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article number 404
article date 12-16-2014
copyright 2014 by Author else SaltOfAmerica
Your Kitchen Furnishings and Usage Advice, 1881
by Maria Parloa, Principle, School of Cooking, Boston

From the 1881 book, Miss Parloa’s New Cook Book and Marketing Guide.

Stove, or Range?

The question often arises, even with old housekeepers, Which shall it be—a stove or a range? There are strong points in favor of each.

For a small kitchen the range may be commended, because it occupies the least space, and does not heat a room as intensely as a stove, although it will heat water enough for kitchen and bath-room purposes for a large family. That the range is popular is evident from the fact that nearly every modern house is supplied with one; and thus the cost of, and cartage for, stoves is generally saved to tenants in these days.

There are these advantage of a stove over a set range:
- it requires less than half as much fuel and is more easily managed—that is, the fire can be more quickly started, and if it gets too low, more easily replenished and put in working order;
- and the ovens can be more quickly heated or cooled.

But, although you can have a water-back and boiler with most modern stoves or, as they are now called, portable ranges, the supply of hot water will not be large. And you cannot roast before the fire as with a range.

So near perfection have the makers of ranges and stoves come that it would be difficult to speak of possible improvments. especially in stoves. This can be said not of a few, but of a great many manufacturers, each having his special merit. And where the products are so generally good, it is hard to mention one make in preference to another.

When purchasing, it is well to remember, that one of simple construction is the most easily managed and does not soon get out of order. No single piece of furniture contributes so much to the comfort of a family as the range or stove, which should, therefore, be the best of its kind.

Gas and Oil Stoves.

During the hot weather a gas or oil stove is a great comfort. The “Sun Dial,” manufactured by the Goodwin Gas Stove Co., Philadelphia, is a “perfect gem,” roasting, baking, broiling, etc., as well as a coal stove or range. Indeed, meats roasted or broiled by it are jucier than when cooked over or before coals.

The peculiar advantage of oil and gas stoves is that they can be coveniently used for a short time, say for the preparation of a meal, at a trifling expense.

The cost of running a gas stove throughout the day is, however, much greater than that of a coal stove, while an oil stove can be run cheaper than either.

There are a great many manufacturers of oil stoves, and as a natural consequence, where there is so much competition, the stoves are nearly all good.

One would not think of doing the cooking for a large family with one or, indeed, two of them; but the amount of work that can be accomplished with a single stove is remarkable. They are a great comfort in hot weather, many small families doing their entire cooking with them.

Majestic Range No. 37 for soft coal or wood. If for hard coal or wood, use No. 37HC.


The trouble with most refrigerators is that the food kept in them is apt to have a peculiar taste. This is owing in a great measure to the wood used in the construction of the interior and for the shelves.

On the inside of the Eddy chest-shaped refrigerator there is not a particle of wood, and the food kept in it is always sweet. It is simply a chest, where the ice is placed on the bottom and slate shelves put on top. With this style of refrigerator the waste of ice is much greater than in those built with a separate compartment for ice, but the food is more healthful.


All the tin ware should be made from xx tin. It will then keep its shape, and wear three times as long as if made of thin stuff.

Scouring with sand soon ruins tin, the coarse sand scratching it and causing it to rust. Sapolio, a soap which comes for cleaning tins, wood-work and paint, will be found of great value in the kitchen.

Granite ware, as now made, is perfectly safe to use. It will not become discolored by any kind of cooking, and is so perfectly smooth that articles of food will not stick and burn in it as quickly as in the porcelain-lined pans. Nearly every utensil used in the kitchen is now made in granite ware.

The mixing spoons are, however, not desirable, as the coating of granite peels off when the spoon is bent.

Have no more heavy cast-iron articles than are really needed, for they are not easily handled, and are, therefore, less likely to be kept as clean, inside and out, as the lighter and smoother ware.

If there be much fancy cooking, there must be an ice cream freezer, jelly and charlotte russe moulds and many little pans and cutters. The right way is, of course, to get the essential articles first, and then, from time to time, to add those used in fancy cooking.

EDITORS NOTE: The chapter now gives a long list of utensils which you must have. This list is moved to the end of this article. Instead we will move on to descriptions of important utensils.

* * *

The Scotch Kettle is quite cheap, and will be found of great value for every kind of frying, as it is so deep that enough fat can put into it to immerse the article to be cooked.

Scotch Kettle.

The French polished frying-pans are particularly nice, because they can be used for any kind of frying and for cooking sauces and omelets. The small size, No. 1, is just right for an omelet made with two eggs.

French Frying-Pan.

When possible, a tin kitchen should be used, as meat cooked before a bright fire has a flavor much nicer than when baked in an oven.

Tin Kitchen.

The bird roaster will be found valuable.

Bird Roaster.

An ice cream freezer is a great luxury in a family, and will soon do away with that unhealthy dish—pie. No matter how small the family, nothing less than a gallon freezer should be bought, because you can make a small quantity of the cream in this size, and when you have friends in, there is no occasion to send to the confectioner’s for what can be prepared as well at home.

With the freezer should be purchased a mallet and canvas bag for pounding the ice fine, as much time and ice can be saved.

Ice Cream Freezer.

A bain-marie is a great convenience for keeping the various dishes hot when serving large dinners. It is simply a large tin pan, which is partially filled with boiling water and placed where this will keep at a high temperature, but will not boil. The sauce-pans containing the cooked food are placed in the water until the time for serving.

Bain-Marie Pan.

The large knives for the kitchen, as well as those belonging in the dining-room, should be kept very sharp. If used about the fire they are soon spoiled.

Carving Knife and Fork.

The French cook’s knife is particularly good for carving, cutting bread, etc. It is rather expensive, but it pays to get one, if only proper care be taken of it.

French Cook’s Knife.

The butcher’s knife should be used for all heavy work. One should never try to break a bone with a knife. That this is often attempted in both kitchen and dining room, the nicked edges of the knives give proof, and show the greater hardness of the bones.

Where much boning is done, a small boning knife, costing about seventy-five cents, will be found necessary. It should be used only for this purpose.

Boning Knife.

The French vegetable scoop, costing about seventy-five cents, will cut potatoes and other vegetables in balls for frying or boiling. The largest size is the best.

French Vegetable Scoop.

The garnishing knife flutes vegetables, adding much to their appearance when they are used as a garnish.

Garnishing Knife.
Knife Box.

The long French roll pan, made from Russian iron, is nice for baking long loaves or rolls where a great deal of crust is liked.

Long French Roll Pan.

There are muffin pans of tin, Russian iron and granite ware. Those of iron should be chosen last, on account of their weight. It is a good thing to have pans of a number of different shapes, as a variety for the eye is a matter of importance.

Short French Roll Pan—Made of Russian Iron.

The muffin rings of former years have done their duty, and should be allowed to rest, the convenient cups, which come in
sheets, more than filling their place.

Muffin Pans.

The frying basket should have fine meshes, as delicate articles, like croquettes, need more support than a coarsely woven basket gives.

Frying Basket.

Where roasting is done in the oven there must be a rack to keep the meat from coming in contact with the water in the bottom of the pan.

Meat Rack.

One medium-sized larding needle will answer for all kinds of meat that are to be larded.

Larding and Trussing Needles.

A potato slicer will be found useful for slicing potatoes for frying, or cabbage for slaw. It cuts vegetables in very thin pieces.

Potato Slicer.

The steamers which fit into the cast-iron pot or the tea-kettle are quite convenient. Both kinds will not, of course, be required.

Steamer for Pot.
Steamer for Tea-Kettle.

The quart measure for milk is the best for common measuring. Being divided into half pints, the one vessel answers for all quantities. A kitchen should be furnished with two measures, one for dry material and the other for liquids.

Quart Measure.
Bread Grater.

In the preparation of desserts the whip churn is essential. It is a tin cylinder, perforated on the bottom and sides, in which a dasher of tin, also perforated, can be easily moved up and down. When this churn is placed in a bowl of cream and the dasher is worked, air is forced through the cream, causing it to froth.

Whip Churn.

The double boiler is invaluable in the kitchen. It is a good plan to have two of them where a great deal of cooking is done. The lower part of the boiler is half filled with boiling water, and the inside kettle is placed in this.

By this means, food is cooked without danger of burning, and more rapidly than if the kettle were placed directly on the stove, exposed to the cold air, because the boiling water in the outside kettle reaches not only the bottom, but also the sides of that in which the food is.

Double Boiler.

When broiling is done before the fire it is necessary to have a back for the double broiler, for the tin reflects the heat, and the food is cooked much sooner.

Double Broiler, with Back.
Double Broiler.

The colander is used for draining vegetables, straining soups, etc., and with the squash and gravy strainers, it is all that is required in the way of strainers.

Squash Strainer.

Under the “Drinks” chapter will be found a description of the French coffee biggin.

Coffee Biggin.
Coffee Pot.

There should be two brown-bread tins, each holding three pints. They answer also for steaming puddings.

Brown-Bread Tin.

The melon and round pudding moulds are nice for frozen or steamed puddings.

Melon Mould.
Round Pudding Mould.

The stew-pans that are porcelain-lined are better than the tin-lined, because the tin is liable to melt when frying is done, as, for instance, when meat and vegetables are fried for a stew. Granite ware stew-pans are made in the same shapes as the porcelain-lined.


The tin sauce-pans are nice for sauces and gravies. The porcelain-lined come in the same shapes.

Copper is a better conductor of heat than either tin or iron, but when it is not kept perfectly clean, oxide of copper, which is very poisonous collects on it, and is dissolved by oils and fats. Then when fruit, pickles, or any food containing an acid is allowed to cool in the vessels, verdigris is produced; and this is a deadly poison.

Heavy Tin Sauce-Pan.

The stamped tin-ware is made from a better quality of metal than the soldered; therefore, it comes higher, but it is in the end cheaper, and it is always safer. Bread, milk and dish pans should be made of stamped tin.

Bread or Dish Pan.
Shallow Milk Pan.
Bread Pan.

The pans for roasting meat should be made of Russian iron.

Dripping Pan.

The spoons for basting and mixing, and also the ladle, should be strong and well tinned.

Basting Spoon.
Dredging Box.

The plain wooden lemon squeezer is the most easily kept clean, and is, therefore, the best. That made of iron, with a porcelain cup, is stronger, but it needs more care.

Lemon Squeezer.

The Dover egg beater is the best in the market. It will do in five minutes the work that in former years required half an hour. There are three sizes. The smallest is too delicate for a large number of eggs. The second size, selling for $1.25, is the best for family use.

Dover Egg Beater.

An apple parer saves a great deal of time and fruit, and is not very expensive.

Apple Parer.

Wooden buckets and boxes come in nests, or, they can be bought separately. A good supply of them goes a great way toward keeping a store-room or closet in order.

Wooden Buckets.
Wooden Boxes.

The Japanned ware is best for canisters for tea and coffee and for spice and cake boxes. Cake boxes are made square and round. The square boxes have shelves. The most convenient form is the upright, it is higher-priced than the other makes.

Cake Box.
Tea caddy.

The spice box is a large box filled with smaller ones for each kind of ground spice. It is very convenient, and, besides, preserves the strength of the contents.

Spice Box.

There are so many beautiful moulds for fancy dishes that there is no longer any excuse for turning out jellies, blancmange, etc., in the form of animals.

There are two modes of making moulds. By one the tin is pressed or stamped into shape, and by the other it is cut in pieces and soldered together. Moulds made by the first method are quite cheap, but not particularly handsome. Those made in the second way come in a great variety of pretty forms, but as all are imported, they are expensive.

Oblong Jelly Mould.
Pointed Jelly Mould.
Rice Mould.

The crown moulds are especially good for Bavarian creams, with which is served whipped cream, heaped in the centre.

Crown Moulds.

The French pie mould comes in a number of sizes, and can be opened to remove the pie.

French Pie Mould.

Deep tin squash-pie plates, answer for custard, cream, Washington and squash pies, and for corn cake.

Tin vegetable cutters, for cutting raw vegetables for soups, and the cooked ones for garnishing, are nice to have . . .

Vegetable Cutter.

. . .as is also a confectioner’s ornamenting tube for decorating cake, etc. Larger tubes come for lady fingers and éclairs.

Confectioner’s Tube.

Little pans also come for lady— fingers, but they cost a great deal.

Lady-Fingers Pan.

The jagging iron will be found useful for pastry and hard gingerbread.

Jagging Iron.

The little tin, granite ware and silver-plated escaloped shells are pretty and convenient for serving escaloped oysters, lobster, etc. The price for the tin style is two dollars per dozen, for the granite ware, four dollars, and for the silver-plated, from thirty to forty dollars.

Escaloped Shell.

EDITORS NOTE: Now we show the list of “must have” utensils moved from an earlier section of this article.

. . . The following is a list of utensils with which a kitchen should be furnished. But the housekeeper will find that there is continually something new to be bought.

- Two Cast-iron pots, size depending upon range or Stove (they come with the Stove).
- One griddle.
- One porcelain-lined preserving kettle.
- One fish kettle.
- Three porcelain-lined stew-pans, holding from one to six quarts.
- One No. 4 deep Scotch frying kettle.
- One waffle iron.
- Three French polished frying-pans, Nos. 1, 3 and 6.
- Four stamped tin or granite ware stew-pans, holding from one pint to four quarts.
- One double boiler, holding three quarts.
- One Dover egg-beater.
- One common wire beater.
- One meat rack.
- One dish pan.
- Two bread pans, holding six and eight quarts respectively.
- Two milk pans.
- Two Russian-iron baking pans—two sizes.
- Four tin shallow baking pans.
- Four deep pans for loaves.
- Two quart measures.
- One deep, round pan of granite-ware, with cover, for braising.
- One deep Russian-iron French roll pan.
- Two stamped tin muffin pans.
- One tea-pot.
- One coffee-pot.
- One coffee biggin.
- One chocolate pot.
- One colander.
- One squash strainer.
- One gravy strainer.
- One strainer that will fit on to one of the cast-iron pots.
- One frying-basket.
- One melon mould.
- Two brown-bread tins.
- One round pudding mould.
- Two vegetable cutters.
- One tea canister.
- One coffee canister.
- One cake box.
- One spice box.
- One dredger for flour.
- One for powdered sugar.
- One smaller dredger for salt.
- One, still smaller, for pepper.
- One boning knife.
- One French cook s knife.
- One butchers knife.
- One large fork.
- Two case-knives and forks.
- Two vegetable knives.
- Four large mixing spoons.
- Two table-spoons.
- Six teaspoons.
- One larding needle.
- One trussing needle.
- One set of steel skewers.
- One wire dish cloth.
- One whip churn,
- One biscuit cutter.
- One hand basin.
- One jagging iron.
- Three double broilers—one each for toast, fish and meat.
- One long-handled dipper.
- One large grater.
- One apple corer.
- One flour scoop.
- One sugar scoop.
- One lemon squeezer.
- Chopping tray and knife.
- Small wooden bowl to use in chopping.
- Moulding board of good hard wood.
- Board for cutting bread on.
- One for cutting cold meats on.
- Thick board, or block, on which to break bones, open lobsters, etc.
- A rolling pin.
- Wooden buckets for sugar, Graham, Indian and rye meal.
- Wooden boxes for rice, tapioca, crackers, barley, soda, cream of tartar, etc.
- Covers for flour barrels.
- Wire flour sieve—not too large.
- A pail for cleaning purposes.
- One vegetable masher.
- Stone pot for bread, holding ten quarts.
- One for butter, holding six quarts.
- One for pork, holding three quarts.
- One dust pan and brush.
- One scrubbing brush.
- One broom.
- One blacking brush.
- Four yellow earthen bowls, holding from six quarts down.
- Four white, smooth-bottomed bowls, holding one quart each.
- Six cups, holding half a pint each.
- One bean pot.
- One earthen pudding dish.

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