Mary of Plymouth - James Otis

A Real Oven

Father brought in the vessel as many bricks as would serve to make an oven by the side of our fireplace, and thus it was that we were the first family in Plymouth who could bake bread or roast meats, as do people in England.

This oven is built on one side of the fireplace, with a hole near the top, for the smoke to go through. It has a door of real iron, with an ash pit below; so that we may save the ashes for soap-making without storing them in another place.

[Illustration] from Mary of Plymouth by James Otis

At first the oven was kept busily at work for the benefit of our neighbors, being heated each day, but for our own needs it is used once a week. Inside; a great fire of dried wood is kindled and kept burning from morning until noon, when it has thoroughly heated the bricks. Then the coals and ashes are swept out; the chimney draught is closed, and the oven filled with whatsoever we have to cook. A portion of our bread is baked in the two pans which mother owns; but the rest of it we lay on green leaves, and it is cooked quite as well, although one is forced to scrape a few cinders from the bottom of the loaf.


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