Photos: Cooking with wood

You can cook anything on a wood-burning stove that you can make on a modern one, history interpreters told those participating in a cooking class at the West Baton Rouge Parish Museum. But not easily.

During the morning class on April 8, Linda Collins, the museum’s education program associate, and Gayle B. Smith, who describes herself as an historic foodways enthusiast, demonstrated how to prepare a Great Depression-era lunch of white bean soup, vegetable soup, rabbit stew and rice, turnip greens, cornbread, biscuits and bread pudding.

Dressed in period clothes, they focused on food sources and cooking methods of the 1930s because that’s when the museum’s Reed House, used by tenant farmers, was built and that’s where its Depression-era, porcelain-enameled, wood-burning stove is set up.

Smith, an experienced open-hearth cook, admitted she is a “novice at cooking on a wood-burning stove” as she struggled to keep the six-burner stove’s oven hot enough to bake cornbread.

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