ering I write this post, I'm over 3,000 miles away from my kitchen at my daughter's in North Carolina. My kitchen is in Eastern Washington. Before I left for this trip, I had the chore of all chores ... to ready my kitchen for a complete renovation. I thought, being the list maker and not the most organized person, that if I crossed off one drawer and/or cabinet an evening, I'd be good to go. Well that plan went out the front door once I began the process.
Let me back up a few years. My husband and I were married 1-1/2 years ago. Our home was built in 1912 by his Grandpa Art. In the late 1950s or early 60s (depends on which family member I ask), my mother-in-law (rest her soul), had the kitchen remodeled -- dropping the ceiling, painting the walls green, light pink tiles & green laminate countertop --- now known as vintage chic.
In the early 90s, after her husband passed away, she moved to town and my husband moved to the ranch. His Mom left behind the necessities and a little bit of history in the kitchen. My husband, being a longtime bachelor, added his 'necessities' to the kitchen and then six years ago when I moved in, I added my 'necessities' to the kitchen. So our kitchen became a hers, his, mine & ours.
When I began in the first cupboard I found a folder of neatly cut out newspaper articles of "My Recipes" - a local feature in our weekly paper, that highlights a county resident and some of their tried & true recipes. In looking through the many articles I discovered that many of those featured are my friends Moms, mothers-in-law & female relatives. I have already begun mailing them out to my friends ... what a fun surprise to get in the mail.
As I was pulling out the drawers in the kitchen, I noted that a couple were specifically made for storing flour, sugar and loaves of bread .... something I'd love to have in my new kitchen. Imagine not having to use cannisters, just dumping that sack of flour in a drawer. And living on a farm where we have been known to have a critter or two (i.e. mouse) ... those drawers are perfect!
Next I tackled the vet drawer, full of bottle nipples for calves & misc. vet supplies. The next drawer down was the pot holder drawer which was not only full of pot holders, hand crocheted dish clothes & scrubbies, but also the manuals for the kitchen appliances. I also found clipped together several very neatly cut newspaper clippings on a variety of how-to's such as "How to buy a dining room table", "How to get properly clean a refrigerator and defrost a freezer" and a few other informative diddies. There were even a few off-color jokes that had been clipped out of magazines.
In a smaller drawer I found treasures. My Mother-in-law collected roosters - in this drawer I found teeny roosters, fish 'bobbers', small pocket knives, screwdrivers, knife sharpners, magnifying glasses & key chains with the names of local (and now out of business) banks, pharmacies, farm machine stores, fertilizer & seed co-ops.
I won't go through each drawer, but know this ... in each drawer I found 'treasures'. With these delightful finds I'd share them with my husband who could 99% of the time tell me a story about the now long-gone business or the piece of treasure I had found.
My favorite finds were the Campbell Soup characters on spoons & forks, plastic Kool-aid character cups with my sister-in-law's name printed on the bottom (gifted them to her), and a plastic container in a cool retro-turquoise color with the words 'kitchenaid' on it that belonged in the old refrigerator. This container is now in the scrappy lounge & being used to store my ribbons.
What a great time this part of the kitchen renovation was. I discovered treasures, learned about neighbors, local history, the practicality of kitchens and that even before organization was 'trendy', my mother in law was very organized.
Elle's Studio + JBS
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