Over a Red-Hot Stove (eBook): Essays in Early Cooking Technology

by Ivan Day

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These essays were presented at the seventeenth Leeds Symposium on Food History, of which this is the fourteenth volume in the series 'Food and Society.' Their common theme is the way in which we cooked our food from the medieval to the modern eras, most especially, how we roasted meats. The authors are distinguished food historians, mostly from the north of England. ??David Eveleigh discusses the rise of the kitchen range, from the 19th-century coal-fired monsters to the electric and gas cookers of the early 20th century. ??Ivan Day, in two essays, talks about techniques of roasting. In the first he tells of the ox roast - the open-air celebration with the cooking done on a blazing campfire. In the second he traces the history of the clockwork spit, the final, most domestic version of the open-hearth device that had been driven by dogs or scullions in earlier centuries. ??Peter Brears gives us the fruits of many years' involvement in the reconstruction of the kitchens at Hampton Court and other Royal Palaces in his account of roasting, specifically the 'baron of beef', in these important locales. ??The final two chapters discuss aspects of baking rather than roasting. Laura Mason tells of the English reliance on yeast as a raising agent - in the earliest times deriving it from brewing ale, and Susan McClellan Plaisted gives an account of running a masonry wood-fired oven in living-history museums in America, discussing the transmission of cooking techniques from the Old to the New World, and the problems encountered in baking a satisfactory loaf. ??The book is very generously illustrated, both by photographs of artefacts and reproductions of early prints and engravings that elucidate their purpose and function.

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