The Heroes, Heroines, and History bloggers are very sad to lose one of our own. On April 18, 2023, Martha went home to be with Jesus. Martha was a very caring, encouraging individual. Everyone who knew her loved her. She was just the sweetest. You can read about her life here.
In memory of Martha, I am putting up one of her earliest posts from April 2013. Martha had blogged with us for 10 years and was such a joy to know. Nancy J. Farrier, HHH Monitor.
These log cabins or wood frame homes sprang up across the land in areas where timber grew in abundance. However, in the treeless lands of the plains, the homesteaders turned to the ground beneath their feet to build shelters. The sod house, or “soddy” was the most common in the frontier west.
Cooking in these log cabins and sod houses was a challenge for the cooks. Many settlers draped the ceilings of their sod houses with cheesecloth or muslin to catch falling debris. If they didn’t, some of that debris would wind up in the food.
The equipment a cook may have in her kitchen contained the usual pots and pans and stirring utensils much like what we have today, but they had none of the more modern conveniences we use to make their cooking easier. Wooden spoons mixed the batters instead of electric mixers. Many kitchens had racks where their equipment could be stored. As seen the pictures, handles had loops or curved ends so they could be hung over the racks.
Another type of kitchen cabinet appeared in homes with larger, separate kitchens and held more pieces the cook needed to prepare meals. It was also used as a preparation station. My great-grandmother actually had a similar cabinet in her kitchen and it was painted white. In the upper left bin, she stored flour and it came down the "shoot" you see under it. That "shoot" was also a sifter. Everything she needed was right at her fingertips.
Many cooks in later years established a "mixing center" in their own kitchens and kept all equipment for mixing and baking in one location. Today, with our convenience food, frozen foods, mixes and take-out, kitchens may not have as much equipment as our ancestors, and what we do have is far more convenient than that of the 19th century.
I hope you've enjoyed this foray into the past. Even if you don't cook much anymore, you can appreciate what you do have in your kitchen today.
My cast iron skillets are my favorite kitchen utensils and I use them for everything from cornbread to frying chicken to pineapple upside down cake.
Nancy again: Thank you for being a reader of the HHH blog. We truly appreciate you.