Station: [12] The Kitchen – the most Important Room in the House

The kitchen is the heart of the farmhouse. It’s not just where meals are prepared, it’s also where water is heated for the laundry, where jam is made, fruit is bottled and food preserved in other ways.

Butter is churned, bread dough set to rise, meat salted and smoked. Cabbage and beans are pickled along with eggs.

To protect them from mice, bread and sausages are hung up in the kitchen, the cellar, or even from the roof beams.

There are no fridges, and in winter, there’s no fresh food. This was a time without electricity or running water – so stockpiling was crucial if people were to survive.

The kitchen was the warmest room –usually the only room that was heated, while any warmth in the parlour came from the flue, and the bedchambers weren’t heated at all.

Any farmhouse kitchen contained all kinds of tools and utensils required for food preparation: a butter churn, a chopping block to cut up meat, a waffle iron, baking tins and biscuit cutters, cider jugs and a lard pot, earthenware bowls and wicker baskets. There was also included the kneading trough and the round proving baskets in which the bread dough was taken to the town bake house to be baked.

All depictions: © Stadt- und Fachwerkmuseum Eppingen