Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Servants' stories

In the second instalment of our ‘Servants’ stories’ series, we hear from Dorothy Digby whose father Fred Baigent was a scullery man at Petworth House in the 1930s.

‘Dad would peel all the staff potatoes and carrots. Another job of his was to make ice cream using a big wooden bucket with a handle. The chef would prepare the mixture, put it into a cylinder in the centre of the bucket and cram ice and saltpetre round it. He would then let it stand for three hours, turning the handle occasionally. After the ice cream had been made it would be covered with a stiff meringue… then Dad would bring in the salamander, a long iron pole with a metal square set diagonally on its head. He’d get the metal square hot in the fire and hold it over the meringue. It was desperately hot work for him but the result was –Baked Alaska!’

Making the ice cream would have looked something like this...
 ...ice cream being made in the Historic Kitchens last year as part of our monthly ‘What’s Cooking?’ event.  

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