17TH CENTURY COFFIN CLASS

The day of the class arrived and the fires were started in the hearth and bake oven early. The wall dresser holds most of the food stuff with the exception of the cream and butter that we need to be cold. Bowls, utensils and all the needed pot and pans were assembled for easy access when everyone arrived.

We started at 10:00, and the first order of the day was to boil eggs and roast the beets. Next we made the fillings for the coffins. Early pies were called “coffins” or “coffyns” which means a basket or box that held savory meat within a crust or pastry. The dough formed the container that was then filled and cooked in a bake kettle or in a bake oven.

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We broke up into two groups. Cathy, Dana and Debra started on the Lumbar Pie, while Barbara, Natalie and Nancy did a Turkey Pie.

Beef suet was chopped and mixed with parsley, thyme, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and salt and pepper and added to the chopped meat of veal, pork and beef. With it all mixed together, the meatballs were made with a piece of marrow put into the center, then rolled in a square of caul fat. These were then browned on the hearth in leaf lard.

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Turkey and chicken livers were the main ingredient in the next pie.  However a good deal of mushrooms was added along with thyme, garlic, onions, and brandy. These were sautéed in a pan to soften and brown.

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A Puff Paste was made, by making dough and rolling it out and adding pats of butter to it and folding and pounding with the rolling pin to incorporate the butter. This was cooled for 10 minutes then the process started again, more butter more pounding. After four times, the pastry was ready.  The turkey livers and mushroom mixture, was placed on the bottom crust and topped with hazel nuts. The lid was put on and the coffin shape cut. Decoration were made and added to the top.

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Over on the other table the dough for the raised Lumbar Pie was made. The process is much like a potter spinning the clay on a wheel. The dough was made into the shape of a deep bowl. Everyone had to come and take a look.

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Some of the saved dough was decorated with a rolling pin, with a vine design; this was wrapped around the coffin sides. Then the layers of grapes, figs, hard boiled eggs and the browned meat was placed in the standing coffin. A lid was placed on top and crimped together and also decorated.8 copy

With both coffins ready, they were put into the bake oven.

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With the beets roasted and cool enough to handle they were peeled and sliced and a batter was made. The manchets were grated to make bread crumbs and some flour and parsley were added the battered beets were dipped in the crumb mixture and ready to fry.

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Carrots were grated and a pudding made and put in a greased cloth. This was boiled for an hour while the beets were fried, and while custard, for a dessert, hung over the fire and was closely watched.12copy

After an hour, the coffins were removed from the oven and looked too good to eat. 10 out copy

Apples were cored and placed upside down on each person’s finger, then covered with whipped egg whites and powdered sugar. Then they were turned upside down and filled with the custard and baked while we ate our meal..11apple

Lumber Pie, Turkey Pie, gravy for both, boiled Carrot Pudding, Fried Beets, and a finish of George Dalrymple’s Custard Apples. A great beginning to the hearth cooking season, good food, good friends both old and new, and leftovers to take home. I’m sure there were a few very happy husbands.

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We had a great time, shared stories while we worked, and laughed at a few mistakes. It was a wonderful day. Some of the participants are coming back for more classes and I look forward to being with them again, as they are now old friends.
Sandie

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” William Arthur Ward

I hope I have inspired.

EARLY FOOD STAPLES

Our foremothers never got a break; they were always keeping one step ahead of the next meal. They made premade gravies, sauces, jellies, bread to go stale for crumbs, among other items to have on hand to add to the fresh meat, fish, and vegetables they would have for dinner. To prepare for my hearth cooking classes I have to do the same thing.

I needed to have pig’s leaf lard to fry with and trotters for jelly. From the lamb came the caul and the lard and marrow bones from the cow. So I called Lemay’s Butchery in Goffstown and placed my order. Within a few days I picked it up. It’s amazing how many parts there are to farm animals and the foods that can be made from them

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I chopped the suet and leaf lard in pieces. I put just a little water in the suet to get it started, and gave the leaf lard a good four cups to boil in. These were both simmered, as the water evaporated from the suet, it melted nicely. The leaf lard took a bit longer yet when it was strained and cold, it was a lovely white, soft paste that looks like Crisco. After sitting in the refrigerator overnight, the melted suet was white and hard as a rock, perfect for coffin dough.

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Allan cut the pig’s feet in half. They were so long they would not fit into the pot. I scrubbed in between the pigs toes and took a knife and scraped the skin to remove all and any residue. After giving them a good wash into a large pot they went. They simmered for 5 hours then cooled overnight, and then simmered for 3 more hours the next day. Then the liquid was poured off into a clean towel, placed in a strainer, and then the jelly was poured into a jar with a good tight lid. The pig’s feet jelly will be added to gravy.

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I rinsed and rinsed the caul and picked the small veins out. I wrapped it in parchment paper and froze it. It is a really nice piece and will be used to wrap forced meat to be fried in the leaf lard and placed in the coffin made with the beef suet.  With the marrow bone roasted and browned, I scooped out the inside and saved them for the Lumber Pie. I also made two gravies to have for the two coffins. Thankfully, I have refrigeration to be able to keep these food items in a healthy manner.

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Next I needed to make the manchets so they could be made into bread crumbs, then I headed to Tender Crop Farm in Newburyport, Massachusetts, for some fresh turkey breast for the turkey pie. manchetfirecopy

The day before the class I walked the farm market in Exeter to find the best carrots, beets and apples for our carrot pudding, the fried beets and custard apples.

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There is a lot of preparation needed to have a group come and cook at the hearth. It’s not just preparing some staples ahead of time. There is also the decoding of early receipts that are written in a narrative form that need to be transformed into modern-day measurement, and sometimes food substitutions. However, I enjoy sharing my experiences with others, and though it can be messy and challenging sometimes, I love the connection with the cooks of the past and the present-day participants who come to hearth cook for the day.

 Sandie

“To speak then of the outward and active knowledge which belong to our English Houfe-Wife, I hold the first and most principal to be, a perfect skill and knowledge in Cookery,”

 Gervase Markham – The English House-Wife 1683

OPEN HEARTH COOKING CLASSES FALL 2013

IT’S FALL AND THE SMELL OF WOOD SMOKE IS IN THE AIR

The cooking fire in the hearth and oven are once more brightly burning. Come and enjoy a day preparing 17th and 18th century food and finishing by the warmth of the hearth, where you will enjoy each other’s company and the fruits of your labor.  Each class will prepare an assortment of dishes, while cooking on the hearth fire or bake oven, and talking about the principles and techniques of early cooking.   

RoomTo register please email    sandie@colonialtable.com

The registration fee per class is $55 per person.*

We are offering the following classes: 

OCT 5 – COFFINS     Come and make coffins in the bake oven; we will use several different fillings and decorate the tops accordingly. Also we will prepare a variety of fall harvest vegetables and fruit on the hearth.    10 to 3    Minimum 4 – Maximum participants 6

OCT 26 BREADS AND SAUSAGE      Try your skill at making breads. We will be making three different types.  And while the dough rises we’ll make various sausages, stuffed into casings and patties. To complete the meal, you will prepare your vegetables and dessert too.   10 to 3   Minimum 4 – Maximum participants 6

NOV  9 HARVEST DINNER     Come and make a delicious harvest feast cooked over the hearth and experience the flavors of the bountiful autumn harvest months here in New Hampshire.     10 -2   Minimum 4 – Maximum participants 8

Workshops include preparing and consuming the meal, all food and supplies are included in the cost of the workshop. East participant will receive copies of the receipts to try at home. Cider will be served with the meal, however, participants are welcome to bring their own beverage.

*Class will be cancelled 7 days prior if minimum number of participants is not met. Enrollment fee will be refunded in this case. If participant cancels more than 14 days before the event, a full refund will be given.  Within 14 days there are no refunds.

 Sandra Tarbox, Historic Foodways Culinarian, Newmarket, NH

Heirloom Beet

One Saturday I woke up with a hankering for fried green tomatoes, which I haven’t had in years. So I stopped by my local farmers market to see if I could find some, and while there, I could pick up other veggies. I headed to Wild Miller Gardens stand, from Lee. He has a really neat stand.

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His veggies are so nicely displayed.

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He did not have any green tomatoes so I bought a box of the small red cherry tomatoes for a salad. Now tomatoes were not on many menus in the 18th century, yet I wanted them. And you’re probably wondering why I call this blog heirloom beet. Often we find our path diverted, and come up with a new experience. Looking over the other produce I spotted some nice colored beets. Joel told me they were Golden Beets.  My husband doesn’t like the earthy flavor of red beets. He says they taste like dirt. I, however, love beets.  So I thought I’d try the golden ones and I bought a bunch. The Golden Beet is a form of the early blood turnip beet, beta vulgaris var. crassa. The yellow form of the blood beet, generally known as Yellow Turnip-Rooted or Orange Turnip-Rooted, It is sold today under the name Golden Beet.

Beets are a root vegetable and easily stored over the winter, many colonists considered it an essential winter food, especially during the infamous period known as the Six Weeks of Want, when most stored vegetables were used up and planting had not yet begun, so back to the 18th century. Thanks to many local farmers, we are able to purchase heirloom produce, many times grown organically as our forefathers and mothers did.

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I sliced the beets and then cut them julienne style. Nice thing about the color of the beets is that they don’t turn your fingers purple. On my way home from the market I stopped at a farm stand, and they did have green tomatoes, and I came away with two big firm green ones. Now I made a plan for dinner.

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We had striped bass, kindly given to us from our friend Bob, who had been out on the sea fishing and was luckily and skillful enough to catch a few. I decide to fry everything and have a nice salad on the side.

Allan used fish fry for a coating on the fish and I used a beaten egg and bread crumbs on the vegetables. Then I made a great salad. When everything was done we went off to the porch to have our dinner and watch the antics of the hummingbirds at the feeder and the American Goldfinch splash in the fountains.

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The compound salad was dressed in my favorite homemade dressing of olive oil, white balsamic vinegar with garlic, salt and pepper and beau monde whisked together to a tasty emulsion. This was the perfect side dish to a fried dinner. Bob’s fish came out superb, I love striped bass. The meat was a happy medium between flaky and meaty and had a mild, delicate, slightly sweet flavor. The fried tomatoes had a tart flavor with a hint of sweetness that I love. I really should have them more often. Now I was not prepared to find that the beets had such a sweet flavor. It was like eating candy. I wanted more and more. And Allan likes the beets!!! Yea, one more vegetable to add to his short list of those he will tolerate. I will be buying more golden beets from Joel that’s for sure. I may even try to put some by in the root cellar to see how long I can keep them.

Sandie

“Breathe properly. Stay curious. And eat your beets.” 
 Tom Robbins

Artificial Walnuts

The fortune cookie, as we know it, was invented for the San Francisco World Fair in the early twentieth century. Our Artificial Walnut predates that by about five centuries. Made in wooden molds with the imprint of the shell and the kernel, the sugary treat must have delighted both the old and the young. Filled with comfits of candies, caraway seeds, or filled with a motto or saying inside, it was like opening a treasure box.

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The 1655 receipt from the A Queens Closet Open’d, is our basic gum paste recipe that we now use for decorating cakes, this has the addition of rose water for a pleasant taste. My forms are from the House on the Hill.  I added cinnamon to the paste to make the shell dark and left the kernel off white. They were fun to make. 

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I let them dry overnight and stuck them together with more gum paste and then tied a ribbon around them. I left a few kernels out and filled one shell with candied caraway seeds for the Kitchen talk. They are pretty little things, and, when I have time, I’ll make more and put them up in tins for a special occasion.

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I’d like to pickle real green walnuts next.  Anyone know of a walnut tree near Portsmouth?

Sandie

Cinnamon was so highly prized among ancient nations that it was regarded as a gift fit for monarchs and even for a god.

GOOSEBERRIES

Hardy gooseberries are native to New England; however, the early English brought some of their own varieties with them when they came. Unfortunately, many were less hardy and didn’t like the warm weather, some survived and some did not. There is now a moratorium on new plantings of gooseberries in New Hampshire. According to the New Hampshire Division of Forests and Lands, even the so-called new resistant varieties can be infected with white pine blister rust that can weaken and even kill white pine trees. So I won’t be planting my own soon.

Fortunately for me, we have a wonderful old English variety called Ribes uva-crispa , in the Moffatt-Ladd garden, and I was able to pick some. The gooseberries at the museum are smaller yet, when ripe, very sweet. I picked the largest green ones that I could find for one of my receipt and then just picked others to make jam.gooseberry-spring

I have always wanted to make gooseberries that look like hops. There are many receipts out there, the first being Eliza Smith 1727, The Compleat Housewife. However, I decided to use W. A. Henderson The Housekeeper’s Instructor, 1792. This is a receipt that I found on Ivan Day’s site. I love his story about how Liza Smith impaled her split gooseberries on thorns, could be dangerous if you swallowed one. Like Henderson, I’m using linen thread.

The first thing I needed to do is wash them and pick through them. I then picked out the largest of the gooseberries. There were only a few that were still very green so I added some that were starting to ripen. Then I arrange six to be made into the imitation of hops. With a knife I cut the gooseberries from the stem side and split it into four without going all the way to the flower end. Then the arduous task of taking out all the seeds begins. Now this is when I wish I had a servant; it takes a long time to remove all the seeds.

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After you have the gooseberries strung, they need to be blanched. I had picked grape leaves from the garden also and put a layer of them in cold water in a shallow pan. I then began to layer gooseberry hops in-between the leaves. The use of the leaves is to help the gooseberries keep their green color. I put a cover on it and let the water heat just until small bubbles formed. When blanched, I took them out and put them in ice water to stop the cooking. I did not want them to get to soft and fall apart.

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With the gooseberries hops cooled, I put them on a plate, while I boiled sugar water and made thick sugary syrup to pour over them.

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I took the jar to my talk on kitchens at the Museum and put some on the tiered stand to give everyone a good look at them. They do look like hops. When I brought them home I put brandy on the top of the syrup to keep them safe from bacteria.

I like them, and even though they are troublesome to make, they will look great as an eatable decoration around a squab or fish dish.

Sandie

Gooseberry (Shrub)

…The tart fruit is eaten ripe and often made into jellies, preserves, pies, and other desserts or wine. Hundreds of varieties are grown in northern Europe, many interplanted in fruit orchards. English gooseberries ( R. uva-crispa), popularly called grossularia, are native to the Old World and have long been cultivated for fruit.

OF KITCHENS AND FOOD

So the day of my talk has come and gone.  I spent weeks researching all the stoves that were layered one behind another in the space that used to be the 1763 cooking hearth. With help from some ALHFAM friends I found out about the patents, makers and seller of the stoves that were found in the house.kitchen  M&Lcopy

There were three in all, starting with the brick-set stove placed inside the firebox of the old fireplace and then the M. Pond Glenwood B, 1991 iron wonder and last, a gas stove, perhaps for warmth. split stove copy

With each generation of families that lived there, I showed slides of the food they would have eaten, and the cooking utensils they needed, and how both changed over time.fish beef

 The talk was held in the barn of the Moffatt-Ladd Warehouse and the day was hot. I was happy to have at least a few guests who would venture out in such heat to hear my discourse on stoves and food. talk

 I had prepared a table of various foods and items used in cooking to help explain what and how a cook might have operated in the various stages of the kitchen.table

 I brought mushroom ketchup, rose water, pumpkin leather and pickles, and gooseberries made to look like hops. I had cooked and decorated a coffin and arranged a plate of goodies with marzipan walnuts, filled with comfits and tied with a bow, fresh grapes from the garden and ripe gooseberries.split t

And I could not leave out Alexander Ladd’s favorite dish, Squabtougn

After the talk I described the various things on the table and how things had changed over time, how they did their preserving with a crock and a cow’s bladder in 1763 and the 1800’s version of pickling with a glass jar.standing jpg

I let everyone smell the rose water and the mushroom ketchup, and showed how the cinnamon marzipan walnuts were made.  I displayed a jar of gooseberry made like hops in sugar syrup. There were bags filled with chestnut flour and Isinglass and the cake pan with no bottom.flour jpg

We talked for quite a while, as everyone had questions about the differences in the centuries and where and why certain foods were served. Who knew that stoves and food could turn into a performance? It was a nice afternoon and I enjoyed sharing the stories of the Moffatt-Ladd kitchen and the food that was served.

Sandie

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.”

Oscar Wilde

WILD STRAWBERRIES

At the Moffat Ladd House Museum in Portsmouth, where I work, their gardens are surrounded by wild strawberries. I had some free time in the morning to go out and pick some and bring them home. Having the next day off and with the temperature finally getting out of the 90s and the humidity dropping, I thought it was a good time to make a strawberry cheesecake.

Now wild strawberries are tiny, exquisitely sweet and very small, and taste better than what you can find at the store. It takes a long time to pick a bowlful. Here you can see the wild plant, those strawberries that I picked and a modern one sitting next to the wild one. I did mention tiny, right!1 copy

My go-to receipt for cheesecake has always been the one from Plimouth Plantation 1627 that came from our receipts folder at Strawberry Banke. However, that is all the receipt says, Plimouth Plantation Cheesecake 1627. So I emailed Kathleen Wall at Plimouth and asked her if she knew the source of the receipt. As it turns out cheesecake was unlikely to be made there. HMMM, so where does this receipt come from. We really don’t know! Kathleen sent me the receipt “To make Cheesecakes other wayes” from Robert May’s The Accomplish’t Cook. This receipt had been put in modern language and has measurements; they use it as a handout.

So I went looking at Robert May’s cookbook and found he has nine receipts for cheesecake. I picked the one closest to the one I have been using, and that includes almond flour.  

I mixed my flour, salt and sugar together and added my cold butter and cut it in until it looked like corn meal. Next I whipped up the egg white and water and quickly mixed that until it held together. I placed it on a floured board and made a four-inch round disk. This I wrapped and put in the refrigerator for an hour or so.

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In several of May’s paste receipts he calls for the pie shell to dried, which means pre-cooked. This helps to have the pastry crispy all over. I had more dough than I needed, so I made an extra blank shell to use at the end of the week with something wonderful.

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While the pie shells baked, I made the filling according to my receipt that is close to May’s, yet in a lesser amount. He was cooking cheesecake for a crowd; I’m cooking for two. I creamed the butter and sugar in the bowl then added the ground almonds, cheese, cream, mace, salt and rose water. I went easy on the rose water as I wanted the flavor of the strawberries to be the highlight. In went the eggs and everything was beaten well. I floured the strawberries before I placed them in the bowl. A light hand was needed to stir them in.

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With my shell prebaked, I poured in the batter, and into the bake oven it went. The temperature in the bake oven was about 400 degrees; falling oven, (cooling) and it took just about 40 minutes to cook. I left it in the opening to cool down a bit before I removed it to the pantry to sit.

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The smell of the pastry was wonderful, and I wanted to dig right in. However, I waited until it was cold and I could share it with my husband. Now, this is not your everyday cheesecake. Early receipts produce a flavor and texture very different than what we are used to in modern recipes.  A small piece goes a long way. I found the strawberries to be excellent in the body of the cheesecake, and, with the faint aroma of the rose water, it really woke up all of your senses, sight, smell, taste, and the feeling on your tongue that dances in delight. An upbeat satisfied sigh in praise of this dessert completes the tour of the senses.

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Go out and pick wild strawberries now before they are gone. Even if you don’t cook with them, just eating a handful will wake up your senses.

Did you know that Portsmouth N.H was once called Strawberry Banke because it was covered in this wonderful tiny fruit?

Sandie

Strawberry Quote:
“We are bound by a small, sometimes magical fruit called the strawberry. This fruit has the power to make tears dry up, make friends with enemies, make sick people feel better, make the elderly feel younger by bringing back pleasant memories of days gone by, make acquaintances of strangers, and above all, make little children smile. What other fruit has that power?”
Marvin Brown

Pantry

Who hath not owned, with rapture-smitten frame, the power of grace and the magic of a name?

Thomas Cambell 1777-1844

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I want to thank everyone for their thoughtful responses, unusual suggestions and the comments that I can’t share, however, which were appreciated.  Our room now has a name.

Top 6

6          Chiminea Cosina

5          Fuego de cosine

4          Crannies

3          Nook

2          Storeroom

1          And the winner is……… Pantry!

 “Originally: a room or set of rooms in a large household in which bread and other provisions are kept.

  (My household is not large)

 Later also: a room used for storing china, silverware, table linen, and glass;

(That covers part of it.)  Throw in a crock or two, some pots, skillets, iron, and spices, and we are all set.  I have a pantry.

Our next addition to the “Colonial Table” room will be a Cage Bar.  The plans are drawn and the wood is stacked on the floor. The first boards have been cut and we are on the way.  I’ll post pictures when it gets further along.  However, for now I’m listening to the heat bugs buzzing out my office window and the weather man is putting hazy, hot, and humid on all the days ahead. I think it might be a while before I start a fire in the hearth.  I do hope there will be a few nice dry days soon, so I can fire up the bake oven and pop something in.

Summer is official here; can strawberries and blueberries be far behind? Hmm, small cakes or tarts anyone?

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Sandie 

 

 

 

 

 

Buttry? Buttery? Pantry? Closet?

Now that we are almost done with the fireplace of our new 18th century kitchen, we are working on the WHAT. I use WHAT because I’m not sure WHAT to call it. It is a room in which I have a small sink and shelves to put cooking utensils, pots and pans, spices and some dry goods and containers for use in the kitchen.

I have read that back in the England of old, with castles, medieval hall and manor house, there were various rooms for service functions and food storage, and a planter was in charge of the bread from the pantry, the person in charge of the drinks was the butler who was in charge of the buttery know for its “butts” referring to the barrels stored there. Other rooms held the meats and were known as the larder, and the cooking was done in the kitchen. Now people call the kitchen in an early house a “Keeping Room” and the place you make butter as the Buttery (sounds plausible.) Yet, what is the truth of the matter?

In the book Colonial American English by Richard Lederer, Jr., he has 3,000 words used in America between 1608 and 1783. His description of:

Buttery- The place where liquor, fruit, and refreshments are sold – From the Old French boterie “place for keeping bottles.” Harvard regulations of 1790 decreed: “Every Scholar. . . shall enter his name in the Buttery.”

Pantry – A closet where bread and dry provisions were kept. A 1710 New Jersey document referred to: “a pantry with dresser and shelves.”

No Keeping room or Kitchen mentioned. So I emailed a friend, Sue, who has access to the Old English Dictionary and she looked up a few words for me. Here are her findings.

A kitchen as “That room or part of a house in which food is cooked; a place fitted with the apparatus for cooking. … 1600 R. Surflet tr. C. Estienne & J. Liébault Maison -Rustique i. iii. 4  The first foundation of a good house must be the kitchin. -a1641  J. Finett Philoxenis (1656) 168  Giving him a lodging to liye in and no Kitching to dress his meate in.”

Pantry: “Originally: a room or set of rooms in a large household in which bread and other provisions are kept. Later also: a room used for storing china, silverware, table linen, and glass; . . .  1660  Bp. J. Taylor Worthy; Communicant i. §1. 28  In the cupboards or Pantries where bread or flesh is laid.”

 Buttery: “A place for storing liquor; but the name was also, from an early period, extended to ‘the room where provisions are laid up’ (Johnson). … 1665  S. Pepys Diary 3 Aug. (1972) VI. 180, Then down to the buttery and eat a piece of cold venison-pie.”

 Larder: “A room or closet in which meat (? orig. bacon) and other provisions are stored. … 1768-74, A. Tucker, Light of Nature, (1834) I. 378 -The hen gratifies her desires in hatching and breeding up chickens for the larder.”

Keeping-room: “local and U.S. … The room usually occupied by a person or family as a sitting-room; a parlour. … ”

“The OED’s definition of keeping-room doesn’t seem very satisfactory. If you check Google Books between 1700 and 1800, you will find corroboration for the above definition of “keeping room,” also for a definition of “keeping room” meaning a store room.”  – Sue

In the book Common Places – American Vernacular Architecture, it mentions that Copley called his hall a “Keeping Room” and it was next to the Kitchen, and in 1771, his half-brother refers to it as a “Sitting room.”

Now all of this information makes one wonder at the myths and legends out there.

So I’ve been searching for what I would call my 18th century storage area. It is next to the fireplace and has a window. The space has been plastered and the window put in and I put a buck table inside to store things for my classes, at least until Allan could get around to working on it again.

I found a great leaded glasse diamond pane window in Connecticut at a salvage place, and fell in love with it. It was missing a few pieces of glass and one was cracked, so it needed to be repaired. We found someone to restore it in Maine, so this window has been around. I love the way the light reflects on the wall, and at night, with a candle, it really makes me smile.

I wanteed a sink so I could fill kettles with hot water when needed. I found copper sink at an antique/other stuff store called the Collectors Eye in Stratham, one of my favorite haunts as I drive by it several times a week. It needed help, and thanks to Allan and our contractor, the edges were straightened out and the bottom pushed back down. Which means Allan built a box frame, put the sink on it and jumped on the bottom until it stayed down. We found a great faucet online, and our friends gave us some old boards for the counter.

So Allan began building the frame and plumbing the sink. Meantime all my stuff was stored in the new dining area of the kitchen, unused and collecting dust.

With the shelves up and the room painted, I started to bring all my things back. First thing I notice was that the chandelier was too big. I’ve ordered a large Hershey Strap light which will be much better.

So what do I call this room? I have no “butts” to put liquor in, (that will be in the new Cage Bar when it is done,) so Buttery is out. I’m not going to keep any meat or dairy in there, so Larder is out. I’m not storing my redware plates, silverware, table linen, glasses or bread in it, so Pantry is out. I’m running out of labels and I don’t want to call it a closet either as my husband does.  HUMMM!

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The light for the cieling arrived and Allan put it up.  It makes a huge difference in the space. Our local blacksmith Russel Pope made an iron holder for my utensils and a great skewer holder with our initials on it.  AT, SB, I love it. With everything from the counter, now hanging on the hearth wall, I have more counter space.

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SO LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU WOULD CALL IT! I call it marvelous because it is mine; yet I’d like to have a name besides the modern day CLOSET.  Merriam-Webster – A Closet – A cabinet or recess for especially china, household utensils, or clothing . Not a very romantic word to my 18th century senses.

Sandie

In the first-floor plan of his house on Beacon Hill, sketched shortly after the Revolution, John Singleton Copley included a “Chinea Clossit” –  apparently a closet in our modern senses of the word, that is, a fairly small and windowless storage area.

Common Places – American Vernacular Architecture”