Posts Tagged ‘hearth cooking’

reflector oven www.paulawalton.comThis morning I saw a wonderful reflector oven, which is also sometimes called a tin kitchen.  This reflector oven combined all possible variations into one!  It had a spit for roasting large roasts and big birds, hooks for cooking smaller game birds and was designed to have a shelf for baking.  I was sorely tempted to buy it, but managed to resist, since I own many more reflector ovens than any one kitchen needs!  I have multiple ovens for roasting and baking and while I only have one bird oven, I’m sure that is sufficient for as frequently as I cook tiny game birds!

reflector oven www.paulawalton.com

reflector oven www.paulawalton.com

After virtuously passing up such a wonderful tin kitchen, I did give into temptation and buy an amazing early pictorial sampler in a birds eye maple frame.  For even though I could do without more 18th century cooking implements, I could not pass by fine stitchery done in pinks, purples and mauves!!!  The new sampler is now hanging in my kitchen where it is right at home amongst my claret colored woodwork and purple transferwear!

9/8/14 Addition

I’ve had a request for photos of the sampler too 🙂  These aren’t the best photos, since I get a lot of reflected light in my kitchen, which is why I didn’t post any yesterday…  The light was still a problem this morning, but I took  photos anyway and here they are!

This is the sampler that I bought yesterday at the Elephant's Trunk flea market.

This is the sampler that I bought yesterday at the Elephant’s Trunk flea market.

I love all of the different motifs in this sampler.  I immediately identified with it's maker!  Who wants to stich boring old letters and mottos when you can use off those pretty colors of thread to stitch pictures instead!!!

I love all of the different motifs in this sampler. I immediately identified with it’s maker! Who wants to stitch boring old letters and mottoes when you can use off those pretty colors of thread to stitch pictures instead!!!



This is one of my other "kitchen" samplers that was stitched with similar colors.

This is one of my other “kitchen” samplers that was stitched with similar colors.

I feel very fortunate to have found a handful of antique samplers stitched in purples, lavenders, rose, pink and mauves.  This is the third one that resides in my kitchen.  The fourth hangs above a very early R.I. blanket chest in my bedroom.

I feel very fortunate to have found a handful of antique samplers stitched in purples, lavenders, rose, pink and mauves. This is the third one that resides in my kitchen. The fourth hangs above a very early R.I. blanket chest in my bedroom.


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Save your pennies - SALE www.paulawalton.com

Today at my house we are celebrating Easter.  Tomorrow the festivities will continue as we party in honor of my middle son’s birthday!  I’d like to share a bit of our celebrations with you by offering you 10% off on every single item I sell at Paula Walton’s A Sweet Remembrance!!!

This includes all classes, all dolls – even new custom orders -, all bears, all reproduction clothing, all antiques – carousel horses & cooking items -, literally everything!  There is free shipping within the United States on all purchases, except carousel horses & you may place any item on lay-away, with terms to fit your budget 🙂

The coupon code for the sale is ” peeps”.  Enter the code when you check out today or tomorrow using the secure shopping cart at A Sweet Remembrance and 10% will automatically be subtracted from your total.  Email or call me to buy the antique cooking item shown at Paula Walton’s 18th Century Home Journal,  to order a custom made Izannah Walker reproduction doll, or to set up lay-away payments.  Paula@asweetremembrance.com 860-355-5709.  I would be happy to answer any questions you may have about the sale or any of my work.

Wishing you a Happy Easter and an amusing April Fools Day!

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To purchase any of the pictured items email me at paula@asweetremembrance.com or call me at 860-355-5709 between 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. Eastern time.  Click on the photos to enlarge. Free U.S. shipping, via First Class mail!  Priority & Express Mail, and insurance are extra. 6% sales tax for CT residents.

#C2. Green painted metal dome. New food cover, perfect for covering a block of cheese, or just for decoration. $10

#C3 Antique egg poacher. To use place inside of a skillet full of boiling water. $15 See next photo for details.

#C3. Antique egg poacher. $15 See previous photo.

#C4. Vintage aluminum syrup pitcher. Small dents, pin missing from hinge. $8

#C5. Large sugar egg mold. A few small rust spots on the tinned interior, but still very usable. $12

#C6. Vintage metal french fry cutter. $7

#C7. Father Christmas green glass gin bottle. $29

#C8. Collection of 5 vintage metal graters. Usable for cooking or fun to put over tea light candles. $21

#C9. Stove-top toaster. Place on burner to use. Makes 4 slices of toast, or pop it over a tea light for a little whimsical kitchen ambiance. $8

# C10. Large late 18th / early 19th century reflector oven. This oven is for baking. If you wish to cook in it you will need to add a tin tray. Great patina, wonderful for display as is. See additional photos below. $185

#C10. Interior of reflector oven. See more photos above and below. $185

#C10. Right side of reflector oven. $185

#C10. Left side of reflector oven. $185

#C10 Hinge detail of reflector oven. $185

#C10. Handle detail of reflector oven. $185 See more photos above.

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*Thank you to everyone who dropped by my online show  last year!  I hope you enjoyed it and the items you purchased 🙂*  It was great fun putting the show together.  I’m not doing one in 2012 due to a wedding in the family and my upcoming Izannah Walker Retreat.

The show is open! Hours – Friday, June 24th, 2011 at 8 p.m. Eastern Time through 10 p.m. Sunday, June 26th.

The show includes dolls, antique bears and toys, vintage and antique cooking items, small handcrafted treasures plus a few surprises for sale on a first come basis.  So don’t wait!

The show is  posted here on my blog, www.paulawalton.com.  You will be able to view the show by visiting paulawalton.com from 8 p.m. Eastern Time on June 24th through 10 p.m. Eastern Time June 26th.   If you see something you would like to buy, you can either email me at paula@asweetremembrance.com or call me at 860-355-5709, please no phone calls before 9 a.m. or after 10p.m. Eastern Time.   I will be accepting checks, money orders and Paypal for payment.  You may also place items on lay away.  If you would like to pay using Paypal, I will invoice you.  If you wish to pay with a credit card, you may do so through Paypal as a guest – you do not have to open a Paypal account.

As always everything, except carousel horses and large pieces of furniture, will include free shipping.  If it is possible for you to come pick your purchases up in person, then I will subtract a bit from your total 🙂

I will be posting additional items throughout the weekend, so check back 🙂

Scroll down to see the sale or click on these links:



Sewing & Fabric

Antique Children’s and Doll’s Furniture

Fanciful Hand Wrought Goods

Antique Kitchen and Cooking

Want to see more???  Visit my main website for more of my work.

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Two receipts to mark the occasion of George Washington’s 279th birthday.

George and Martha’s Favorite Mince Meat Pie

5 pounds beef, ground

1 pound beef suet, ground

2 pounds raisins

2 pounds currants

1 tablespoon cloves

2 tablespoons cinnamon

1 tablespoon ginger

1 tablespoon nutmeg

1/2 tablespoon salt

1/2 tablespoon pepper

4 cups sugar

1 lemon, juice and rind

1/2 poud citron peel

8 cups apples, chopped fine

Cook the ground beef and after it cools, add all of the other ingredients.  Blend thoroughly and  set aside.

Boil in a large saucepan:

1 quart apple cider

1 quart brandy

2 tablespoons butter

Pour over the other ingredients.  When cool, pack in jars, or cover the bowl well and store in a cool dry place.  Allow to stand for at least 24 hours before using to make pies.  Will keep up to 6 months if  canned in sealed canning jars.

Makes 8 – 12 pies.

George Washington had a definite weakness for mince meat pies.  Martha found it well worthwhile to make up a large batch, for if planned wisely, it only had to be undertaken once each winter.  She recommended not eating these pies at night before going to bed, if the eater valued his slumber.

Receipt from The Early American Cookbook Authentic Favorites for the Modern Kitchen by Dr. Kristie Lynn & Robert W. Pelton.

Washington Cake

Beat together 1-1/2 pounds of sugar, and three quarters of a pound of butter; add 4 eggs well beaten, half pint of sour milk, and 1 teaspoon of saleratus*, dissolved in a little hot water.  Stir in gradually 1- 3/4 pounds of flour, 1 wine glassful of wine or brandy, and 1 nutmeg, grated.  Beat all well together.  This will make two round cakes.  It should be baked in a quick oven, and will take from 15 to 30 minutes, according to the thickness of the cakes.

*use baking soda

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Scottish Shortbread

1 pound butter

1 cup sugar

4 cups flour

Cream butter and sugar.  Add flour a little at a time until it makes a stiff dough.  Pat into a large cookie sheet or 9 x 13 pan, or roll and cut out with tin cookie cutters.  Bake in a slow oven (300 degrees) for 30 minutes or till golden.  If you baked one large sheet, cut it into squares as soon as you remove it from the oven and cool in the pan.

Last Christmas Christine Crocker posted a wonderful idea for shortbread. It’s taken me over a year, but I finally gave it a try. 🙂 Drop in and read Christine’s post, it’s sure to start you on a mad hunt for pressed glass!


(Fanny Pierson Crane, Her Receipts, 1796, adaptation)

1 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup butter

1 egg

1- 1/2 cups sifted flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup cracked chocolate (pieces)

Cream together butter and sugar, add egg and vanilla and stir well.  Mix dry ingredients together and stir into creamed mixture. Fold in chocolate.  Drop from a heaping tablespoon onto a greased cookie sheet 3 inches apart.  Bake in a medium hot oven for 12-15 minutes.  (for the cookies shown in the photo I substituted cinnamon chips for the cracked chocolate pieces)

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Cookbooks sitting on a 19th century Texas table in original black paint, made by my great great grandfather.

Today is the 202nd anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth.  One of my favorite stories about Abraham Lincoln is one that he often told about his extreme fondness for gingerbread.

Once in a while my mother used to get some sorghum and some ginger and mix us up a batch of gingerbread.  It wasn’t often and it was our biggest treat.  One day I smelled it and came into the house to get my share while it was hot.  I found she had baked me three gingerbread men, and I took them out under a hickory tree to eat them.

There was family near us, who were a little poorer than we were, and their boy came along as I sat down.  “Abe,” he said, edging close, “gimme a man.”      I gave him one.  He crammed it into his mouth at two bites and looked at me while I bit the legs from my first one.  “Abe,” he said, “gimme that other’n.”  I wanted it, but I gave it to him, and as it followed the first one I said, “You seem to like gingerbread.”  “Abe,” he said earnestly, “I don’t s’pose there’s anybody on this earth likes gingerbread as well as I do,” – and drawing a sigh that brought up crumbs – “an’ I don’t s’pose there’s anybody gets less of it.”

You can read about this encounter and many other fascinating Lincoln food facts along with period recipes in Lincoln’s Table A president’s Culinary Journey from Cabin to Cosmopolitan by Donna D. McCreary, ISBN 978-0-9795383-1-5.  For even more Lincoln recipes, turn to Miss Leslie’s Directions for Cookery by Eliza Leslie ISBN 0-486-40614-8.  Mary Todd Lincoln is known to have purchased a copy of this receipt book when the Lincoln’s were residing in Illinois.

These are two receipts that I enjoy, in case you would like to bake some gingerbread to celebrate Lincoln’s birthday.

Eli Whitney’s Grandmother’s Chewy Ginger Cookies

Eli Whitney (1765-1825) dearly loved these cookies that his grandmother made.

1 cup butter

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon each of cinnamon & ginger

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 cup molasses

1/4 cup sour milk

4 cups flour

Blend butter, soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger.  Add sugar and beat until smooth.  Add the egg, molasses and sour milk.  Gradually stir in the flour.  Drop from the tip of a teaspoon on to greased baking sheets.  Let stand for 10 minutes, then flatten cookies with a glass covered with a damp cloth.  Bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees) for 12 to 15 minutes.

Rum Gingerbread

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter

1 egg

2- 1/2 cups flour

1- 3/4 teaspoons baking soda

1 cup molasses

3/4 cup hot water

1/4 cup rum

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cloves

Combine butter, sugar and egg.  Stir in dry ingredients alternately with the molasses, water and rum.  Pour into a buttered 9 x 12- inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  You may substitute buttermilk for the water and rum.

Sorghum Gingerbread

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

12 teaspoon cloves

1 tablespoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup lard

1 cup sorghum

1 cup hot water

Stir the dry ingredients together.  Mix the lard, butter and hot water together and when melted,pour into the flour mixture.  Stir well, then add the eggs and sorghum and stir again.  Spoon the batter into a buttered and floured baking pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.

If you share Mr. Lincoln’s love of gingerbread you may also want to find these books:

Gingerbread 99 Delicious Recipes from Sweet to Savory by Linda Merinoff.

Gingerbread Timeless Recipes for Cakes, Cookies, Desserts, Ice Cream and Candy by Jennifer Lindner McGlinn.

The Gingerbread Book by Allen Bragdon.

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* Note: I do have one antique reflector oven for sale.  Click on this link  Antique Cooking & Kitchen Goods.   The reflector oven that I currently have in stock is for baking.  I’m asking $185.00 which does include free shipping.

There are several types of reflector ovens that are commonly used in open-hearth cooking.  The first is often known as a tin kitchen, which has a spit and is used for roasting meat.  The second is used for baking and is sometimes called a tart oven or a biscuit oven.  I also own a “bird oven”, which is a very tiny, shallow reflector oven with pairs of hooks.  As the name implies, it is used for roasting  small game birds, such as quail.

Reflector ovens are a very easy and efficient way to cook.  I love mine.  In fact I love them so much that I own six of them, which is many more than would have been found in a normal 18th century household.

If you have been searching for somewhere to buy a new reflector oven, try some of the following links.  Three of my reflector ovens are new and three are antiques.  I use them all.  Generally speaking, reproductions will be less expensive.

Large Tin Kitchen $529.95 – This is for roasting meat
Tin Baker $239.95 – This is for baking
Reflector Oven $225 – For roasting meat
Biscuit Oven $125 – For Baking
Reflector Oven $130 – meat
Biscuit Oven $100 – baking
Tin Reflector Oven $220 – meat
This link is directions for making your own baking oven.

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This is an ongoing list of  Open Hearth Cookbooks and magazines that I particularly like.  Please feel free to comment if you have a great resource to add to the list.  I just love “new” (to me) cookbooks! 🙂

The Williamsburg Art of Cookery or Accomplish’d Gentlewoman’s Companion: Being a Collection of upwards of Five Hundred of the most Ancient & Approv’d Recipes in Virginia Cookery, published by Colonial Williamsburg in Williamsburg, Virginia.

The Early American Cookbook – Authentic Favorites for the Modern Kitchen by Dr. Kristie Lynn and Robert W. Pelton.

The Virginia Housewife Or, Methodical Cook – A Facsimile of an Authentic Early American Cookbook by Mary Randolph.

Miss Leslie’s Directions for Cookery – An Unabridged Reprint of the 1851 Classic by Eliza Leslie.

The Kentucky Housewife by Mrs. Lettice Bryan, originally published in 1839.

Boston Cooking School Cook Book a Reprint of the 1884 Classic by Mrs. D. A. Lincoln.

Miss Beecher’s Domestic Receipt-Book by Catharine E. Beecher.

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Have you ever run across terms that you are unfamiliar with when reading through an old receipt book?  Let’s start with the word receipt, do you know that 200 years ago receipt meant the same thing that recipe does today?

In amongst my cookbooks, I keep a bedraggled piece of paper entitled An Eighteenth Century Cooking Glossary.   I’ve had this particular reference for such a long time that I no longer remember exactly where I acquired it or who compiled it.

Since I find it particularly helpful, I thought I’d post it here for you to use too.  Plus let’s be honest,  if I ever lose my copy, now I’ll be able to find it again by checking the blog archives! 🙂


1 pound butter = 2 cups

1 pound flour = 4 cups

1 pound salt = 2 cups

1 pound sugar = 2 cups

1 pound cornmeal = 3 cups

1 pound milk = 2 cups

1 ounce butter = 2 tablespoons

1 ounce flour = 4 tablespoons

1 ounce baking soda = 2 tablespoons

1 ounce of any liquid = 2 tablespoons

General Rules:

1 cup liquid to 1 cup flour for pourable batters

1 cup liquid to 2 cups flour for drop batters

1 cup liquid to 3 cups flour for dough batters

1/8 teaspoon salt to each cup flour

1 tablespoon (or less) sugar to each cup flour – obviously there are a lot of exceptions to this rule! 🙂

Additional Terms and Measurements:

butter the size of an egg = 1/4 cup

butter the size of a walnut = 2 tablespoons

coffee cup = 1 measuring cup

dash = 1/8 teaspoon

1 kitchen spoon = 6 tablespoons

1 sugar spoon = 1 tablespoon

1 dessert spoon = 1 – 1/2 teaspoons

1 dram = 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon

1 gill = 1/2 cup

1 lump of butter = 2 tablespoons

1 pinch = 1/8 teaspoon

pint = 2 cups

pound of eggs = 8 or 9 large – Colonial eggs were small, so cookbooks of the period may suggest as many as 10 – 12 per pound

pound of flour = 3 to 4 cups – this varies greatly with some sources specifying as much as 4 – 1/2 cups

pound of sugar = 2 to 2- 1/2 cups

quart = 2 pints or 4 cups

scruple = 1/24 ounce or about 1/4 teaspoon

teacup = 1/2 to 3/4 cup

tin cup = 1 measuring cup

tumblerful = 2 cups

wineglass = 1/2 gill or 1/4 cup

Glossary of Terms:

Cree – To boil any of a variety of grains into porridge

Flummery – Jellied dessert often flavored with rose water or orange-flower water.

Forcemeat – Chopped meat seasoned with herbs and used for stuffing and meatballs.

Hoop (or Garth) – A deep ring used as a mold  for large cakes; first made of wood and later made of iron.

Isinglass – A gelatin made from the air bladder of a sturgeon and dried into sheets; also used as a clarifying agent.

Lively Emptings – The yeast sediment in the bottom of a beer barrel, used in place of beaten eggs in some recipes.

Pearl Ash – A bicarbonate of potash used as the alkaline in combination with sour milk for leavening.

Sack – White wine originally imported to England from Southern Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Salteratus – A more refined bicarbonate of potash that replaced pearl ash as a leavening agent.  Today equal amounts f baking soda may be substituted for saleratus.

Searce (or Search) – To sieve, necessary to remove lumps from pounded loaf sugar and impurities (yuck!!! think about it :() from flour.

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