The Challenge of Cooking Over Fire

The Challenge of Cooking Over Fire



Fires and hearths are what I’m thinking about this week as I put together my talk for the Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello on Sept 21st!

                                                      Flandreau, South Dakota, 1978

I used to cook on a wood burning stove year round and in mid summer the heat could get a bit intense but then come the winter I loved my stove with it’s cheerful heat.

I have cooked on hearths in historic house museums in many settings since those days on the farm.

                                     Cooking with the Louisa County Hearth cooks 2015

As I shovel hot coals I think about all the enslaved cooks cooking fabulous meals on a blazing hearth in the 18th and 19th centuries.  In my work I try to see what the cook knew, to tell what the cook did every day, and clearly describe how the hard work got done.

                                                    At the Gunston Hall hearth 1999