So, Charlie and I are trying to be healthy, you know, cutting down on added sugar, no preservatives, that sort of thing. The thing is, it means I’m in the kitchen alot then I started thinking about how my great grandmothers cooked. They all cooked a hot meal everyday. Here is a quick list of things about the kitchen that have changed and that I’m really grateful for.
Running water – Thank goodness for turning on the taps and having hot and cold water just come out. In 1900 the cities were mostly plumbed, but in the country people had wells or water tanks and a pump in the kitchen. I have a terrific sink, thanks to Charlie who put it in for me.
I also like my refrigerator. At the turn of the century people owned ice boxes. The top chamber has a place for ice and the food in the bottom is kept cool. There was a whole industry of cutting ice from lakes in the winter and storing it in ice houses. The ice man would come with deliveries on a regular basis. Ice boxes weren’t huge food storage because people shopped more often and usually ate less variety. Working class cooking in the early 1900s was fairly repetitive. The roast on Sunday would be re-purposed for most of the week with really simple meals. It was cheaper and fancy cooking wasn’t possible on a daily basis. Of course if you were rich you had a cook who could spend all day in the kitchen, but for everyone else meals were pretty simple
One thing that hasn’t changed over time is how families bond over food. My brother Kevin Morey and I had a good time making dinner for the rest of our family in my nice kitchen.