Dutch Fork: Cooking in the Kitchen

When the kitchen became a separate room in later years, it was usually detached from the house and connected by a wooden porch. Still the cooking was done on the hearth of the kitchen fireplace more or less in the old manner. A variety of meats was spit-roasted. Small fare like birds might be hung on cords by the boy hunters or trappers of the family and eagerly watched. "An iron rod, strung with pot hooks, was built into the chimney, and as many pots as were needed could be prepared. A spider, a round vessel on short legs, with a heavy iron lid was always on the hearth—with a supply of cobs and bark on hand to make coals to put under the spider and on the lid. Chicken, rabbit, and any kind of fresh meat could be smothered in the spider. Biscuits and corn bread browned to a queen's taste." For unusually large quantities or on the hottest summer days, an iron pot in the yard would have a fire built under it; and the cooking would be done outside. (Kibler, 1988)

Return to Kitchen