My farmhouse kitchen is
large huge, about the same size as most rooms in this house...20'x20' and eight people can sit comfortably before resorting to perching on the hearth or moving a dog off their bed. The kitchen is painted Martha Stewart's Bee Balm Red and curtains were never used because the window valences allow the 9'x3' windows to let the outside in.
The cabinets, hand built on site, are birch and have piano hinges; some cupboards have glass windows. The pass through, to the living room, was made to allow both conversation and light to pass between both rooms. Hand made baskets are lined up over the sink and most were made either by my Grandmother or me. The metal dipper is for grabbing a drink of water so I don't dirty a glass (well, that's the way we've always said it).
The table came out of the old Pembroke Bank in Giles County VA and still has the leather top and screw holes that held down an antique adding machine and two drawers are on one side.
On either end of the table are sturdy chairs; one is a Morris type Chair and the other is a chair with heart cut-outs. I've had the heart chair for, maybe 40 years, and the Morris chair was given by a friend 10 years ago. Alongside the length of the table is an antique three seater choir pew and when additional seating is needed, I bring out the bench Daddy made two decades ago.
If you're getting the hint there's nothing much new in this house, you'd be right. I believe the wormy chestnut rocking chair is newest and it's made of re-claimed barn wood.
The stove is a refurbished 1914 Acorn cook stove; it has seven propane gas burners and three ovens with a warming oven on top left. For the story behind the stove, click here and here.
The fireplace was re-built using slave made brick from the original farm house (which burnt during Christmas 1899) and in lieu of a mantle, now boasts a slab of wormy chestnut. The original lithograph is The Gleaners, an oil painting by Jean-Francois Millet, finished in 1857 and hanging in the Musee d'Orsay in France. The three peasant women glean a field of wheat after the harvest and remind me of Ruth in the Old Testament. The story behind the painting is here and I hope to visit the original at some point in the future.
The mantle is lined with trip treasures...a copper coffee container Dave purchased when he visited a Romanian Gypsy village (I stayed in the vehicle due to feelings of unease about our belongings being left alone...a good thing, as I was in the back of the van, a man climbed aboard and was quite startled to see me!), sugar and tea containers hand crafted by the nomad Bedouin's in the Sahara Desert. Dave bought those while we were in an antique shop in the Marrakesh souk. The kerosene lantern is from the 1800's but the hand thrown pottery flower vase is newish, purchased from an old friend who was laid off from the coal mines then taught himself to throw pottery. The vase is only 15 years old so it's almost brand new -lol.
The gas log insert broke and was replaced with a propane fireplace that brings more heat into the room and I enjoy more than the gas logs insert.
All the crocks are original and handed down through Daddy's family; the smaller crock sitting on the propane fireplace, and the larger crock to the far right, are both from my Great-Grandmother and still in use when I churn butter. The smaller crocks are used to make pickles using my Grandmother's Bread and Butter recipe.
The rocking chair on the right is made of re-claimed wormy chestnut barn wood and was Amish made to sit alongside Dave's Amish made casket at the wake. It's a nice, sturdy chair and gives me good memories amongst the painful ones.
So, that's part of my kitchen and a portion of the stories. The Welsh type cupboard can't be seen and if anyone is interested, I'll post about it of if you'd like to see something close up, let me know. The kitchen is a Working Kitchen and everything in it earns a living by doing what it was made to do. Someone asked, "Aren't you afraid you'll break _____?" and I replied, "If I do break it, it'll be broken while in service and not being dusted.
Life was meant to be used, hearts were made to be broken and, when we're most blessed and fortunate, all put to rights again. Please don't put "whatever" on a shelf or keep in wrapping paper; put it into service today! Have your memories be good ones...when you were on holiday and bought ___ or the family said, "Sandra would enjoy having that rocking chair" or salvage something from your family...or even the thrift store...give it a home and make your own memories so you can tell your own stories.
Because memories are the key
to both our past and our futures.
Blessings ~ The Gleaners ~ 1914 Acorn stove ~ Morocco ~ holidays ~ memories ~