Baking on an Old Stove ~1889

Baking on a Victorian Stove.

Lessons in Cookery.

Just stumbled across Lessons in Cookery. The book has a unique layout because it is written not for the average home cook, but for a home economics teacher who may be teaching a class of young students.

Black and white photo Home Economics Clasroom_1917
Home Economics Class c. 1917

The fascinating part about the book’s layout is that it offers a unique look at the small details of cooking in a Victorian kitchen during the 1880s. In the excerpt below, Lesson 2 focuses entirely on how to bake with a wood-fueled stove, to include judging temperature, as well as its general care and keeping.

The excerpt discusses dampers, air flow, smoke control, and coals. Technical details that have generally been all but lost to time with today’s modern ranges. Admittedly, dampers are something of scientific mystery to me. If you haven’t already seen it, the documentary A Toast to Fannie Farmer demonstrates exactly how challenging it can be to skillfully operate one of these wood ovens (our family would certainly be left eating cereal.).

Lesson 2.

LessonsinCookery-Lesson-2-StovesHow to clean an old fashioned stove

I will never complain about cleaning my oven ever again. Ever. Ever. Ever.

Source: Lessons in Cookery, 1889.

More Fun Discoveries from Antique Cookbooks

7 thoughts on “Baking on an Old Stove ~1889

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  1. In our last house, I had a wood-burning kitchen stove, complete with six burners, water reservoir, and warming shelf. I absolutely loved cooking on it! The thing with a wood stove is that, once stoked, there is always a burner, or spot on the stove top that is exactly the right temperature for whatever you need. It takes time to get used to, but cooks beautifully. I miss it like crazy––except in the summer, I don’t miss it then!

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