Friday, August 2, 2013

Rooms off the kitchen

Large dinner parties with many guests and vast amounts of food were once the norm, often several nights a week, in England and elsewhere. This necessitated many servants and large kitchens for the preparation of all this food. It also led to the construction of smaller rooms off from the kitchen designated for certain functions.

Scullery Somebody had to wash all those dirty dishes, and that task fell to to scullery maids. Those plates, pots, flatware, etc., were stacked in the scullery, where they were washed in a large sink. This word came from the Old French word for dishes, escullier.

Larder Before the days of refrigeration, meat would be delivered daily and placed in the larder until the cooks were ready to use it. The word larder came from the French word for bacon, lardon.

Pantry Other food was stored in the pantry, a word derived from the Latin word panna, meaning "bread room."

Some particularly grand country homes might also have a game larder, bake house, brewery, knife room, pastry room and other rooms set aside for one purpose or another.

Most homes today just combine everything in the kitchen, although some may still have a pantry like the one shown at the left. My mother had what she called a fruit room in the basement where she stored the food, mostly fruit, that she canned during the summer for consumption during the winter.

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