Before we start, may we please take a moment of silence in honor of what appears to be the heart-breaking demise of Mr. Crowley. WHY???!!
But then think back to the look on Bate's face and his "Yes, she is something", when he sees Anna dancing. Didn't that just pull at your heart strings?
And why is the season so short?
I know it's only a story...
BUT! I'm just saying...
As I sit here writing this, while the Captain is walking his dogs, it has begun to snow. Right now it's a mixture of rain and snow but hopefully it will be enough to stick for a little while.
Did I mention sometime before that I keep a towel through the refrigerator handle to open and close the door. This really helps keeping fingerprints off of the stainless.
Now, on to the meat of this issue which is, "The Workings of a Victorian Home", Part Two, The Kitchen.
I know you are probably groaning right about now, "Oh no, not that kitchen again". But I will try to show you more of the nooks and crannies this time so it all won't seem so monotonous and familiar.
"The Victorian kitchen had the dubious distinction of being a utilitarian service area that was oftentimes the domain of domestic servants. Cooking; laundry work; putting up preserves; making soap, candles, and cleaning suppies - these were but a few of the overwhelming tasks assigned to those who labored in the kitchen."
Text from The Victorian Home
"As a factory like (and later; laboratory like) center of household operations, the Victorian kitchen rarely reflected the attention to detail lavished on the other rooms of the house. Rather, the nineteenth-century kitchen developed a subtle charm all its own as the Gilded Age progresses - a look we find especially appealing in bringing Victoriana into the present day."
Text from The Victorian Home
"If parents wish their daughters to grow up with good domestic habits, they should have...a neat and cheerful kitchen. A kitchen should always, if possible, be entirely above-ground, so that all the premises may be swept sweet and clean. If flowers and shrubs be cultivated around the doors and windows, and the yard near them be kept well turfed, it will add very much to their agreeable appearance. The walls should often be cleaned and white-washed, to promote a neat look and pure air. The floor of a kitchen should be painted or covered with an oilcloth."
Catherine E. Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe
The American Woman's Home
"In housekeeping as in everything else, system is of the utmost importance...Not only should there be a place for everything, and everything put in its place, the importance of which is often insisted on, though none too often, but there should also be a time for everything. Have certain days of the week for doing certain things, and also arrange the work of the day, as far as possible, allotting a time for every duty."
Smiley's Cook Book
New and Complete Guide for Housekeepers
"Kitchens are more appropriately papered in varnished staircase paper; as the soils can be easily washed off. In many houses kitchens are wood-paneled, or the walls covered with tiles, after the good old fashion common in Germany and Holland"
Alexander V. Hamilton
The Household Cyclopaedia
Practical Receipts and Daily Wants
"The kitchen, as the workshop of the house, is the room in which many housekeepers spend most of their waking hours. Hence it should be perhaps the lightest, airiest and most cheerful room in the house...Try to make the kitchen a room in harmonizing tints by painting or tinting the walls in light greens and the floor in dark green. Or a clear, light yellow is a good color for the kitchen walls, with the floor in brown. Or, if the room has a southern or western exposure, gray walls with the floor in drab or slate color, will give a cooler effect...A smooth floor of unpainted wood, hard enough not to splinter and to admit of being scrubbed, is perhaps the best floor for a kitchen..Or the floor may be covered with linoleum, which is perhaps all things considered, the most satisfactory floor covering."
We have two new additions to the Cottage kitchen decor...
Here we have an old tin advertising sign for Black Kow soft drink. It has a copyright date of 1928 by Welsh's Fruit Products Company. Starting in the early 1900's root beer was referred to as Black Kow. Hence, the drink we are most familiar with: the Black Kow or commonly known as an ice cream soda or a root beer float...
3/4 to 1 cup of cold root beer
3 small scoops of vanilla ice cream
Cold club soda, optional
This sign has been in our possession since 1990. It is not in pristine condition, it is rusted and bent, which only endears it to us all the more. It hung in our laundry room for as long as we've lived in the Cottage, but to get more cabinets for storage in there we've moved it to a place of honor here in the kitchen. Now it gets the visability that it deserves. You would think that it was the jumping off point for the colors used in the kitchen, but we didn't figure that one out until after the fact!
We paid $170 for it back then and I've tried to research it but have only found small signs or reproductions. I have no idea of the monetary worth of it today, I just know that we are very happy to have found it.
The other addition you may have noticed is Mr. Roo...
You might remember him looking like this. He was beautiful and regal and so pretty when I bought him home from HomeGoods, but when the kitchen evolved into the "old miner's cottage working kitchen" and not into the beautiful French country look I envisioned at first, he seemed a little too slick. So what was the solution? Paint, of course.
I sprayed him all white, taping off his pretty shiny red comb and wattle, and his feet and fauna around them. I then sponge painted him with black and more white to get the look I wanted. I then applied a few coats of clear wax. It was a leap of faith and worrisome at times, but I think he fits in better now.
You probably will be getting another update of the kitchen in time as I have my eye on a black and white braided rug for under the table and I'm waiting for some natural linen toweling with a red stripe, that I ordered, to make a runner for the table.
I hope you enjoyed this installment and sit tight for "The Workings of a Victorian Home, Part Three, in the future.
After walking the dogs, we came home to this!
I love a small snow fall but one of the reasons I was so wanting this one was so I could share with you what Jake gave me for Christmas. He and his girlfriend, Jacinda, picked it out and they were so excited to present it to me on Christmas Eve. It is probably one of the first gifts that he ever picked out all by himself and I could tell that he was very proud of the fact. He said he just knew that it was something that I would like and he was right! The reason I wanted snow was that, to me, it reminds me of Dr. Zhivago for some reason, and I thought the snow would show it off to it's best advantage.
I know I thanked you already, Jake, but I have to tell you again how much I love it. Doesn't it look so pretty in the snow? It hangs on a tall shepard's hook and I can't wait to put it in the Secret Garden come spring.
I'm sharing today with: