We're now going to exit the main house and enter the kitchen from the door located under the outside stairwell. Like most Victorian middle-class homes, our kitchen is located in the basement for the purpose of keeping the rest of the house free from odors and grease. The Ashton kitchen runs from the front to the back of the house and includes a scullery area. It has windows on the front wall which is extremely rare. In the lower-class homes, there are no windows but instead small outside ventilation pipes.
The kitchen furniture consists of two chairs, a large wooden table and several smaller ones which are used to chop food, roll dough and place dry dishes on. In addition to the coal-burning stove, there is also a wood-burning fireplace which is used occasionally in preparing for large dinner parties. A dumbwaiter which is used to transport the food from the kitchen to the dining room is located on the back wall.
The groceries, pots and pans are stored here in the kitchen, while the china is kept in the dining room. The well-stocked kitchen includes the following items:
|1||Tea Kettle||1||Toasting-fork||1||Bread Grater|
|1||Brass Candlesticks||1||Teapot and Tray||1||Bottle Jack|
|6||Spoons, Forks, Knives||2||Candlesticks||1||Candle Box|
|6||Cinder-shifter||2||Sets of Skewers||1||Meat Chopper|
|3||Large boiling pot||5||Iron Saucepans||1||Steamer|
|1||Dustpan||4||Iron Stew pans||1||Drip pan and Stand|
|1||Flour Box||1||Fish and Egg Slicer||2||Fish Kettles|
|1||Gridiron||3||Flat Irons||2||Frying Pans|
|1||Pepper Box||1||Mustard Pot||1||Salt-cellar|
|1||Plate-basket||1||Pair of Bellows||3||Jelly Moulds|
|1||Wood meat screen||1||Cheese toaster||1||Coal Shovel|
Pies are kept in a small cabinet called a "pie safe". It stands next to an oak icebox, which is much smaller than your refrigerator. It is so small, in fact, that it must be stocked daily.
Ask Mrs. Dobbs and she'll tell you that the coal-burning stove requires constant attention. It must be cleaned and scraped daily. In addition to using it for cooking, boiling and toasting, the stove also provides heat and hot water for the servants' baths.
At the back of the kitchen area there is a small room called a scullery. You'll learn more about this part of the house in another section. It is here where we have a large metal sink used for washing pots and pans as well as cleaning/washing messy foods. There is a wooden washtub which is used to wash the china, glasses and silverware. You will also find a metal washtub, washboard, iron and ironing board and a small cabinet where other household cleaning supplies are stored.
There is a running water hookup to the large metal sink. Water usage for a family our size approximates 22 gallons a week at a cost of approximately £5 annually.
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