Historical Kitchen Trivia: Things you never knew about the kitchen!
Times have changed in the kitchen. From our eating habits to how we prepare our food, over the years we have adopted a new approach to the kitchen which we can safely say works better than the rather strange rules and rituals they had in the past.
If a person from the Colonial times – during the 15th- late 17th Century – were to step in to our modern kitchens, they would find us rude if we were talking at the table and think it was Sunday if we were eating beans. Slightly confused? Well here are a few historical kitchen trivia facts that are sure to have you baffled.
- In Colonial times children had to follow a set of very strict rules which forbid them to move their mouth with any noise while eating and the same for other body parts.
- Children in the Colonial times were not allowed to sit down. And if they enjoyed a meal they weren’t allowed to say that it was a good meal.
- During the winter there wasn’t much milk so colonists used their sweetened cider thinned down with water. And sometimes they even soaked their bread in it.
- And if you were not as wealthy as your neighbours you would hide your fish in the cupboard when they came to visit as you wouldn’t want them to know you ate fish cheaply.
- On Sunday’s colonial families ate baked beans. The mother would begin baking the beans on a Saturday night. Molasses and a piece of salt pork, along with beans into a pot called a bake kettle. The beans would be left on the fireplace all night and ate the next day.
- In the 1850s, Joel Houghton patented a wooden machine with a hand-turned wheel that splashed water on dishes, it was hardly a workable machine, but it was the first patent.
- In the 1500s those with money had their plates made from pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food which caused lead poisoning and death. This happened most often with tomatoes and for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.
- Bread in the 1500s was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle and the guests got the top or ‘upper crust’ as it was most commonly known.
- During the 18th Century in England, the tea towel was seen as a special linen drying cloth used by the mistress of the house to dry her precious China sets. Servants were considered too ham-fisted to be trusted with such a delicate job, although housemaids were charged with hand-hemming the woven linen once their main duties were completed.
- Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky in the 1500s. The two combined would knock some people out for days. Many people would mistake them for being dead and prepare them for burial. They would be laid out on the kitchen table for a few days and the family would gather around together to eat and drink and wait to see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a ‘wake.’
So be grateful that we have plenty of cows supplying milk and that there are more exciting meals than beans, because the old way of living doesn’t sound like too much fun.
Can you think of any other strange or bizarre kitchen rules from the past? Feel free to add your facts on our blog today!
Tags: interesting facts