Monday, February 7, 2011

O'Dell House Museum Kitchen

Just before lunch time I took the opportunity to take a few pictures in the kitchen of the O'Dell House Museum. I had been moving some artifacts when I realized that there was a very nice light coming through the side window. Far be it from me to turn down the opportunity to take a few pictures around the museum.

When I get the opportunity to come out from behind my desk, the kitchen is one of my favorite rooms to interpret at the museum. Set in the 1870s, this room more than any other exhibit room shows some stark differences with our time. For starters, a modern kitchen is awash with electrical appliances. The list begins with the refrigerator, stove, coffee maker, microwave and food processor but it just keeps growing longer. In our kitchen at the museum all of these things have not yet been invented. If you are going to heat your food it must be done on the wood fired stove. Preservation of food was accomplished through either salting or drying rather than refrigeration. The next major difference is the absence of running water. Thankfully the well in the backyard is visible when I get the inevitable question of how they would have washed the dishes.

The other element of the kitchen that appeals to me is that this is a room for living. There is a reason why good parties, at least in Atlantic Canada, make there way into the kitchen. Historically, this is a place where food and drinks can be shared with close friends. It is a place that the smells of fresh baked bread and pies co-mingle with roasts, fish and bacon. This would often be a refuge for Victorian children who were under the imperative to be seen and not heard. There are many interesting stories to be told in this historic kitchen.

All for now,
RGS


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