The Kitchen of Old

In “A Short History of Private Life”, author Bill Bryson teaches us about the start of the kitchen and the scullery and larder that went along with it.

There was great warmth to be had in the kitchen with its large fireplaces and later wood or coal stoves. Many would gather there in the evening to chat or catch up on their reading. Sometimes that room doubled as the servant’s sleeping quarters. Servants in those days did things for the landowner that appliances do for us today. You would not find a sink in those kitchens. They functioned only for cooking. The cleaning up and dish washing was done in the scullery which had a deep sink. Your meats were stored in the larder and your breads in the pantry. You would have many rooms connected with the kitchen- the gun room, lamp room, and butler’s pantry to name a few.

Food preservation in the pre-electric days was always a problem. Various spices and herbs were used for awhile to help keep food safe. Then in the 1840’s ice came along as a practical solution for everyone and life got a little more comfortable. Refrigerated railroad cars allowed for transportation of all kinds of perishable food to every point on their stops.

Next Mr. Bryson discusses electricity and the sweeping changes to lifestyles that came along with it. Thanks Mr. Bryson!

It is a great read for everyone.

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