Cooking Over an Open Fire – Summer Edition – # 2

So, I am a few days late getting this post up, but classwork has been a bit hectic with the end of summer term coming up. Another post will be coming soon about video editing, one of the big new skills I am learning. However, to the second part of this blog post, the actual practice of cooking during the summer over an open fire. Just to remind everyone, wood, start fire with banked coals, get water on to heat. (Note: my experience is from research in a middle-class German immigrant town, which had enslaved workers in some, and later most, of the homes.)

So, now you have your fire going, you have gotten your water started heating, and it’s about 5:30 am. You’ve got a good start! Now its time to prepare the second largest meal of the day, breakfast. It is likely that the household has already gotten up and started working by now, because they also want to take advantage of the cooler morning hours. Breakfast in a German town would be around 7 to 8:30, depending on the family, but often a couple of hours of work would be done before eating (the English usually ate about 1 to 2 hours later than Germans for all meals of the day). I have even seen mentions of ‘second breakfast’ in records, which probably indicated getting some type of bread before starting work, especially those doing heavy labor, and then sitting down to a full meal once it was cooked (you thought Hobbits thought this up?). One thing to keep in mind about breakfast – if you wanted meat, it needed to be either quick cooking, or leftover from the day before. The thing to remember about meat before modern storage (meaning freezing or refrigeration) is that your choices for fresh meat are limited to the times you can slaughter and eat the meat before it spoils. That means there are big differences to what types of meat you are eating in summer, and how you need to cook it. Fresh pork is not available outside of the coldest months, and those are fairly short in NC. Between November and February at the latest would be the only time you ate fresh pork. Other than that, it was all cured (German families raised pigs on small lots and put up their own pork). Beef has a longer time it is available, up into May and early June, especially for young animals (veal). Mutton, common with English, is similar to beef. But the most common types of meat for summer are the smaller animals, fish, poultry, and eel being the most common I have seen. All of these can be killed and eaten fairly quickly, so spoilage is less of a problem. Other than that, you need to soak and cook cured meat for long times, so you are not cooking them for breakfast. So if a cured ham was boiled yesterday, you can cut slices for the breakfast meal, otherwise, it will be something that can be fried quickly, such as sausages. Eggs are quick to cook, and easily available during summer. Left over pies or puddings from cooking the day before, or on a baking day, were also commonly served at breakfast (these could be savory or sweet pies). Breakfast would be a hearty meal, similar to our idea of lunch today.

At the same time as getting breakfast ready, you have to get started on cooking dinner. This is the mid-day meal, and the biggest meal eaten. ‘Dinner’ is actually just the biggest meal of the day, but since most people have that at the end of the day now, we call that meal ‘dinner’. In the 18th century, the last meal of the day was ‘supper’, which was the smallest in terms of food consumed. Unless you were wealthy and had moved the main kitchen out of the household, no one wants the heat of a cooking fire to heat up the house, no matter who was doing the cooking. While it wasn’t uncommon for middle class households to have enslaved women cooking for them, there was still the issue of a hot chimney heating up the house, so most food was consumed before the hottest part of the day. Another thing to consider is how you want to serve the food – hot or ‘room temp’. Remember that ‘room temp’ in the 1700s is not 72 degrees, its whatever the house is at noon. So if you can fix some items early, then serve them at room temperature, you can get some pretty hearty meals without cooking up until the last minute. Something that was commonly served was savory egg pies, similar to a quiche, that could easily be prepared early, and then served at meal time at room temp. Most savory pies and puddings could be cooked early and served at room temp during the summer.

The best way to avoid the heat of the fire? Don’t cook the food. In summer, there are plenty of options for cold salads made with cucumbers, beans, and other garden produce that don’t require heat. Cooking a large ham can be done one day, then it can be used for several days after to create cold meals. A beehive bake oven (German style) contains the heat much better than an open hearth – when you have to bake bread, the best use of that heat is to bake other items that can be used over the next few days to supplement uncooked produce. All of these tricks allows a cook to limit the time in summer that the kitchen fire needs to be lit. But what about supper, you say? Well, that was the smallest meal of the day, especially in summer. You have worked all day in the heat. Most likely, you took a break at the hottest point of the day, and with sunlight lasting into the evening, you can work later when it gets a little cooler. A big, hot meal is the last thing you want to eat. Supper in summer might be bread and butter, or some fresh, green corn (field corn eaten before it matures was called ‘green’ when the shucks were still green; that is the only sweet corn that was available, and it was only eaten in late July to the first week or so of August). And that was all you had. The only people who ate big meals in the evening were the very wealthy who had separate kitchens, had not done heavy physical work during the day, and had enslaved women and men doing the cooking for them. Without all of those elements, supper was a small meal, and might not even be eaten at all in the hottest weeks of the year (a slice of bread and some beer would be enough for many).

So if you ever wondered how people dealt with cooking before the gas or electric stove and modern air conditioning, wonder no more. They adjusted what they ate and how they cooked, and dealt with the heat just like we do – by staying as cool as possible!

Cooking Over An Open Fire – Summer Edition – #1

So, I have been intending to write about my experience cooking on an 18th century hearth with an open fire, and what better time to start that set of postings than during the beginning of the hot season in NC! To give a little background on my experience with hearth cooking, I am not a camper or a girl scout type of open fire cook. Personally, I like my gas stove, refrigerator, and running water when I am cooking for personal enjoyment. My open hearth experience is all due to my work in living history, where I got paid to work over an open hearth in July and August. It also means that I have cooked full, three course meals on a hearth, and served them to staff during working hours. This experience means that I am not going to talk about all the nifty camping equipment you can buy to cook with. Instead, I am going to give you an idea of how hearth cooking was done when it was the only option, and what middle class people did with average kitchens, not what the wealthy had available to them (I have never cooked in a kitchen like at Monticello, for instance). In this first post, I’ll give some of the starting points, and then next week I’ll continue with some specifics about summer cooking short-cuts.

The first thing to know about hearth cooking is that it is all about the wood. I have done a lot of research about supplying and purchasing for kitchens, as well as cooking techniques, and let me tell you, all wood is not the same. In the 18th century, small town stores would re-sell fire wood that they bought from wood-cutters and others who sold it. The only types of wood I have seen accepted as payment in this way is hickory and oak (probably red oak, as white oak is better used for building purposes). Hickory brought the highest price, but oak was common. The reason for only these two types of wood is because of how hearth cooking is done. Big flames are not really the point, what you want are the coals. Flames are hard to control, they flare in and out, so cooking with flames isn’t really very efficient. Coals on the other hand radiate heat evenly, you can put them right where you want the heat, and you can ‘turn up’ the heat by putting more coals, or ‘turn down’ the heat by removing them. Hickory and oak, properly dried out, provide very good coals that radiate heat for longer than other types of wood. Properly dried out means that you can’t use green, or freshly cut, wood. Green wood takes high heat and a lot of attention to catch fire, and the extreme heat means that it burns to ash quickly – it doesn’t produce coals. (I have worked with wood so green it foamed when you used it – trust me, don’t use green wood if you expect to get any delicate cooking done without cursing, a lot!)

How much wood do you need? More than you would ever believe. A true cord of wood is 4 feet wide, by 4 feet tall, by 8 feet long (I say a true cord, because almost no one who sells you firewood today will ever quote a price for a true cord; most wood today is sold by the truckload, and it varies a lot, depending on the truck and how it is put into the truck). How many cords a family would need depends on a lot of factors, so there isn’t really an average. However, most estimate that around 30+ cords would be necessary for middle class households, and that is every year (a lot depends on where you are living, what type of heating is used, and house construction). That’s a lot of firewood! While that isn’t just for cooking, the kitchen would be the heaviest user of wood in a house, since cooking would take place year-round, while heating would just be seasonal. Summer cooking would definitely use less wood, but there would still be the need to have a fire everyday in the kitchen hearth, even if only for a few hours in small family homes.

Since I will continue this post next week, I want to begin with how a cook would start each day’s work. The next post will be more on how to cook quickly in summer, and what type of dishes would be most likely eaten in the hot season. As for getting started, the first thing to remember is – it’s hot in summer! I know, this seems obvious, but lets really look at what that means for a cook. With longer days, you really do want to get started as soon as possible with getting a fire going in summer. The main thing to consider is how fast can you get any work done over the fire, so that you can get it out and stop heating up the chimney. And no, most people did not have outside kitchens. That is another chimney and building to construct, and your average person would not bother with it. Instead, getting up by 4:30 in the morning, getting as much done by noon as possible, then get that fire out was the way to go. You might use an outside fire pit to heat water later in the day, but the main cooking would all be done by the noon meal. Another consideration – chimneys draw better when the air around the chimney is cooler. Really hot, humid days means that more smoke gets into the house, so the earlier you get that fire going, the better.

As for starting a fire, no matches, but also no flint and steel. Flint and steel looks good in the movies or written about in a book, but it is actually a pain to do, especially when it’s humid. The best option is to bank your fire carefully, which means to cover up the coals with ashes, and to do that before they burn out completely. That way, you just brush the ashes off, and have hot coals to start your fire the next day. (A big pile of coals properly banked will stay hot for several days.) And what is the first thing you put on the fire? Good question. The very first thing, after you make sure the fire has caught the wood, is to put a big pot of water on to heat. You’re going to need that for washing dishes, adding to cooking pots, all sorts of things. Generally, I want about 3-5 gallons of hot water available, depending on what kind of meal you are preparing (in summer, you might be fine with 3 gallons if you are doing less heavy cooking). And how do you get that water? Ah, the really fun part – go get it. Either from a well, or a creek or stream. I did sometimes have indoor water, but so did the 18th century town I was recreating. Most cooks would need to get water from some distance away, and carry it in wooden buckets. Two buckets full generally gets you 5 gallons at a time, and weigh about 50 pounds combined. You will usually need at least 10 gallons of water total, and I often got more over the course of cooking and washing dishes. (Don’t remind me about laundry days, then you’ll need between 40 and 50 gallons; yes, I have done laundry by hand!)

The next blog post will be about the actual cooking, but for this beginning, let’s look at a few things that the cook/housekeeper also would need to do that would involve a fire. Laundry was a 2-3 day job for most people. Two days if you don’t count the sorting, mending and soaking at the beginning. And those 2 days would need fire. The laundry itself would be boiled during the 18th century, and boiling a 30 gallon kettle of water takes several hours of a really hot fire. This was usually done outside, hopefully under shade if you’re lucky. Ironing was the second day, and for that task you have to set the irons in front of a hot fire to heat them. Depending on how much you need to iron, it can take anywhere from an hour to 2-3 hours. Since meals will also be needed those days, some planning needs to be done to make sure whatever is cooked can be done on the same fire if possible, or you have leftovers that don’t need heating (such as pre-baked dishes and fresh produce). The other big job that needs a fire is baking. If you’re English, a loaf or two every few days will need to be baked during regular cooking. Germans did batch baking, using one day to produce all the bread and many other baked goods needed for the week in a beehive oven (if you are smart, you plan laundry soon after baking). Both of these methods require additional fire and wood beyond what is needed for cooking. So next time you decide its just too hot this summer, think about having to work over a fire (and without air conditioning!).

Portable Soup

Recently, I made up a yearly batch of mushroom soup. I know that sounds a bit strange, but I am not a big fan of canned mushroom soup. I love mushrooms, but don’t think that is really what you get in those cans. A good mushroom soup is full of mushroom bits, and can be used for just about anything, from a regular soup on a cold day to the sauce for beef or chicken cooked in a crockpot. When I make mushroom soup, I buy about 4 pounds of various mushrooms (you can often find mushrooms for $1 or $2 off a pack in the grocery, when they need to be sold quickly; I lucked out this time and was able to buy all of the ones I used like this). Wash and chop them up, dice up about 2+ cups of onions, 2-3 cloves of garlic, use homemade veggie broth to thin, blitz them with a stick blender, and you are good to go! I make this big batch, then freeze it in pint bags for use over the next year. I made about 12 pints in February (here is the gallery link for pictures.) If you are wondering about the homemade veggie broth, I make that too, because I think all canned and boxed broth tastes metallic (yes, I am picky about my food, my mom grows a lot of vegetables, and I love to cook, it works out). I use a vegetable broth concentrate recipe I found on the Test Kitchen website that works great, no cooking required. You just use a food processor to finely puree the raw veggies, put it in wide mouthed jars, and freeze. Use only as much as you need with boiling water. (Link here.)

All of this is to say that while I was making this soup I remembered researching 18th century cooking when I worked at the museum, and reading the recipe for Portable Soup. Generally, most people today think that convenient mixtures for quick cooking are completely modern, but there were a lot of tricks to make cooking faster, especially when you didn’t have the convenience of a freezer (I love a big chest freezer!). Canning that uses the type of lids that home canners use today didn’t start until the technique for Vulcanizing rubber was invented around the mid 19th century. Canning in a tin can was invented a bit earlier, in the last decade of the 18th century. Actually, if you ever want to look into that history, it dates back to a competition created by Napoleon Bonaparte, who wanted to have an easier way to feed his army on the move, but didn’t want to pay the research costs for development (sound familiar?). So he challenged anyone who wanted to try for a prize of 12,000 Francs to create a better way to preserve food. While glass containers with corks were used at first, tin cans were used after the 1810s, probably because they were less breakable for their chief market, the military (though you had to use a chisel and mallet to open the cans). However, before this, and indeed after due to the expense of early 19th century canned foods, most people used a variety of methods to preserve foods at home. For travel, dried was best, and if you wanted a good flavored soup that was easy to fix during travel, portable soup was one of your best choices.

Portable soup is the 18th century version of bullion, and could be called soup glue. Hungry yet? Actually, the process is time consuming, but not all that different than what has to be done today to get the same result. Basically, you cook down the meat and various flavorings until all the collagen in the meat has turned to gelatin, strain the liquid, then continue cooking to evaporate as much water as possible and dry the resulting ‘glue’. Break up the dried gelatin into smaller pieces and store in a cool, dry tin with paper in between layers, and this portable soup could be used as the quick base for any soup. Travelers, soldiers, anyone who carried the dried bullion could boil water and add whatever else they had available. Soldiers could use broken up hardtack to cook like dumplings in the broth, or rice, dried roasted corn, or beans could be cooked in the soup base. If there was dried meat available, it could be rehydrated and added to the soup as well. Much more tasty than just using water, and pre-salted too! Portable soup didn’t have to be for travel, it could also be a time saver in the home kitchen, and could be very useful during summer, when it would be much better to limit the amount of time you had to cook over a fire. In case you are curious about a recipe, I am going to include one from 1841, and some of the instructions from an English cookbook from 1796. The 1796 cookbook, written by Hannah Glasse, was one of the most popular English language cookbooks sold during the 18th century. That recipe is very long, and much more detailed than the one from the American cookbook.

Portable Soup–Take beef or veal soup, and let it get perfectly cold, then skim off every particle of the grease. Set it on the fire, and let it boil till of a thick glutinous consistence. Care should be taken that it does not burn. Season it highly with salt, pepper, cloves and mace – add a little wine or brandy, and then turn it on to earthen platters. It should not be more than a quarter of an inch in thickness. Let it remain until cold, then cut it into pieces three inches square, set them in the sun to dry, turning them frequently. When perfectly dry, put them in an earthen or tin vessel, having a layer of white paper between each layer. These, if the directions are strictly attended to, will keep good a long time. Whenever you wish to make a soup of them, nothing more is necessary, than to put a quart of water to one of the cakes, and heat it very hot. The American Housewife, by an Experienced Lady, 1841.

To Make Portable Soup–Take two legs of beef, of about fifty pounds weight, take off all the skin and fat as well as you can, then take all the meat and sinews clean from the bones, which meat put into a large pot, and put to it eight or nine gallons of soft water; first make it boil, then put in twelve anchovies, an ounce of mace, a quarter of an ounce of cloves an ounce of whole pepper black and white together, six large onions peeled and cut in two, a little bundle of thyme, sweet marjoram, and winter savory, the dry hard crust of a two-penny loaf, stir all together and cover it close, lay a weight on the cover to keep it close down, and let it boil softly for eight or nine hours, then uncover it and stir it together; cover it close again and let it boil till it is a very rich good jelly . . . [and then strain it and let cool, skim off the fat and settlings, simmer it again for several hours, let cool, spread out thin to dry for 8 or 9 hours, and you’re done; not exactly a fast process!] The Art of Cooking Made Plain & Easy, 1796.

Frederick Douglass-A Speech in 1857

Frederick Douglass, c. 1850

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.

I have been waiting for the month of February to put this quote on my website. I don’t know if that was a good decision or not, as I think that a quote by a great orator shouldn’t wait for the one month set aside to honor African-Americans. But since I started this website in November, with the elections and holidays, I had other quotes that worked well for those times, so I thought I would wait until February for a famous quote by Frederick Douglass. I have known this quote for a number of years, and I love it for the way it conjures so many images and thoughts. Even though I knew it was from Mr. Douglass, I had not looked at the full speech until I decided a couple of months ago to highlight it on my website. Once I decided on it, I wanted to make sure I knew where the quote came from, so I looked it up. If you like the small part of Mr. Douglass’s speech in this quote, I highly recommend you read the whole speech, which can be found on this website – The speech was given to a group of abolitionists in the state of New York in 1857, just before the start of the Civil War. I have to say, while the small section of the speech that became so famous is still my favorite part, the rest of the speech shows how talented Mr. Douglass was at framing his words in ways that have the most impact. I will put a few other parts of the speech at the end of this post just to hopefully get you interested enough to read the full speech. I will also say that Mr. Douglass had a fascinating life, and if you can, read up on some of his history. He himself wrote several autobiographies throughout his life, and strongly supported women’s rights in addition to Black Americans. His history can be found at this website for his historic home in Washington, DC, which is run by the National Park Service.

The sections of Mr. Douglass’s speech quoted below are posted on

This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both.

Men may not get all they pay for in this world, but they must certainly pay for all they get. If we ever get free from the oppressions and wrongs heaped upon us, we must pay for their removal.

Baking Molded Gingerbread

While I love decorating Gingerbread cookies with icing, I also like to make molded Gingerbread cookies, especially if I have carved good molds for them. You could even use them to decorate a Christmas tree, which is one of the first decorations recorded for Christmas trees in America. They appear in a painting of a family by Lewis Miller, who painted everyday scenes of life in the early 1800s. Miller painted a table top size Christmas tree in the background of a family during Christmas, and the molded cookies are hanging on the tree (if you look at the painting, the cookies are the squares with little dots in the center, though many will call them Springerle instead of Gingerbread; my opinion is they were likely some of both. Here is a link to the picture). In the post about carving gingerbread molds, I talked a little about how I make the molds, so this post is about using them for baking molded Gingerbread.

When using the mold to make cookies, I have had a lot of practice (I was part of a group that made all the cookies for Old Salem evening tours for a number of years)! There are a number of Gingerbread recipes that will work with the molds. The main thing is to have is a smooth dough that isn’t sticky, and won’t puff up or spread when baked. Most recipes that are good for gingerbread for icing or making gingerbread houses is perfectly good for making press molded cookies. If you want to make really 17th century German style gingerbread, use honey instead of molasses. Honey was used for gingerbread in Germany and much of central Europe up until at least the mid-19th century, and many still use it today. The English turned to molasses early, and in America most gingerbread had become molasses gingerbread by the last decade of the 1700s, even if it was made by Germans.

(The cookies on the above right were made using new molds I carved this year. Several of them are copied from original molds, while I created two of them myself, including the pump at the bottom right. These small molds are relatively easy to carve, as they are not very detailed. These cookies are about 1 1/2 inches high.)

When you roll out the dough, it needs to be very cool, though right out of the fridge might be a little too stiff. I have done the method of rolling out the dough and pressing the mold into it, and it works okay, especially if the mold is fairly simple in design. However, I don’t really use this method anymore because I had so many cookies I had to ball up and re-roll out that I got frustrated with the technique. When I was editing a translated German cookbook for Old Salem, my staff and I were looking at 18th century German recipes from two different cookbooks. In them they describe forming a square of dough, dusting the mold with flour, and then pressing the dough into the mold. You need to have a piece of dough a little thicker than you want, so that you can press it into the mold and get a good image, then turn it over and peel it off the mold onto the table or cutting board, then cut or trim the edges for the finished cookie. It is definitely more time consuming, but for intricate designs, I have found it works better. As for dusting the mold, the best thing is to get some good cheesecloth (with fine holes, not coarse ones like you find at a grocery store) cut a piece about 6-7 inches square, put some flour in it, then use a string or twist tie to close the cloth around the flour creating a pouch. This can then be used to dust the mold and the dough without getting big bits of flour that cause register problems with the designs (this was technique was described in the 18th century cookbooks). Generally, press-molded gingerbread cookies need to be at least 1/4 inch thick, so they are a bit thicker than a gingerbread man, but that is just part of using the molds to make them. You can also glaze the gingerbread, which can help bring out the design on the darker cookie dough once they are baked. The practice of using colored icing sugar to highly decorate sugar cookies is similar, but probably dates to when white sugar became cheaper to purchase, around the mid-19th century (most of my research stopped at about this time, since so much changed with cooking techniques at that point; and yes, I have researched both the history of sugar production and gingerbread making). If I can get permission from Old Salem, I will post my research paper on gingerbread sometime.

(If you are interested in the cookbook I described called The Raised Hearth, you are welcome to buy it though The Book Patch. Even though I am listed as the author/editor, I do not have any rights to the book. The book is owned by Old Salem Museums & Gardens, and they get any profits from its sale. The book has direct translations of the 18th century recipes, so it is not a modern cookbook with recipes you can use in today’s kitchen. Someone who has experience with historical cooking and cookbooks from the time period can experiment with the recipes and cook with them, which is what we used the book for at the museum where I worked.)

Carving Gingerbread Molds

I started carving Gingerbread Molds while working at Old Salem. The history of Gingerbread was something that I had to answer a lot while I worked there. I would be the person to call whenever there were media requests about that history, so I eventually wrote a paper on the history from the Middle Ages until the modern day, just so I would be able to pull up information whenever I got a call from a TV station or magazine, or had to appear on a TV feed for Christmas. (This happened all the time during the Christmas season, the last one I did for Our State can be seen here.) The more I researched, the more I understood that molded Gingerbread was commonly made for Christmas in Europe since the Middle Ages. The Moravians continued the practice until sometime in the mid-19th century,so I decided to carve some molds for us to use when we did Christmas baking at Old Salem. We had some original molds from the early 19th century in our collection, so I started with those designs. I am not good at creating original artwork, at least not drawings, but I can copy most things. So I took pictures or drew copies of the original molds, and then transferred the design onto wood blocks and started carving. I have also carved printing blocks for making paste paper (the adult version of finger-painting), so I had some practice with carving. The main thing to remember with carving things like this is to take off small amounts at a time, because you can’t put the wood back on if you take off the wrong piece. I make knife cuts around the parts I want to remove, so that when I am carving, the wood chip will stop at the cut, which makes it less likely to remove wood you want to keep! One of the more difficult things to remember when carving a cookie mold is that you are making a reverse image, so what you want to project up you need to carve deeper. It requires a little thinking before starting to carve.

The wood I use is generally either poplar, maple, or pear if I can get it. Pear wood was the traditional for professional wood carvers in Europe to use for carving printing blocks for industrial purposes. Professional wood carvers would make designs for different industries in Germany. Printed paper makers, such as those making colored and paste paper, printed fabric makers, and book printers would all buy carved wooden molds for their shops, so the mold carvers were highly skilled and made extremely detailed carvings. Pear was the wood of choice because it is a hard wood that has a very fine grain, which allows for the fine designs. Oak has a coarse grain, and isn’t really good to use, and pine and other soft woods are also bad choices. Many people who do carving as a hobby today will say to use basswood, but I have tried it and found it too soft to get good detail (actually, I really dislike using basswood for carving, it is better for less detailed figurines). Poplar is easier to get, though maple will make beautiful molds. I have ordered pear wood from specialty wood suppliers, and I really like using it. It is also possible that other fruit woods would work, such as apple or cherry, but I have no experience with those. (In a later post, I’ll show the molded gingerbread cookies made with these designs. Also see the Gallery section for more carved molds.)

The first step is to put the image on paper, tack it to the wood block, and then use a pen or pointed stylus to impress the image into the wood. (Someone more skilled in drawing could draw the image directly onto the wood block. I like using the paper because I can adjust the image as much as I want without affecting the wood block I want to carve.)

My next step is to trace the impression with a pencil. I don’t need to put in lines that are going to be lower than the surface. Here, there are several elements on the snowy hills that will be carved, but the snow will need to be higher (which means deeper carved) so I pencil those in once I reach that level.

The carving is done using the pencil drawing as the base. I cut around the parts I want to be careful of with a knife, so that the carving tools don’t take off more wood in delicate spots. When I am finished with all carving, I will do a little sanding to finish some rough spots.

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