Shannon here: Donna Schlachter shares her research for her latest Romantic Mystery, Cooking Up Trouble. Comment or answer the question in this post to enter the drawing for an e-book copy. Deadline: Sept 16th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Donna:
Cooking up Trouble – in the Kitchen by Donna Schlachter
In the process of writing my upcoming release, Cooking Up Trouble: The Recipe Box series 1834, I researched about kitchen utensils through history, and specifically items used for baking and cooking around 1834.
Honestly, when I thought of kitchen utensils, I envisioned iron frying pans, wooden spoons, spatulas to flip eggs and flapjacks, and ladles for spooning soups, stews, and gravies.
Did you know that waffle irons were the in thing by 1834? Not me. I thought that was a relatively recent thing.
And, the potato peeler—which I rarely use anymore—was considered a time-saver worth its weight in—well, in potatoes.
Having grown up in Canada, I already knew the importance of a knife and fork when eating, but I had no idea that even owning a fork was once considered blasphemy. Scandalous. Heretic, even. In the 11th century, local clergy contended the Good Lord gave us perfectly useful eating appendages called fingers, and that to use a fork was the same as questing the Almighty’s design. And King Charles V of France in the 12th century possessed forks, but they stayed in the vaults unless he was eating food that stained the fingers. Maybe he used one for blueberries.
In the 16th century, Catherine de Médicis of Italy introduced spoons among the French nobility, and eventually Europe.
Forks were introduced in Europe as a miniature version of the cooking fork, which had two tines. However, under common usage, a four-tined version came out, making it easier to eat with than the two-tined model.
Particularly in the 1800s, we see a dramatic expansion in the number of kitchen utensils, which is when the potato peeler appeared. During this time we also see jelly molds and salad spinners. Wait, salad spinners? Again, I thought those came a hundred years later when Rubbermaid popularized them.
While originally copper was used for many pots, pans, and utensils, its soft characteristics made them bend or break easily, so tinsmiths and metal workers soon devised implements made of tinned or enameled iron, and eventually steel; nickel, silver, tin and aluminum.
In Cooking Up Trouble, the hero and heroine enter the same baking contest for different reasons. The competition pits them against each other, but in the process, they discover what is more important than winning.
Question for Readers: What’s your favorite old-style kitchen implement?
I’ll go first. We just bought a tomato slicer, the kind with a number of sharp blades that perfectly slices a tomato. We stayed with a friend, and she had one, so when I saw one like it soon after at a thrift store, now I knew what it did!
A hybrid author, Donna writes squeaky clean historical and contemporary suspense. She has been published more than 60 times in books; is a member of several writers groups; facilitates a critique group; teaches writing classes; ghostwrites; edits; and judges in writing contests. She loves history and research, traveling extensively for both, and is an avid oil painter.
Donna is taking all the information she’s learned along the way about the writing and publishing process, and is coaching writers at any stage of their manuscript. Learn more:
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About the book – Cooking Up Trouble:
An unsuitable match to satisfy a debt. Can Holly find another solution?
An unsuitable calling–a man in the kitchen. Practically unheard of. Can Adam find the strength to step into his purpose in life?
Or will they both resist God and make their own way?
Can’t wait for the drawing! Worried you won’t win!
Interested in the rest of the series or Donna’s other books? Get your copy/copies now!
Come back Sept 8th for Ellen E. Withers!