before the students arrived.

This is my workmate Gail. She's on the lookout for the visitors.

My recipe book, or "receipt" book as it would have been called in the 18th century.

Setting up ingredients. Note the cone sugar in blue paper. This is how sugar was sold in colonial times.

Detail of the dresser with pewter spoons

All the modern conveniences!

See the board with ridges? That is known as "ye olde washing machine".

Pre-heating the dutch ovens. This is where we will bake the shortbread.

Hot smoky water to wash the dishes in...

...icy cold water to rinse.

14 comments:

JoAnn said...

your posts always make me happy. This is a delightful spot to visit. I love coming here. Really!!

IslandHome said...

What a dream job you have! Having spent several months of last year (over the winter) without a kitchen while we were renovating we were living not too far from what you portray - and I confess even after the novelty value of it wore off I was rather happy with the whole arrangement. Thank you for such a lovely post :-) Julia

Cheryl said...

That is really interesting. We live in a house that was built in 1740s. As it was lived in by estate farm workers, I should imagine that our kitchen wasn't a million miles away from being like your 18th century kitchen, even here in the UK. We still have the inglenook with its bread oven, which we think is original. I think I can just make out a bread oven in one of your photos.

Thank you for sharing. I'm going to show my children your post.

Rayanne said...

What a neat post...I felt like I was there. What a fun job you have. The cabinet is beautiful. I have one dutch oven that was my Mother inlaw's. I love cooking with it.

alive2003 said...

I just want to stare at the pictures of the 18th century "modern conveniences". The colors are so beautiful, and I agree with a previous post- these pics make me so happy. Thanks for sharing them.

Val said...

That looks like Great fun..especially love the cone of sugar!

Jodi said...

Cheryl, I'm jealous of your inglenook with the bread oven. I would love to live in an old house, but I content myself with working in one. You did spy a bread oven in the wall of the hearth, and we do use that occasionally, but it's an all-day job because heating it requires many hours and lots of wood.

Jodi said...

Julia, I do have a dream job--I love it! Especially the clothes! There are days, however, when the wood is wet, the chimmney smokey, the kitchen is ice cold, and you have 40 minutes to cook and feed hungry school children.

Amy Danielle said...

Wow. So cool!

Niamh said...

Every single time you post a picture of you or someone hunching over a fire heating a cauldron I think of the same scene from Disney's Snow White, when the step-mother queen is making the poisoned apples. Your pics are seriously enchanting.
I love the receipt book too.
You've got to see Chef Walter Staib in action. He's head chef at The City Tavern in Philadelphia and is one of the world's leading hearth cookers specializing in Colonial American cuisine. I watch his show Taste of History.
http://www.amazon.com/City-Tavern-Cookbook-Birthplace-American/dp/0762434171/ref=pd_sim_b_1

Sara said...

Hi Jodi, thank you for your recent comment.

I was fascinated with this post and was kinda hoping we would see just how the shortbread is prepared and put into the Dutch ovens to bake...do you press it into the bottom of the pan? And how do you get the sugar you need off that cone? is it soft and crumbly or hard as a rock? Questions, questions! I'm so glad we don't have to use that "washing machine" these days.

Jodi said...

Hi Sara, question #1 - I press the shortbread into a round cake pan and slip it into the Dutch oven. We do this for sanitary reasons, and it's easier to extract. #2 - The sugar cone is rock hard; if you look at the picture, you will see 18th century "sugar nippers" next to the cone to break off chunks. Then, it would be ground with a mortar pestle. Thanks for visiting :)

Sara said...

Ah, thank you for the answers Jodi.

Re your comment on my blog...there are plenty of ugly things here too. Perhaps I should do a post on that someday!

angelina said...

oh jodie. i love posts like these. just look at that table and chairs. clean, simple, non cluttered. all wooden and silver. my heart is singing...x

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails