KITCHEN MATTERS

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Stanley
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KITCHEN MATTERS

Post by Stanley » 14 Jan 2019, 03:04

KITCHEN COMFORTS

At this time of year when the January bills are dropping through the door and we are all considering a bit of weight reduction after the excesses of the 'Festive Season' I reckon it's a good time to consider a bit of comfort. Lord knows we all need it! The question is, what is our own version of comfort? I'm not laying rules down, I'm just going to tell you what does it for me.
When I moved into this terraced house over twenty years ago I had only myself to consider and knew exactly what I wanted. I converted the outshut kitchen to a playroom where I could put my workshop and made the back room into a living kitchen. I like living in the kitchen, it's always the warmest room in the house and if you cook, there is usually a nice smell of something good cooking.
What brought this on was the fact that I am re-reading Dorothy Hartley's lovely book 'Food in England' (The edition with her pen and ink drawings). If you've never read it, seek it out it's a lovely read and will teach you a lot about social history and cooking, two of my favourite subjects. She spent most of her life in kitchens of course and gives wonderful descriptions of how they developed over the centuries from a fire in the middle of the room to what she sees as the high point with the massive cast iron solid fuel cooking range that many of the older end will remember from their youth. I look at the clinical utilitarian kitchens of today and whilst I will admit that they are practical and easier to maintain they don't compare with the coal fire in the comfort stakes. I love my modern slow cooker but you could do wonderful things with heavy cast iron pans and a constant source of heat. Banked up at night it was ideal for the long slow cooking that gives the best result with so many foods. A properly seasoned and managed iron frying pan beats the modern miracle pans hands down! At Hey Farm we had a Rayburn that was almost as good and I still have fond memories of me and my mate Ted cooking two thick slices of home cured ham when we came in late at night from our rabbiting. If there's a more appetising smell I have yet to find it!
My picture this week is of the peak of the cast iron range as far as I am concerned. We had one in our house at Stockport and I loved it. My mother had a modern gas cooker but still did most of her cooking on the range, she had been brought up with one. As well as teaching me cooking she made me her flue cleaner and showed me how to clean the soot out of the passages and keep it running at peak efficiency. How many of you have the same memories?

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A beautiful cast iron cooking range with all the trimmings.
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Cathy
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Re: KITCHEN MATTERS

Post by Cathy » 14 Jan 2019, 07:42

A very impressive unit Stanley. I often wonder what Moorclose Farm would have been like inside when my Grandparents had it. Did you ever collect milk from there?
I know I'm in my own little world, but it's OK... they know me here. :)

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Stanley
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Re: KITCHEN MATTERS

Post by Stanley » 14 Jan 2019, 07:47

No I didn't Cathy but ranges of this type were almost a universal standard and I should think that most farmhouses had a similar cooking range.
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Re: KITCHEN MATTERS

Post by Bodger » 14 Jan 2019, 09:12

My memories are nostalgic to me , in the 1940s living at Victoria nr. Hepworth the owd fella away in the RAF, my mother working evenings , and me alone at home, if the electric failed i would sit there in silence ?, fire crackling and popping, the hot water boiler bubbling and murmuring a gentle hiss of the Tilley lamp, the tick of the clock, with the chirp of crickets in the hearth and the scurrying of mice behind the skirting board along with the creaks and groans of an old house, home alone but totally at ease with the world reading the Hotspur or Champion , and a fire brick in the oven warming for my bed. Happy times !

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Re: KITCHEN MATTERS

Post by Tizer » 14 Jan 2019, 10:16

When in her 70s my grandma had a range similar to that in her tiny worker's cottage at Furthergate, Blackburn, in the early 1950s. It was a bit smaller and a bit less fancy but otherwise the same. The cottage had only two rooms downstairs, a living room at the front and the kitchen at the back. The living room was tiny but Grandma insisted on keeping the piano she'd had in her previous, terraced family house. She'd sit in her comfy chair squeezed between the piano and the range, so she was always warm! The kitchen was divided in two equal sized spaces by a low wall running front to back and one half was where the coal was stacked.

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Re: KITCHEN MATTERS

Post by Stanley » 15 Jan 2019, 04:59

Lovely memories! The article has done it's job with you two at least. Thanks for commenting.
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"Beware of certitude" (Jimmy Reid)
The floggings will continue until morale improves!

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