Saturday, May 20, 2023

Steam kitchen in "Hannah Glasse"

Ofcourse not in the original Glasse (1708-1770) cookbook, but years after her death, her name was used for an 1843 book, which was copied by M.A. Reynolds in her/his 1850 book The Complete Art of Cookery. The small book (a little over three by five inches, 256 pages) has delightful sketches.

Steam Kitchen
Years ago I bought the Reynolds book for the steam kitchen image. It was one of the images not used in my "Early Steam Kitchens" article in Petit Propos Culinairs so I will explain it now. A fire behind the grate heated the water in the boiler on the right side of the range. A pipe coming out the top of the boiler carried the steam to the two pots - the "steam kitchen" - on the right. Then it probably was piped out the bottom which could then be used as a warming oven. Metal (probably) doors for the warming oven. (The arrow tool in photoshop to point out the parts, is not working so I've included just the boiler and steam kitchen part of the range image.)

In the following example, the steam condensed into hot water could be taken out with the spigot or returned to the boiler to reheat into steam.
My past writings on steam kitchens
“Early Steam Kitchens” in Petit Propos Culinaires PPC101. London: 2014 p15-33
Steam kitchens blog posts HERE

"M. A. Reynolds" copied "Hannah Glasse"
The Art of Cookery was Glasse's original book in 1747. Over the years it went through a series of publishers, format, contents and pictures. Hannah Glasse was listed as the author of The Complete Art of Cookery in 1843 (1845 ed, photo from: It included the same frontispiece and image of a range with steam kitchen which M.A. Reynolds would use. Reynolds copied some if not all (I haven't checked page by page) of the "Glasse" work of 1843.
So who was M. A. Reynolds? If anyone knows... let me know! It was probably just a pseudonym. To add to the copied/pirated confusion... in 1848, M. E. Reynolds was listed as author of The Complete Art of Cookery, published in London and Dublin.

Reynolds, M. A. The Complete Art of Cookery. London: Newman & Co. 1850. "Domestic Cookery" is on the cover's spine.
Glasse, Hannah. The Complete Art of Cookery. London: J. S. Pratt, 1843.

You may detect a theme - last week a book with amazing salt mine images (HERE) and upcoming books by Francatelli, Lea and others which will focus on an interesting or overlooked aspect on each book, as I get rid of my books.

Dried herbs shown in frontispiece. "MINT" written on second from right. Click to enlarge.
"From the spars of the [bacon] rack, hung at one end, ropes of onions, and at the other a row of paper bags, containing dried herbs, each neatly written upon, 'Mint,' 'Balm,' 'Sage,' 'Camomile,' 'Senna', 'Hyssop,' 'Marigolds,' &c."
Christian Gleaner and Domestic Magazine. London: 1825

"Having well dried them [herbs], put them up in brown paper, sewing the paper up like a sack, and press them not too hard together, and keep them in a dry place near the fire."
Culpeper, Nicholas. The English Physician. London: 1809

More at Bacon racks post HERE and Drying herbs and paper packets blog post HERE



©2023 Patricia Bixler Reber
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