Thursday, August 27, 2015

BryonySeries Throwback Thursday: The Most Convenient Kitchen Utensils

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Most Convenient Kitchen Utensils...

...according to Miss Beecher's domestic receiptbook: designed as a supplement to her Treatise on domestic economy.

Certainly, Simons Mansion boasted no microwaves or slow cookers. So, in addition to the ice box, what other items might Melissa have seen inside the kitchen? Note: The comments in parentheses are mine.

1) Tin Baker or Reflector: for baking breads, cakes apples, as well as an oven (I had to read this twice. Who would bake an oven?)

2) Footman: made with brass or sheet iron to heat irons.

3: Balances: for weighing cakes (What else?).

4) Dustpan: so one doesn't have to sweep the crumbs across the carpet (Obviously invented by someone whose kids did the sweeping. We have two dustpans, but I'm always finding the bulk of kitchen debris underneath the garbage can).

5) Saw Knife: a saw on one side and a knife on the other. Useful for cutting meats.

6) Lemon Squeezer

7) Case for Lamplighters: to receive the remnants of extinguished matches.

8) Meat Mallet

9) Egg Beater

10: Apple Corer: In 1860, this cost only a dime.

11) Gridiron Scraper

12) Rolling Pin

13: Fish Kettle

14) Preserving Kettle With a Cover: a cover best preserves the flavor of the fruit.

15) Preserving Kettle Without a Cover: shallow, so as not to crowd the fruit.The best are copper or bell metal. Porcelain ones are apt to crack.

16) Cast-iron Sauce-pan with Lid: (I only cook with cast iron. I'm still using a set that cost $28 in 1982 when my oldest son was born).

17) Tin Sauce-pan

18) Copper Sauce-pan. Every household needs at least four different sizes of saucpans. The copper ones are best and most durable. The iron lined with tin are next best. The tin are the poorest.

9) Trivet: for heating articles over coals without burning. Three or four of different sizes are needed with an open fire. Food cooked for the sick demands them.

20) Tin Bonnet: very useful to keep articles warm, to roast apples, and to warm plates.

21: A brush made of bristles twisted into wire to clean bottles.

22) Tin Safe: To preserve food in hot weather and to protect it also from mice.

23) Refrigerators: to keep meat, milk, butter, and cream during hot weather. Instructions are provided for making an inexpensive one. (Something to remember next time I need to replace a refrigerator).

A note from Miss Beecher's domestic receiptbook: designed as a supplment to her Treatise ondomestic economy: "A housekeeper who choses to do without some of these conveniences, and spend the money saved in parlor adornments, has a right to do so, and others a the right to think she in this shows herself deficient in good sense."


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