Monday, 9 March 2015

Cooking items in the 18th century

Recently with the help of some fellow Jacobite reenactors I have been learning about cooking in the 18th century and as my wife and I both love cooking we are keen to try some traditional camp fire cooking when we have purchased the necessary items.  I like to spend a lot of time researching aspects of the 18th century and if I am going to buy or make something that I will use I want it to be as close as possible to being period correct. The follow items have been recommended to me by fellow reenactors .

18th century 2 quart cast iron pot , these can be used over a campfire and once given a good coating of flax oil or something similar this type of pot can be used for hearty stews or soups, although being cast iron it is not something that would have been carried any distance because of it's weight

Next up is a much cheaper item compared to the above cast iron cook pot , it is a pinkin which are well documented being used in the 18th century they are made of pottery named redware and although designed to withstand heat it is not something you would hang over a roaring camp fire but something to be used with warm embers for slow cooked food . It's much lighter than carrying around a cast iron pot but it's also fragile so you need to take more care when using it. But it also has 3 feet like the above cast iron pot to keep it stable when cooking

Wooden bowls were very popular and people often carried them in their bag on journeys , perfect for porridge or any other simple meal . Wooden bowls came in variety of sizes and luckily these days we can also buy them as well. So no need for a plate of any kind if you have a decent wooden bowl .

Horn cups and spoons were also very common in Scotland and being lightweight made them easy to carry along with the wooden bowl these items were often sold by travelling tinkers . You could ladle the food you wanted from the pinkin into your bowl with a horn spoon and then use it to eat with as well. When you were thirsty you could fill up your horn cup with beer or imported French wine if it was available. 

Last but not least you had to have a means to light your campfire in order to cook your meal and there were no matches nor gas lighters back then so you had to rely on using a fire lighting kit consisting of a striker and a piece of flint and some easily combustible materiel to help get your fire started. 

So pictured above is a well documented set of traditional cooking items for 18th century cooking , all these items could easily fit into a large haversack but most likely you would be better off carry them in a snapsack to your campsite. 

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