Cooking equipment that was used around the fire was made of cast iron, brass, or tin. A busy tavern kitchen might have several frying pans with legs, called spider pans. There would be large pots with handles that could hang over the fire to make soup or stew. Iron pots with lids, called “Dutch Ovens”, were set on a pile of hot coals on the hearthstone; they were used to bake pies, gingerbread, and other treats. A tin reflector oven could be placed in front of the fire to roast meat.
The kitchen would be full of storage containers to keep food from being spoiled or eaten by mice. These containers might be large pottery crocks, full of pickles, eggs, or molasses. Smaller containers made of tin or wood could be used to hold spices, coffee, and tea. Large barrels in the cellar or the pantry were used to store corn meal and flour, while the coolest room in the house would hold dairy products such as butter and cheese.
A Closer Look at the Painting
What do you think would be stored in the pottery crocks? What would you make in the mixing bowls? What could you grind up in the mortar and pestle?