The Kitchen 1.0 was built in early 1986. I wasn’t born yet. My Mom still had two short curly pony tails. Obviously the Kitchen 1.0 wasn’t a good enough construction: the door couldn’t close up. The roof didn’t cover every corner. Sink was still outdoor. There was only two holes on the wall as the window so the exhaust couldn’t get out efficiently. Why was it so bad? Because it was built by my Mom’s colleagues who were not professional builders at all, with very limited materi
(by My Mom) When my Mom was cooking dinner, sometimes she would put me next to her on a little seat above the coal storage. Other time she had other ways to handle me, I’ll introduce later. The coal stove and Chinese stir fry could create a lot of smoke and exhaust. The door (the one that never was able to close up) had to be wide open. The whole kitchen itself was already occupying the public lane space. The open door made it even harder for people to walk through. Nowadays
Kitchen 1.0 was built a few months before I was born and replaced by Kitchen 2.0 in 1990s. My Mom had her colleagues over to build this kitchen. I don’t have too much memories about it so I asked my Mom for help. My Mom's drawing It was a funny look kitchen: it had a door which could never close all the way up because the sink was in the way. My parents used to tie the handle of the door to the pipe on the sink with iron chains and lock them up: to pretend that the door is lo
Controlling the heat of a coal stove wasn't so easy. People do it by adjusting the air flow. Chimney+Fan=higher heat Certain dishes required very high heat. For restaurant cooking , they even needed to use a small electric fan. Most families would only use a grass made hand fan to reach a balance of heating fast and saving coals. （photo from internet） Getting the ash out was messy. Coals on the lower side burns out earlier. In order to keep the air flow, people needed to remo
This was the earliest stove we used. We also used coal cake stove, alcohol stove and electricity stove before gas appeared in our life. It was replaced when I was about 4 or 5 years old. I can't recall all the details about it, so I called my Mom up and got a lot of information. My Mom asked to be the 2nd author of this series.... Coal balls look like this. Burning a coal ball stove could create a lot of smoke and ashes.
We didn't have a kitchen nor gas in the first a few years. Sink was outdoor. Cooking was out door. Coal stove was what my Mom used to cook. We had a half open space as kitchen and that occupied the lane. Around 3-4pm, every family in the Lilong neighborhood would start the stove at the same time. The whole block became very smoky. The whole cooking process was definitely not easy. People needed to be very skilled and experienced in it so the heat would be just enough for all