Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Keep the fires burning

This is a real throwback - mainly because I haven't seen such a thing in Madras even when I was a child. LPG has become so ubiquitous that it is difficult to remember what it was like in the days before it was so easily available. Memory goes back to several kinds of stoves that used kerosene as fuel; it was fun to muck around with cleaning the wicks, draining out the dregs of kerosene and getting the stove ready for another day's cooking. Many of them were like the ones shown on this site; they were refined, keeping safety and efficiency in mind, to look something like the ones here.

Still, all those memories are of kerosene stoves only; wood stoves and Madras do not appear together and it was with a snooty look that we kids would look at the wood stoves in the kitchens when we went back to our villages for the holidays. City kids, not knowing that wood-fired stoves would one day become something that was accessible only to very few, that wood-fired cuisine was more haute than not.

Here's this kitchen in a house - no, a 'pile', as Wodehouse might say - where wood is a must to cook the day's meal. Scant consolation that there is an LPG stove; the cook told us that it was used to get something ready for sight-seers like us!


workhard said...

Is interesting you mentioned that because even after lpg gas cylinders, and delay in delivery, sometimes we end up cooking on the kerosene stove

BPO work from home

Shantaram said...

@ Workhard: Yes, we did... though we don't have such stoves even as a stand-by option these days...