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#117178 - 12/06/03 09:46 PM The Happy Cooker  
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Why do you suppose folks in the Mother Country call the device in one's kitchen in or on which one heats food a "cooker" when the folks in the Colonies call the same appliance either a "range" or a "stove"?



#117179 - 12/06/03 09:49 PM Re: The Happy Cooker  
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Whenever I hear "cooker" I think "Aga", which, up here, is very much the preserve of those unspeakables fond of pursuing the inedible.


#117180 - 12/06/03 10:15 PM Re: The Happy Cooker  
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#117181 - 12/06/03 10:16 PM Re: The Happy Cooker  
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Why do you suppose folks in the Mother Country call the device in one's kitchen in or on which one heats food a "cooker"?

Surely not because it cooks.


#117182 - 12/06/03 10:19 PM Re: The Happy Cooker  
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Dear Father Steve: Apparently there was an uncommon word for a device to facilitate cooking in a hearth or fireplace:

4. A kitchen grate. [Obs.]

He was bid at his first coming to take off the
range, and let down the cinders. --L'Estrange.

Surprising that from being an uncommon word, it became common.

As for stove to cook on, the early kitchen stoves were triple purpose. The heated the room, pots and pans could be heated on top of them, and they had an oven for baking bread and other things. Remember the story of Hansel and Gretel, when the witch tried to get Hansel to get in the oven.

Cooker suggests to me separate devices, Pressure cooker, a large pot with a top with gasket and clamps to create hermetic seal, and pressure guage to set and control steam pressure. Very hand at high altitudes.
I see no reason to find fault with the UK term, and it is used almost exclusively to cook food.


#117183 - 12/06/03 10:37 PM Re: The Happy Cooker  
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Padre: Why do you suppose folks in the Mother Country call the device in one's kitchen in or on which one heats food a "cooker"?

Faldage: Surely not because it cooks.

Padre: By this logic, it might as well have been called a boiler, or a heater, or a fryer, or perhaps a baker.





#117184 - 12/06/03 10:39 PM Re: The Happy Cooker  
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wwh: Cooker suggests to me separate devices ..

Padre: While living in Japan, we purchased a small electrical device which the Japanese called a rice cooker.




#117185 - 12/06/03 11:39 PM Re: The Happy Cooker  
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By this logic, it might as well have been called a boiler, or a heater, or a fryer, or perhaps a baker

Well, I suppose if it only did one of those things you might call it by that specific name, but if it did all of them, you might want a more generic term


#117186 - 12/07/03 01:31 AM rice and other cookers  
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rice cookers have been available in NYC for years, (my sister had one more than 10 years ago-but then, he husband is japanese, and rice cooking figured heavily in her style).
nowdays, rice cookers are almost common, many latino's as well as the large mixed asian population use them.

i think part of the reason we have stoves and ranges and ovens, is often, small houses in europe didn't-- the rich had kitchens, and rotisseries, but poor folk often just had a small fireplace to cook at. bread wasn't homecooked, it was bought from a bakery, (in the 13th century or so!) and on saturday evening, people brought cassaroles to the baker's oven, put in bean cassaroles, and let them cook on retained heat till sunday (the christian 'sabbath' when cooking, like all work was prohibbited.) This certain occured in france--

i am less certain of how the english dealt with 'sunday' dinner. the english were famous for roast of beef and other meat for ages and ages.. perhaps the same rotisseries existed even in small fireplaces--so people had fireplaces and tools to use in them, but not a seperate metal portable stove- and one 'fireplace tool' was a cooker.. as the fireplace got smaller, the cookers became 'free standing.. and keep the name.

but in early america's there were no 'bakery's' readily available-- and even as town became settled and bakeries grew up, the population continued to move into unsettled areas. the european settles to americas had to devise new ways of cooking--partly because they didn't have towns and bakeries, and partly because they didn't have the same access to foods. Wheat grows very well in part of pennsylvania, and in Iowa, and other central and northern western states, but it didn't do well in New England or NY..or in most of the coastal atlantic states... so americans had to eat other grains, and make other sorts of bread besides 'wheat bread'--and they had to create 'portable' free standing equiptment to heat houses and to cook on. --ie stoves and ranges and ovens. the earlies ovens where 'dutch ovens' large pots with lids-- you put the pot in the fireplace, and covered the lid with hot coals to get 'even'/allover cooking.
They used the same sort of 'stoves' that had been used on ships-- insulated metal fireboxes-- that had flat surfaces for cooking on. they moved them off ships and into the first crude houses (fireplaces and flues require some skill to construct, ships 'stoves' were cheaper.)

with wheat flour so expensive, corn remained a staple food (even while wheat remained more desirable) remnants of the old style of cooking exist in 'NE dinners', ie, baked bean, and 'brown bread'-which is corn meal, and molasses and steamed, not baked. the beans where cooked in a bean pot that could go into the back of fireplace (or be left on top of a stove)and the bread didn't need an oven either.

corn, does not contain glutten, so it doesn't bake up into 'bread' as it is know in europe. there are all sorts of other corn (maize) 'breads'- and other corn products that are common in various part of regional US, but as wheat production came into full swing with the introduction of 'winter wheat'- a variety of wheat that was first cultivated in russia, and other northern european countries, and introduced to US in early 1900's. until then wheat flour was expensive, and corn based breads were more common.

as corn lost ground to wheat for bread making, corn producers thought of other ways to sell corn. (corn whiskey was common by late 1700's!) corn flakes, corn syrup, corn flour(starch), (which is used as a commercial dehydrator) and corn based snack foods where all were developed.

americans eat more corn than ever, but very little of it looks like corn. brown bread still remains common in NE, and even in NY a combo of corn and wheat flour bread (anadama bread) is common, and hominy remains a southern staple (starting as far north as philadelphia, with scrapple, (pork sausage mixed with hominy) ) all over US, corn bread (a quick bread--made with baking soda, not yeast) is common, as are corn muffins.

and americans still cook on 'portable stoves' and 'range'(a portable stove to be found on the range).


#117187 - 12/08/03 03:59 PM Re: rice and other cookers  
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Cooker seems an obvious name for something that cooks. Range or stove seem less obvious and require some explanation (as above). But in the UK we might equally well call the item a cooker, stove or oven (range? I doubt that) and possibly preface that with gas or electric as appropriate; but certainly we would understand all the terms discussed here. Of course, things change and these days the oven and the hob are frequently separated with the addition of a separate microwave oven. Which is fine except that with that arrangement there no longer seems to be a good way of warming plates.

My grandmother learned to cook in Canada before WW1 and she often used 'range' and felt more at home with an Aga type of cooker rather than with gas or electricity. What she produced when she put her mind to it was very edible.


#117188 - 12/08/03 04:04 PM Re: rice and other cookers  
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Yes, I would agree with you, dxb, and add that manufacturers have recently been advertising "ranges" which appear to be arger than usual cookers, with six, rather than four, hobs and two ovens side-by-side instead of one over the other.


#117189 - 12/08/03 05:39 PM Re: rice and other cookers  
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Where I come from (be it ever so humble, except where rugby's concerned), any of the three would be equally as well understood. God, our backsides get sore from sitting on the transpondial fence sometimes!


#117190 - 12/09/03 01:28 AM Re: rice and other cookers  
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From Gurunet:
stove1 (stv)
n.

1. An apparatus in which electricity or a fuel is used to furnish heat, as for cooking or warmth.
1. A device that produces heat for specialized, especially industrial, purposes.
1. A kiln.
1. Chiefly British. A hothouse.
[Middle English, heated room, probably from Middle Low German or Middle Dutch, both probably from Vulgar Latin *extfa, from *extfre, to heat with steam. See stew.]

WORD HISTORY The word stove first referred not to a cooking or heating device but to a room for taking a hot-air or steam bath (first recorded in 1456). Around 1545 the word is recorded with reference to another room, such as a bedroom, heated with a furnace. The devices used to heat these rooms came to be called stoves as well, a use first found sometime between 1550 and 1625. Of course, heating devices that we would call stoves had long been in existence, going back to Roman times. However, the stove as the chief cooking device, taking the place of the fireplace, dates only to around the mid-19th century with the widespread use of wood-burning or coal-burning cooking stoves.


Here's something that maybe gives a VERY slight hint: (a) Stove Company, founded in 1912, manufactured cast iron, coal and wood stoves at its inception. Later the company marketed a combination coal and gas range. As gas became an important source of fuel, Premier developed a complete gas range line. A full array of electric ranges was engineered as electric cooking grew in popularity.





#117191 - 12/09/03 01:30 AM hobs?  
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The term "hob" is not used at all here in the Colonies, to my knowledge, but rather the term "burners."



#117192 - 12/09/03 11:07 PM Re: The Happy Cooker  
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"Get down off the cooker, Grandad. You're too old to ride the range."
-- Amazing what nonsense sticks in one's head.


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