Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Saltram Below Stairs

Ever since I wrote Lady of Shame, part of the Castonbury Park Series, a Regency upstairs downstairs, or Downton Abbey, I have loved visiting the kitchen areas. Not the least because my hero in that story was a French Chef. I had to smile at one of the reviews which was quite positive about the idea of a Regency hero with a real job.

I digress.
Here we are exploring what at Saltram is called the Wet Larder. Not because of the sinks, called salt tanks, but because this is where wet work is done.(Not the kind you see in the mob movies, but it was used  for raw meats. And nothing else.

Joints of meat to produced bacon, ham and joints of beef to make salt beef for boiling would have been brought here. If they were to be wet salted they would have been immersed in water, salt, saltpeter and coarse sugar. The same ingredient were used as a dry rub. Some meats, salt beef for example, was kept in the tanks or in the wooden barrel, other meats like ham or bacon were hung in the cool and the dry.


The ready the meats were stored in earthenware dished on the non absorbent slate table tops you can see in this picture. As you can see the window looks out on the courtyard we saw earlier



The scales were used to check that what was ordered had actually been delivered.

No space is wasted, this is a store cupboard under the stairs leading up to the bedrooms at the back of the house.

More on the Kitchens to come later, until then, Happy Rambles