Saturday, May 4, 2019

The Summer Kitchen

 One of the unexpected perks we discovered once I finally got to see our “new” home was the way the original garage and the newer garage were joined.  The wall between the two structures was not removed.  The newer larger garage would obviously be used for its intended purpose, and will house Vern, our 1948 Ford 8N tractor (more on him another time.) 
The small original garage then became an easy choice for the summer kitchen.  I had a makeshift set-up in the shop at the old place, but did a lot of going back and forth between the house and shop.  This gets to be the real deal!  I do a tremendous amount of food preservation, soap making, and candle dipping, as well as daily cooking.  The old saying (since we are in the vintage era here) “Make hay while the sun shines,” holds true for people food as well as hay for stock. Canning season is typically during the hottest months of the year.  It is so nice to be able to have the stove going and not heat up the house.  Or dehydrators going.  Or the mess corn makes.  Or…
(The "before" shot)
In case you aren’t picking up on it, I am over the moon excited!
Here, let me show you~

It has two windows both of which are broken.  The one over the sink was missing a large shard and had a scrap of cardboard propped over it, not even secured, just kinda sitting there - Classy I know.  MrLB was walking out behind the building to check the roof (which leaked but is now fixed) and noticed the shard on the ground.  Without saying anything, he got gasket maker and applied it to the edges of the shard and put it back in place.  I was cleaning inside when he came in and took the cardboard from the window and said, “There.”  I was amazed.  He’s just so sweet.

I still have my old pantry shelves which now house canning pots and empty jars.  I might change things up a bit as I use it and get the space figured out, but am just smitten with it all at the moment.  
I have the igloo set up by the sink for water since there’s no water to the building.  There is a large bucket under the drain of the old concrete sink to catch the water which will work well so I can water plants with it.  
Next is the hutch I recently acquired and cleaned up.  It will house pretty much what it did in the mountain house other than my herbs and spices.  My bowls aren’t out here yet as there was a bit of a mouse problem so we had to get that under control before I store things like that out here.
I haven't seen any "evidence" of the little rascals for nearly a month now.
I'm sure it will be on-going, but at least now maybe we can have a bit better control over the situation. 
Next is the harvest table.  I had this at the old place too, but honestly, it was usually covered with junk.  It’s an old library table about 7 feet long, and I love it!  It is a perfect height for me.  I am rather vertically challenged :-)  Standard kitchen counters are high for me and when working at them all day, my neck and shoulders get tired/sore.  It’s right next to the stove so I can move heavy canning pots to and from or have a handy work surface when dipping candles, etc. The cauldron fits under it which makes use of that space as well.
A couple other tidbits are the old yellow table and chairs so we can sit to shell peas or string beans or whatever the task at hand is (a cup of tea?)  The cushions actually go to our outdoor furniture, but rather than figuring out just where to store them for winter, I just put them on the chairs. 

And at the moment, I have the clothes line set up in here though it's easy to move outside if I want to.  We get more wind here which sounds like it would be great for drying clothes, but it's often dusty as well so this works out well.
  I've just brought the clothes trees out and will cover them, but
that would be unsightly for the photo.
The shelves will go in the house eventually, but for now they are just sitting there reminding me that I have more to do.
And in this corner which is actually a bit embarrassing at the moment, is where I will put my potting/gardening bench - against the same wall as the freezers.
The fabric on the hutch.
Last but not least, is the guard bunny.  Hucklebunny Hideaway is right out the door so she can be sure to help “recycle” any veggie leaves or goodies that become available.
The funny thing about all this is that when we figured out this space would be the summer kitchen, I hopped online for ideas on how to set it up.  If you do a search for “Summer Kitchen,” you will either see the Hollywood pool-party version or a fireplace in a historical cabin - no happy in between for practical use.  I do realize we are not exactly main stream in our ways, but I would have thought there would be a few.  I realize it looks rather rudimentary, but I assure you it all gets scrubbed before food is processed.  I would love to know if any of you have a summer kitchen or if you set up a temporary one for canning 
(or other specific tasks.)  
I've been busy amending soil that doesn't appear to have seen a spade
 for a decade or more.
Nearly everything is planted.  There are a few more things to get in the ground tomorrow then it will just be whatever progressive planting I decide upon.
I pulled out first radishes today so it won't be long, and I will be putting this space through a real workout.

Hope you are enjoying spring.


  1. I am quite envious of your great summer kitchen! We had one on the farm when I was growing up and it was a great multi-purpose space that saw a lot of use.

    1. Oh that's the sort of picture I was hoping to see😊 For some reason they always seemed to take pictures in less functional rooms like the parlor - go figure.

  2. That should be a real convenience!

    1. It's looking that way. I'm hoping to get it figured out.

  3. I can sense comfort and happiness in your words with your new home and summer kitchen. I only have the one in-house kitchen but know many rug hookers who have their dye pots in another location other than then main house. Enjoyed your post, as I always do.

    1. Ha! I'm busted. The pot on the stove in the pix has a sweater in black dye 😉

  4. I love what you've done. Here in California, some people have outdoor kitchens. I usually eat mostly fruit and salads in the hot weather, and just cook or bake very early in the morning. I would love to have one, though.

    1. A summer kitchen could be used nearly year-round down there! Your fruits are so much more plentiful down there. Sometimes your pictures make me crave those fresh fruits :-)

  5. I love love love your summer kitchen. How nice to have a big space for all your activities.

  6. I don't really have a need for a summer kitchen. I think it is great that you have one since you will use it a lot. Just having space to store your equipment is a big plus. It sounds like you are working hard getting your new garden set up too.

    1. I can hardly wait to get the potting bench off the mt. so the garden stuff has "a place."

  7. I love it! You did a great job sprucing it up. The checked curtains are great. Our cabin is small so I have to can or butcher and feed in the same place,which is a pain. I also like the hutch. IvI' wanted one, but again no room. You are lucky and talented!

  8. LadyLocust it is beautiful and I can see the work you have put into it :) , you like us love to turn things into something useful and practical. The inside wood on the garage looks almost precisely like our wooden tank stand and outside laundry garden shed too which are both rustic and beautiful.

    Good to see you are settling in and getting organised. It will be 6 months we have been in our new home on the 11th and how time flies when we are putting our personal touches in each room in the home and outside too.

    We have now planted something in the gardens being our ornamental flowers and also amended the soils with cow and horse manure too and mulched them with dried composted grass clippings.

    Keep up the great work you are doing well :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

  9. I have been trying to catch up with some of my friends. I have enjoyed catching up with you. It has been a while and a period of adjustment the last couple of years rehabbing a broken leg from a car wreck, losing my hubby, and moving into a one bedroom apartment. Your table reminds me of one we use to have only a different color when we first got married. Take care. Hugs and prayers from your Missouri Friend Shirley.

  10. I love your summer kitchen. It's so spacious! You've put the space to good use. Mine is on our back porch, so it's a little cramped, but I love keeping the cooking and canning heat out of the house during summer.

  11. Originally from Northern Wisconsin I never knew what a summer kitchen was until 26 years ago when I moved to Southern Missouri. We were looking at property to purchase and so many old homes had these small buildings located not far from the main dwelling. Asking the realtor what they were used for she said they were summer kitchens, no need to have these in Northern Wisconsin. Love your summer kitchen, I think I could use a summer kitchen during blackberry jam making season. Thank you for sharing.

  12. Oh my word, I can't take my eyes off our beautiful clothesline. So jealous...of your CLOTHESLINE. LOL

    As the temps here hit the nineties and the humidity hangs heavy in the air I have thoughts a summer kitchen! I used to render fat for soap and cook some things on our back deck when there were cows on the property behind ours, but the farmer who lived there entered assisted living and sold it off. A builder bought all 65 acres and in the past year built 30+ large/sterile houses on it with that many more to come. The folks who've noticed want no part of our lifestyle so I'm attempting to keep my ways from offending them as much as possible while hoping to move up further into the hills when Goodman retires.

    1. Thank you. Hubby and I designed it, and he built it. I had an umbrella one and didn't like how limited the space was for the center lines. I wanted all my lines long enough to hang something from. He did it so I can pull it apart without removing the lines and roll it up to store in an umbrella bag. Thought about patenting and selling plans but ???

  13. A real Summer Kitchen. Now that is something one doesn't hear much of, now. Hooray for you, for making yourself one.

    Ohhh, look at that old wringer, between the 2 sides of the old laundry sink!!!!!!!!

    You do so much! Oh mercy, you make me tired, just reading all that you can, and "put up." (Does anyone say "put up" any more?????? -smile-)

    And a laundry line!!!! And your husband and you designed it, and he make it! (I see, just above my comment.) Isn't it wonderful, to have a "handy' husband???? :-)

    Gentle hugs...