Saturday, March 3, 2012

Old Fashioned Kitchen   click on picture for details.

This is a replica of the kitchen that was in my house when my Dad was growing up. The house was built in 1865 by my Grandfather. The main attraction was always the pantry, which was not facing us but sideways as a walk in.
I always marveled at the good things it contained, and I was able to view it all and not have cupboard doors to contend with. Grandma Daisy did a lot of canning in Mason Jars.  It looked so nice on the shelves.  An interesting story from the depression was told to me by Grandmas Daisy.  She was a widow left with 6 children to raise on a farm.  She would always share with whoever came that was in need.  She loved to dry apples and called them snitz.  She had jars and Jars of snitz  on the shelves.  Inside she lined with newspaper and placed  her money.  The depression brought out the worst in people, and someone came into her house and stole all her canned jars of food, but left the snitz,  She said" Oh they must have really needed the food, but must not have liked the snitz.  By not liking the dried up apples she still retained her money. When we remodeled, I can't believe it now, how many old tins, boxes, and old utensils we just threw away!  I wish we had them all now.! 

The heart of the kitchen was the cast iron stove.  It heated with wood or coal, was always nice to warm up to after coming in from outside. It always had a pan of something drying in it.  Apples, bread, corn.  A dishpan was always there with hot water in case someone came to help do dishes.  A tea kettle was always on as well.  Baked goods were the best in the oven.

 The sink was a soapstone sink. An iron handled water pump was next to it.  You had to pump the water by hand into a bucket or pan.  Lye soap was used.  It was made in the fall at butchering time. Pig fat and ashes from wood were cooked in a large cast iron kettle outside.  I planted flowers in it.  The smell of lye on a warm day still permeates the air in the pantry, which is now my laundry.  I would have liked to keep the walk in pantry.   I had to choose between a laundry and steps or a pantry.  I  choose to make a laundry.

The table and chairs were black walnut and someone painted them green about 1920.  That was the color rage at the time.  No dark furniture.  The food that was left over was placed in the middle of the table and covered with a cloth until the next meal. During the winter a small out kitchen off the porch was used for storing food.  And in the summer the canning was done outside as well.

The ice cupboard was not in use at the time, but Grandma used it for storing things.  A couple of the ice refrigerators set outside in the grape arbours for chickens to lay eggs in.

A coal bucket was always present with coal and wood.  Next to that was a slop bucket, that's for food scraps and vegetable peels for the pigs and chickens.  Nothing was wasted on a farm.

My favorite memories were of the kitchen because this is were we all congregated.    It seemed so large and could fit 20 people quite comfortably. Its a tad cramped to get 6 in now.
Its the cupboards and drainboards and those newfangled electric appliances that take up the room.!.

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