Tuesday, October 10, 2017

A Working Kitchen

Years ago, I was visiting with a friend about how some folks decorate kitchens.
She told me that hers was a "working kitchen."
I've always remembered that.
And I've evidently followed suit.
I don't really decorate the kitchen.
I don't do themes anyways, and I like things that are useful.
Maybe I don't decorate because at any given time,
you can almost tell what the season is
by what my kitchen looks like.
(See the entirety of my decorating~ the oil can with flowers and pumpkin.)
Right now,
it's rather easy to detect autumn 
by the bucket of spuds, collection of winter squash, the miscellaneous hunting gear, and tailings of canning tomatoes.
It's been slim-pickins for hunting season this year.
Between last winter and wolves (and cats and bear,) the game has suffered.
We even stayed a night up on top 
to see if being up high at dawn would show us anything.
We got snowed on during the night - yowza!
Not ready for that yet.
Anyways, on the way home, I asked Mr.LB if he would mind if we stopped at a little produce stand that's on the way.
It's quite a ways from anywhere, and I like to support such folks if I can.
We did and what a bounty~
For $28 we got: 2 huge spaghetti squash, 1 huge mystery squash,
3-4 lbs. plums, 17-20 lbs. of tomatoes, 5 lbs. red spuds, 1/2 gallon of fresh apple cider, and a peanut-butter cookie for me (yum.)
I went up for a hunt this morning and made it back many vertical feet later
about 12:30 and went to work on the tomatoes.
They are now sauce and cooling in jars on the counter, 
and there is a spaghetti squash in the oven. 
I saved some seeds - hoping to grow some of these biggies myself next year.
Those seeds are in a bowl on the table to dry.
The kitchen is where we seem to congregate when there's company.
Some of my fondest memories growing up are of peeling spuds or cleaning string beans with extended family in the kitchen.
I think that's something that's missing in many families today.
There really is a role for everybody.
The older folks can still chop walnuts and show the little ones how it's done.
You've probably gathered by now that we live along old-fashioned lines.
Years ago, a significant amount of ones time was devoted
to the growing, gathering, and preserving of food not only for the family
but for any livestock as well.
The value of working with your grandparents or great aunts and uncles rather than just seeing them at parties or holidays is unmeasurable.
We use our kitchen.
And if you happen to stop by about meal time, 
you'll of course be welcomed to join us, 
but don't be surprised if you are asked to chop carrots or slice tomatoes. 
You see, it really is a "working kitchen"
and that's all the decor we need.

If anybody knows what kind of squash the mystery squash is,
please do tell.


  1. It looks great. Your post makes me miss the snow. It's still very hot here in California.

    1. Thanks Stephanie. After last winter then the flipping of the switch to triple digits for most of summer, I'm enjoying autumn temperatures.

  2. The staged magazine kitchens are unrealistic! I,love a good working kitchen, always something real happening. Your haul from the produce stands sounds great.
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. I too love that "something real happening." 😊

  3. The squash looks very much like one we grew for the first time this year, a Green Striped Cushaw. I so wish I'd been able to spend more time with my grandmothers and aunts, learning useful skills. You're ahead of me with decorating. Of course, we did have to turn the a/c back on on Sunday. I'm not quite ready for snow, but 80's with extremely high humidity doesn't seem right either.

    1. Thank you Laurie. You have had some interesting weather this year. Hope you've not been in the path of the severity.

  4. Unless it's an accidental hybrid, I'd say Laurie is correct. Here's a link - https://www.slowfoodusa.org/ark-item/green-striped-cushaw

    1. I have a sneaking suspicion you are right. After looking at pictures, I'm thinking its a cushaw that might have a hubbard in the woodpile somewhere😉

  5. I too love a working kitchen. With what we do there, it's not realistic to expect a kitchen in a home decor magazine. I think yours is lovely and very functional.

  6. Thank you Nil. I tend to like more realistic too.

  7. I agree with Laurie that your mystery squash is (was?) a cushaw. We love them and grow them instead of pumpkins ('cuz they do better for us than pumpkins!)

    I so agree about a working kitchen. When we were in the planning stages of redoing ours, I recalled a one time visit to the Smithsonian where they now have Julia Child's kitchen. That's exactly how she described her's - a working kitchen. I did put up pretty wallpaper, painted the cabinets, and Dan added a few other decorative touches (he had his heart set on how he was going to do the ceiling), but the focus was on the kitchen as a workshop. It's sometimes too small for our lifestyle, but I love my kitchen! Thanks for the photos of yours.

  8. Working kitchens are the best!
    Definitely plenty of work going on in your kitchen. Good luck during the hunting season. We have an abundance of deer in our area.

  9. I have a working kitchen also. The only decoration is my picnic baskets and they are actually storage. Our hunting hasn't been any better than yours. I roasted a bunch of my tomatoes this year. I can't wait to try them! Happy hunting.

  10. Looking great! That's what my kitchen looks like right now :-)
    Thanks for sharing with us on the Homestead Blog Hop. Hope to see you there again this Wednesday.

  11. My kitchen is a working kitchen too. It was built when kitchens were meant to be worked in and in the 1930s, they didn't fool around lol I added a few decorative things that made me happy, like my grandfather's baby bowl, but ultimately, I think the woman that built this house would still recognize it. There's not much in there, that I don't use every single day. You can tell if someone loves and uses their kitchen as opposed to those that don't and use it strictly as a show piece ;)

    I love how comfy and homey your kitchen is :)