I have the utmost respect for folks that understand the art of cooking with live fire. The Hubs and I have a small fireplace where occasionally we’ll try our hand at some basic cookery, but spending this evening leaning to cook by a real hearth was truly eye opening.
It was mostly women who tended to this important daily task and they must have had some serious guns. Tending the fire, shoveling embers, constantly shifting around the cast iron pots - it’s exhausting and dangerous!
Our class made quite a meal: cornbread, cranberry sauce, root vegetable soup, rotisserie chicken using a reflector oven, and a bunch of other period English recipes (like…handchurned butter: https://vine.co/v/ijx72hHlvaB -and - steamed pudding: https://vine.co/v/ijPxH3bWLA6) that I couldn’t get good photos of (because fire photography is so annoying without the right setup.) This was the quintessential slow-food movement experience and every dish turned out really surprisingly delicious.
One day, I have a fire pit big enough to cook like this. In the meantime, I am just happy I have a small fireplace to do some basic cooking indoors in the event I lose gas or power.
I cook a lot. And most of it in some form of cast iron pan.
If you include our 3 enameled cast iron dutch ovens, one enameled cast iron sauce pan, and five skillets we have a lot of cast iron in the drawers below the cooktop. (We also have a few skillets and a griddle up at the cabin.)
I remember my first cast iron skillet and how much time I had to spend figuring out how to cook with it. It shouldn’t have been that hard but it was. When I got my game on I remember my mother telling me I was crazy to give up my inexpensive, non-stick skillet because of how hard it would be to keep them clean.
I remember finding the Le Creuset outlet in Foley, Alabama in the mid-nineties and spending more than I should have on a couple of red dutch ovens while the rest of the folks I was with spent their money on shoes and clothes.
The Conservatory, looking towards the garden, Carlton House. Neo-perpenicular extravagence of cast-iron
and translucent coloured glass in fan vault ceiling. Door open at end.
White/black tiled floor. Gothic chandeliers hanging from the screens.