Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

A cooking class

March 26, 2014

Today we look at a photo where we need help. The photo shows girls cooking.

Market Lavington girls at a cookery class in 1920/21

Market Lavington girls at a cookery class in 1920/21

We have it recorded that this is ‘girls in a cookery class in 1920/21.

Attached to the back of the photo is this caption.

Caption on the photo

Caption on the photo

And from this point on we have no idea. It was over 90 years ago, so the girls in the picture would be amongst the very oldest in the country if they are still alive. But maybe somebody will recognise one of the girls or be able to give some indication of the location.

The aprons and other gear are delightful but we would love to know more about this image.

Do get in touch if you can help.



A Trivet

April 12, 2013

These days most people would have no idea on how to cook on a kitchen range. It was a work of skill getting things to the right temperature with judicious addition of fuel and control of dampers. And of course, at the same time you actually had to manage the food as well. It’s so different from our ‘touch of a button’ life with technology managing the heat leaving the cook free to deal with the food.

Back in those old days all sorts of extras were available. What we are looking at today is called a trivet. This one could be clamped onto a range and used to keep a pan warm in front of the stove.

Late nineteenth century trivet at Market Lavington Museum

Late nineteenth century trivet at Market Lavington Museum

As we can see this is quite an ornamental piece of cast iron. A utilitarian item could quite happily be cast into something which was ornament as well as useful. The underside, with the clamp, is more complex.

Underside of trivet with adjustable fastening

Underside of trivet with adjustable fastening

There’s a wing nut to enable adjustment to be made. The trivet could be held at varying distances from the fire.

This trivet is believed to date from the late 1800s and had been used by the Gale family of The Spring in Market Lavington. Presumably, it had been unused for some time when it came to the museum back in 1987.

A Bottle Jack

July 16, 2010

This item was used, probably in a well to do home, to assist with roasting a joint in front of a fire. Poorer families, if they ever had a roast joint of meat, used children to keep the joint turning.

Bottle jack used for roasting meat in front of a fire - an item at Market Lavington Museum

At Market Lavington Museum, we have the jack in front of our kitchen range.

The device is clockwork. The winding handle, which we have fastened at the top, was inserted into the slot behind the movable maker’s label to wind the mechanism up. The joint of meat was hung on the hook at the bottom although there may have been a flywheel to make the meat turn more evenly. A goodly fire was needed. The mechanism made the meat turn slowly so that it got evenly cooked right through.

Let’s quote from Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management to learn more.

THE BOTTLE-JACK, of which we here give an illustration, with the wheel and hook, and showing the precise manner of using it, is now commonly used in many kitchens.

Mrs Beeton's diagram of a bottle jack in use

This consists of a spring inclosed in a brass cylinder, and requires winding up before it is used, and sometimes, also, during the operation of roasting. The joint is fixed to an iron hook, which is suspended by a chain connected with a wheel, and which, in its turn, is connected with the bottle-jack. Beneath it stands the dripping-pan, which we have also engraved, together with the basting-ladle, the use of which latter should not be spared; as there can be no good roast without good basting. “Spare the rod, and spoil the child,” might easily be paraphrased into “Spare the basting, and spoil the meat.” If the joint is small and light, and so turns unsteadily, this may be remedied by fixing to the wheel one of the kitchen weights. Sometimes this jack is fixed inside a screen; but there is this objection to this apparatus, — that the meat cooked in it resembles the flavour of baked meat. This is derived from its being so completely surrounded with the tin, that no sufficient current of air gets to it. It will be found preferable to make use of a common meat-screen, such as is shown in the woodcut. This contains shelves for warming plates and dishes; and with this, the reflection not being so powerful, and more air being admitted to the joint, the roast may be very excellently cooked.

The Museum stall at the fete

June 12, 2010

Answers (1)

Well done to all those who took part in our ‘What is it?’ competition at the Market Lavington Village Fete.

Particular congratulations to Mr M Morrison, a comparitive newcomer to the village who achieved the highest score and won the prize CD of Market Lavington photos.

Here are the answers to the first three items.

Item 1 was a herb and vegetable chiopper from the early 20th century - not so very different from the kitchen tool of today

Item 2 is called a wimbrel and dates from the end of the 19th century. It was used to twist straw into rope - very useful when thatching.

Item 3 is an early 19th century wheelwright's spoke gauge. Can anybody tell us how it was used?

More answers next time so do check back.