Mary of Plymouth - James Otis

A New Oven

Perhaps I have not told you how we happen to have an oven, when there is only the big fireplace in which to cook our food. Mistress White and Mistress Tilley each brought from Leyden, in Holland, what some people call "roasting kitchens," and you can think of nothing more convenient. The oven or kitchen is made of thin iron like unto a box, the front of which is open, and the back rounded as is a log. It is near to a yard long, and stands so high as to take all the heat from the fire which would otherwise be thrown out into the room.

In this oven we put our bread, pumpkins, or meat set it in front of, and close against, a roaring fire. The back, or rounded part is then heaped high with hot ashes or live embers, and that which is inside must of a necessity be cooked. At the very top of the oven is a small door, which can be opened for the cook to look inside, and one may see just how the food is getting on, without disturbing the embers that have been heaped against the outer portion.

[Illustration] from Mary of Plymouth by James Otis

We often borrow of Mistress Tilley her oven, and father has promised to send by the first ship that comes to this harbor, for one that shall be our very own. When it arrives, I am certain mother will be very glad, for there is no kitchen article which can save so much labor for the housewife.


Front Matter

Why This Story was Written
The Leaking Speedwell
Searching for a Home
After the Storm
Wash Day
Finding the Corn
Attacked by the Savages
Building Houses
Miles Standish
The Sick People
The New Home
Master White and the Wolf
Inside of the House
A Chimney Without Bricks
Building the Fire
Master Bradford's Chimney
Scarcity of Food
A Timely Gift
The First Savage Visitor
Squanto's Story
Living in the Wilderness
The Friendly Indians
Grinding the Corn
A Visit From Massasoit
Massasoit's Promise
Massasoit's Visit Returned
The Big House Burned
The Mayflower Leaves Port
Setting the Table
What and How we Eat
Table Rules
A Pilgrim Goes Abroad
Making a Dugout
Governor Carver's Death
Bradford Chosen Governor
Farming in Plymouth
Cooking Indian Corn
The Wedding
Making Maple Syrup
Decorating the House
Trapping Wolves and Pigeons
Elder Brewster
The Visit to Massasoit
Keeping the Sabbath Holy
Making Clapboards
Cooking Pumpkins
A New Oven
Making Spoons and Dishes
The Fort and Meeting-House
The Harvest Festival
How to Play Stoolball
On Christmas Day
When the Fortune Arrived
Possibility of Another Famine
On Short Allowance
A Threatening Message
Pine Knots and Candles
Tallow From Bushes
Wicks for the Candle
Dipping the Candles
When James Runs Away
Evil-Minded Indians
Long Hours of Preaching
John Alden's Tubs
English Visitors
Visiting the Neighbors
Why More Fish are not Taken
How Wampum is Made
Ministering to Massasoit
The Plot Thwarted
The Captain's Indian
Ballots of Corn
Arrival of the Ann
Little James Comes to Port
The New Meeting-House
The Church Service
The Tithingmen
Master Winslow Brings Cows
A Real Oven
Butter and Cheese
Settlement at Wessagussett
The Village at Merrymount
The First School
Too Much Smoke
Schools Comforts
How Children Were Punished
New Villages
Making Ready for a Journey
Clothing for Salem
Food for the Journey
Before Sailing for Salem
Beginning the Journey
The Arrival at Salem
Sight-Seeking in Salem
Back to Plymouth