down-home: not an austere kitchen . . . I don’t do minimalism

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Spring, le printemps, arrived on 1 September which means the end of the first month of spring is on 30 September. Thing is I’m still waiting for the temperature to rise & stay that way letting spring fairly set in.  It’s being quite stubborn this year as the cold weather, especially the cold nights, are hanging around. I don’t do cold especially in the house. No. I have to have a good indoor heating system which means the house is centrally heated.  Angaston is higher than Nuriootpa & Tanunda both towns sitting on the Valley floor.  Angaston is perched higher up on the eastern side of the Valley in the more hilly area.

Of course, I try to use the central heat system as little as possible in favour of the warmth & smell of the wood fire. That said, this year, for various reasons, I have been using the central heat quite often, mainly in the mornings, to get the house warmed up quickly. I then turn it off.

If I come home late in the day I use it at least until the fire warms up which can take a while. If I get home too late to light the fire I use the central heat.  It’s a large system that doesn’t take much time to warm the place. 

As I say I don’t do cold – at least inside.  I’m fine outside working once I get into it & my natural body heat takes over.

And despite the cold the bare trees know it’s spring. The ash and elms, the cedars, gleditias, the pawlonias & ornamental pears, to name a few, are all starting to burst out with a flurry of colour, leafing up nicely. The natives like gums & acacias never lose their leaves. Same with the pepper trees.

 

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Given my thing, some would say weakness, for the old & pre-loved, the vintage & collectible including kitchenalia, I make no apologies for sharing a few more old scales, some vintage pots & cutlery including flatware, silverware & bone handled knives. Truth is old kitchen scales are a weakness of mine  . . .  yes, another. Sigh.

The stuff I remember, the kitchen gear we used in the ‘old days’ makes it hard to stop collecting. I first posted here about my love of vintage ironstone, faience, porcelain & china.

 

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But that doesn’t mean I have to have everything on display.  I am more discerning than that. When I come across something I want, I may have to let another piece go or, at least, store it somewhere.  But I’m the first to admit I’m not good at letting things go even in favour of something else.  A silly quandary isn’t it.

                                                                                  🙃

 

 

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So, yes, the kitchen area is far from austere.  I am anything but a minimalist. It is a place to gather & cook, to chat, laugh & share a glass or two.  It is home. It is full, it is warm & atmospheric exuding a rustic nostalgia, a physical & emotional beauty I love.  

 

 

 

 

 

The 2 images above feature the old Metters wood stove both taken in the summer when it was not in use. There is also a large black Falcon stove with electric oven & gas burners in the kitchen on the other side.

I love the efficiency & warmth the old Metters gives to the kitchen which opens out to one larger living room where a cast iron wood heater is installed.

The second image above shows the alcove lit up. I couldn’t possibly operate in a dark alcove as we once did back in the day so I had my electrician install a small light each side on the wall.

And one day the kitchen will be finished.

Nevertheless, finished or not, it’s used everyday as though finished.

 

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I think it goes back to my childhood when I, the second eldest of 9, started my life in the kitchen at a very young age under Mum’s tutelage. 

Some of my earliest memories are about the kitchen, being in the kitchen – cooking, cleaning & looking after the younger ones, all 7 of them, even the older brother at times. 

These old items represent, for me, the days long ago on the farm, of family, babies & hard work.  I can’t ignore them, can’t discard them & still use them if suitable.

 

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So, what is it about these old kitchen utensils? From my earlier post:

It’s the way vintage household goods & utensils give the kitchen atmosphere, a sort of down-home warmth, a sort of imagining or wistfulness as I see beyond their utility & usefulness to their physical & emotional beauty. They remind me … memories awake … those early years. Who used them? Whose home were they in?

Perhaps their real value is in understanding they have passed through history, an earlier time when they were made & used in everyday kitchens, our mothers’, grandmothers’ & great grandmothers’ kitchens.

 

 

It’s what they represent of earlier times, what they remind me of.  I wonder who made them? Who used them?

It’s a sense of history, a memory, a nostalgia, perhaps a hankering for that more plain & simple time when life was not so fast paced, when we weren’t crowding each other out with our mobile phones, tablets & computers, with instagram, whatsapp, facebook & all the other distractions out there. I need to keep them, to preserve & honour them by having them in my home & heart.

Their real value is in understanding that they have passed through history, an earlier time, when they were made & used. I can’t throw out these types of historical objects & I don’t like seeing them discarded . . . left outside to break, to rust.

Maybe somebody in the future will continue to take care of them once I’m gone.

 

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