It always happens sooner or later. The subject eventually returns to food and cooking. It is especially appropriate now with the Thanksgiving holiday looming. As you think about these types of cooking, consider the experience of roasting a turkey using either method. A trip to the Wheat Ridge Historical Museum was instructive. Their restored sod house offers two styles of cooking in close proximity. At the hearth is the traditional style used by pioneers. They were happy to be indoors under a roof, sod or not, instead of preparing meals on an open campfire with little available fuel other than dried out buffalo pies. Skillets and Dutch ovens were utensils of choice to cook hot meals and stews for hungry families in this solid stone hearth, which also provided plenty of heat for comfort.
Then along came the Majestic Wood Stove. It had all the bells and whistles, for those who could afford it. This stove in the photo has six burners and warming cabinets overhead. It’s a beauty. My friend, Yellowstone Carol, loves Majestic stoves and swears by them. She cooked many a fabulous meal on one up in Yellowstone Country. She became especially proficient at baking pizza in them. She enjoys any opportunity to stoke one up with chopped wood to give it a whirl with her latest recipe.
Living history and house museums are a great place to step back in history, whether to learn about life in the kitchen, or any other pioneer endeavor. To find such places in Colorado, refer to The Walls Talk: Historic Museums of Colorado, by Patricia Warner, from Filter Press.
Joyce B. Lohse, 11/9/10