This Week In My Home:  Holiday Version

This Week In My Home: Holiday Version


I tried to make myself look at kitchens from other eras but just now my eye is caught every.single.time by the 1930s and early to mid 40's kitchens.   I confess that Hazel Dell Brown's designs are uppermost as I am drawn in to really look at each design closely and intensely.  I feel she made space work HARD and yet she made it look artistic and pretty and inspiring all at once.

Well here we are yet again.  There are times I look at these kitchens and think they are so familiar to me.  I'd have sworn I shared this one before, but no, once I look more closely at the details I know that I haven't.  Perhaps similar color waves or the pattern of the linoleum on the floor is the same as in another room and that's what seems so familiar.

Well let's pick this room apart.   I'm starting to the right, because the first thing that caught my eyes when I blew up the photo to enlarge it was the bar across the door.  But the door does not the kitchen make and my eye soon drifted over to that cabinet next to the door and then I exclaimed in excitement...Because here in this little cabinet, there is an open door and in that open door is a bottle of milk...and I'll just bet you that milk was put there by the milkman who likely had an access door to that cabinet on the porch!  How convenient would that be of a morning?

In further looking at the cabinet I think it's meant to be a lunch making station.   There's waxed paper, string, salt, graham crackers...I cannot tell what the other items are, but I  think we can easily deduce that is what this cabinet is meant to be.   

Then we have our sink.   There is no window on this wall and no decorative shelves above the sink either, which is unusual in most of Mrs. Brown's kitchens.  Still it's ample space for washing up.  

Under the window is a shallower cabinet which makes good use of what might have been just dead space.  It makes a deep sill for the window on that wall and that is something I do admire in any home.  Have I told you I have no windowsills in my house?   Never mind, let us look at that cabinet on the upper wall.  At first, I noted only the contrast color thinking it was just an open shelving unit but no!  it has a slide down door...Now isn't that clever?!

And finally we have our big stove which just fills that space and forms the work triangle. (which begs the question when did the fridge become part of that triangle?)   As usual we see no fridge in this kitchen.

Okay there is a high counter behind the stove which forms storage on the side of the breakfast nook.   In a niche on the wall above that counter is the toaster and maybe the percolator above?  Either way its a bit of clever storage from space that would have gone unused.

The breakfast area is essentially a bench and table.  It appears the table is freestanding.   There's lots of storage in that cabinet there next to the table.  Another open shelf area where there appears to be a radio and books.  You'll note the crafts on the table, too, which suggests the area is an additional work space.

The next work space puzzled me at first.  And then I could see that there was a brown dress hanging over the edge of the table and it occurred to me that this was set up as a sewing table but I have a feeling it's also the dining table and so the kitchen has two spaces where one might take a family meal.

Now you all know how I love a yellow kitchen...and I like this pairing of the denim blue with it very much.  As always, the walls, counter tops and floors are all linoleum and the paint used in the room was obviously mixed to match.  

At first, as I was looking over this photo, I kept thinking, how clever to use freestanding cabinets and how it seems to expand the space of the room despite the cabinets.   No!  I looked more closely and that is a black strip of linoleum and the yellow 'legs' are strips of yellow linoleum!  It is a very clever illusion that was given in this kitchen and it works very well if you ask me.


The Week Ahead:  



I don't know why I didn't think about it being a holiday weekend last week but I didn't.  However, it occurred to me readily enough once I was solidly into the weekend.  I'll share what we did in my diary.  I'd actually thought I'd take an extra day but I did not.  No indeed I've spent all day Monday working and I did a decent amount of work on Sunday as well holiday or no.  However, I had postponed putting out this post thinking of having a holiday.  

Work:  

Zone 1   Look out!  I am switching up my zones this week!   The real luxury of a zone work system is that you can change things up.  For years now, I've either begun my month in the kitchen or the bedrooms.  This month, I'm starting my zones in the living/dining room/front entry.  Then I'll move to the porches, kitchen/laundry/back entry, and finish the month with beds and baths.     I've never begun in what is essentially the middle of the house before so I think it will be fun to start there for a change.  I'm choosing to put the porches second because this time of year we use them most.  They also tend to get dirtier with mowing and dust and such.  The bedrooms and baths last because they are the least messy and least difficult rooms to clean even if I'm doing deep cleaning.   

My plans for the living room this week: photo the room from various points and identify areas where I might improve by decluttering or rearranging items.  Rub the wood furnishings with oil (Liquid Gold).   I will dust and vacuum carpet edges and clean the ceiling fan.   I'd like to go through the buffet and see what might go back to the shed, what needs to be donated, etc.  That should be quite enough for 'extra' cleaning this week.  I have all my usual routines and interruptions and family and such to attend to as well.

I have two very old kerosene Parlor lamps.  Both have residue of old kerosene in them.  I want to research hot to go about cleaning those lamps properly and see if I can make them functional once more.  They are beautiful big lamps and would be a huge bonus when thunderstorms or power outages come along.   I want to bring in the hurricane lanterns and have them clean and  ready to use if outages occur because the kerosene lamp thing might take a little time but I know we've plenty of candles to burn if power outage occurs sooner rather than later.  And last, we have a group of little LED lights that John purchased which are battery run.  They give off a nice amount of light and I want to be sure we have enough fresh batteries to power those.   Why all this concern with power outages?   Hurricane season, dears, is upon us, and while we are not on the coast, we sometimes do experience weather here that will knock out power for days.

And on that same thought, I need to be sure we have plenty of fresh water in the jugs I keep.  Time to water plants with those and give them a thorough cleansing and refill them afresh.

I will keep Caleb one morning this week and I've invited Bess and children to come over on the same day.  I thought the children might all enjoy being together.  And yes, this is on my work list because though Bess and the children all clear up afterwards there's still plenty to do with lunch and babies even if it is a pleasure!

I have a few plants rooted.  I need to round up enough soil to set them out.  They'll stay in the house a bit longer I think before I put them outdoors to grow.  I have a few mint sprigs and coleus rooted and I'm not sure what else.  My little jars of cuttings are full!

I want to swap out some petunias.  I have old fashioned petunias in the herb planter that are doing very well and some purchased petunias in the half barrel that are not.  I think if I transplant them all to each other's current beds they will do better.  

I found a cookbook in the boxes in the back that I thought I'd given away.  I kept thinking with regret of that book because it not only lists recipes with nutrition counts, it also lists ideas for using leftovers, other meal ideas based on similar ingredients etc.  I want to go through and see if that cookbook is worth keeping after all.   I think I only ever tried one recipe from it but I never read it through and I think I want to do that and re-determine it's destiny.  It may well be just perfect for my current season of life.  I got about half through this one over the weekend.  I have checked a lot of recipes that sound economical or useful for our household.  I don't know why I set this particular book aside!

While I don't need a lot of groceries I need some items (cornmeal, lettuce) and may go grocery shopping at some point this week with Katie who also needs groceries.   Happily  Caleb shops very well.  He gets to people watch which he loves and we always buy him food so he's happy twice over.

Kitchen:



Gathered Fragments

tomato

gr bell pepper

cucumber

red onion

mushrooms

cottage cheese

chicken enchiladas

half a can each of green enchilada sauce and crm of chicken soup mixed

1/c can of turkey spam

1 hamburger on bun

4 slices pizza

corned beef

potatoes

corned beef broth, lots

refried beans

corn and flour tortillas

lettuce that really needs to be finished off 

1/2 cup of sour milk

one yogurt

1 zucchini 

part of a head of cabbage

green onions

Meals:  1. Corned Beef, Cabbage, Carrots, Baked Potatoes - Saturday

2. Grilled Hot Dogs and  Burgers, Fries, Burger Fixings - Sunday

From here I'm just thinking as I type.  I have no real plan yet, but I've numbered the items we've eaten or might have for supper:

3. Corned Beef Hash is a good possibility which would use corned beef *, potatoes*, green onion*, a little of the broth*.  No clue what I'd serve as sides but I have tons of options.  I think corn muffins would be nice and maybe canned collard greens?  Or pickled beets...

I will make tacos while Bess and the children are here as they love them and don't mind if the shells are soft flour tortilla.*  I prefer crispy corn tortilla* and I can make those here at home without too much trouble.  I have lettuce* and tomato*, sour cream, salsa and cheese to go on the tacos.  

4. A big salad with the cottage cheese*, bell pepper,* cucumber*, red onion*, spam*...Maybe with a cream of tomato soup on the side

Make biscuits or muffins with the sour milk*.

5. I could have the enchiladas* with refried beans* and rice on the side.  Shredded lettuce* and salsa would be nice with that, too.  I'll probably add the extra sauce/soup mix* over the top of the enchiladas so they don't come out tough and chewy when reheated.

Pizza* and burger* can be lunch options for us when we're alone.

I need one more meal for the week unless we go somewhere and have a bigger meal out.  I'm not aware of any such plans.  I have lots of food in the house, frozen and canned and some fresh things yet that I can use to make a meal so this is not a big issue at present.  It's just planning and thawing and prepping in time to actually cook the meal.

I typically don't try to plan a Friday meal.  I usually tend to think of that meal as part of the weekend meals because leftovers make good options over the weekend.  I'm calling the current plan good enough for right now.

Leisure:

I finished the Jane Austen book over the weekend and socked right into Julia Quinn's Romancing Mr. Bridgerton.  I am not reading in order of publication nor in sequence, but I found two of the books in Target the other day and when Katie said she'd happily read them two, I picked them up.  So far, pretty good and not too descriptive of intimate moments which have been slow to be written in anyway.  I'm okay with that...

I keep saying I'll take out the genealogy but I think I won't just yet.  It's rather an intensive hobby and I'm not in the mood for intensity in my leisure time just now except in book form.   In fact, I'm not inclined to do much in the line of leisure and given how hard we are working daily I guess that is quite all right!

(C) Terri Cheney
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