Ovens III

June 27, 2011

Two days later I was back on the museum and while I was displaying the 17th century kitchen I opened the oven realising that it was still hot inside.

Though I have been planning to cook dishes using the residual heat, I may be able to make more use of the oven than I originally planned. This long slow heat might be optimal for drying fruits. The methods for doing do are mainly found in 18th century cookbooks, but there is a brief mention of this in a Dutch cookbook from the 16th century.

The setting

June 23, 2011

Glimmingehus is a renaissance manor raised in the late 15th century by Jens Holgersen Ulfstand, one of the major players in Denmark at the time. Though the castle may appear to have been a bit outdated at a first glance several features seem to have been built according to the latest architectural ideas, this is not the least true when it comes to the kitchen and heating systems. Here one can find features that are similar to english manorial kitchens and some features that are recognisable in Bartolomeo Scappis book of kitchens and cooking from the late 16th century. The actual kitchen is situated in the bottom floor of the manor, and while that may pose some problems in accessability, I would still interpret it as the actual manorial kitchen, as opposed to a kitchen for only the staff and servants. Unfortunately the kitchen in the manor is mainly in ruins, as it was later being used as storage and possibly plundered for stones

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However, the main features that are still possible to discern is the central hearth, an intriguing method to let out the air and what has generally been interpreted as a large bread oven. While the oven is more or less levelled it is still possible to interpret as such. That said, whereas the general interpretation seem to favour a large but unsymmetrical bread oven, I would in the oven rather see a parallel to what can be found in a few British manors, where the bread oven is paired up with a smaller ellipsoid oven, which would rather have been used for pies and pastries.

Being partly ruined the original kitchen is not suitable for cooking any more, however, the basis for these experiments are carried out at a restored and reconstructed 17th century in one of the houses built beside the manor as it was no longer in use.

The 17th century kitchen.

The reconstructed kitchen has three main features; bread oven, main hearth and roasting hearth. Following a tradition that became more and more common during the 17th century the actual kitchen is built into the chimney with the cooking features on at either side. Central to the kitchen, and opposite the opening is the large bread oven, which together with the chimney is an original feature. At a later time the side hearths were added to the construction according to a model that can be found already in the 16th century in the homes of more well – off farmers and burgher. Examples of this three-clover shape has bee excavated in Lund.

The oven;

The oven is a classical dome shaped oven that is supposed to be fired up using the draft that the curved shape produces. As the oven is hot enough it is raked out and bread or other dishes are baked therein according to the temperature at the time.

The main hearth.

Being a bit wider and higher, it provides enough space to hold more than one vessel, though I would have wanted it a bit wider still. The hearth was reconstructed with two square boxes or open holes that can be used to collect the ashes, though I am a bit uncertain of the practicality and of them. In connection to the hearth there is a movable iron arm which is designed to hold a copper kettle.

The side hearth;

This one is smaller and lower thań the main hearth, and seem to have been designed by the re-constructors to be used for spit roasting. However, I find it a bit to narrow to properly hold both the fire and a drip pan – though it is difficult to say without having used it.

Some images will be added eventually, but that will have to wait until I either update my phone or my camera as neither is fit for photographing at the moment.

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