One of the reasons I do what I do....

Ok, I was flipping through one of my favorites and saw a recipe for Springerlie. I've seen this recipe before and know it's a cookie that comes from Germany and is usually made around Christmas time but I was wondering about the lady that wrote this recipe book and when I was reading this paticular recipe all of a sudden at the bottom read; "This recipe has been in our family for 50 years and came from Germany." Now mind you this was written in the early 40's. I'm not even joking when I say I got the chills. I feel like a great part of collecting these treasures is to save these family heirlooms for future generations. It's kinda our responsibility, anybody else feel the same?

Kitchen's of the 1920's

The 1920's kitchens were created with the thought that being modern, sanitary, and efficient were very important like women of the past decade had, the difference though was the loosening of the rules of any non essential decor being allowed, it was truly a period of sweet and in my opinion, really pretty kitchens.

Light and bright cheerful colors were used often and made the space seem bright and in many cases bigger than they were.

The invention of electricity made appliances absolutely mandatory and ad agencies made sure you (the consumer) knew that too.
Vacuum cleaners, washing machines, toasters, electric stoves, and fans were just a few of the fancy new tools designed to save time and add comfort to daily tasks.
Until the 1920s, appliances were popular, but during the 1920's, they became a MUST. Electric refrigerators replaced the ice box by the end of the decade, it was a huge shift that literally changed the way families ate.

The kitchens and recipes of the 1920's are one of my absolute favorites and I hope you can see why. In my opinion it's such a great balance of simplicity with warmth and comfort. To me they inspire me to combine sweet and homey with functionality and create a space that will make and my friends and family feel at home.

Kitchen's From the Late 1800's to the early 1900's

Here's some kitchens to make you think about how bad it really is the next time your dishwasher dies and you have to wash dishes by hand. Learning about these amazing ladies and how their

During the very early part of this time period, alot of kneeling was done in front of the hearth while you did your cooking and it took awhile for early stoves to progress to thier current height. The women that were lucky enough to own one I'm sure were happy nontheless. Here's a great and abolutely fascinating website if you love the look of antique stoves called StoveHospital. I stumbled upon it and am convinced we need one now:)

The last 2 pictures are from 1903 and are in the book "Homes And Their Decoration", by Lillie Hamilton French. You can read the full book by clicking the title of this post.

The most important issue in kitchen design of this time period was practicality and usefullness above all else. The authors of housekeeping and cookbooks, who were the rockstars of their time and were major movers and shakers of style and popular culture. These special ladies were trying to get others to leave the excessive and showiness of the victorian decorating style and thought that anything unnessesary or purely for decorative purposes was considered in bad taste. Some of the influence of this more minimalist syle came from all of the brand spankin new scientific data coming out about cleanliness and hygiene. Also the benefits of freash air in the home and the harmful effects of dust and ash and coal residue from fuels were big factors influencing how the typical housewife made her everyday choices.
It's funny though that looking at these kitchens today, with simplistic and minimalist in-style at the moment, I wonder what those authors and housewives from long ago would think of our kitchens:)

An appreciation for the past

This week I'm going to do a series showing examples of kitchens of the pasts. This idea came from encountering some people who *gasp* were wondering why some of us have such a love affair with vintage cookbooks. Yes they're out there!

For me one of the reasons is getting that knock down reality check that we all sometimes need when we think we have it hard. I think about the amount of love that the mothers and wives of the past would've had to have had to keep cooking day after day with none of the time saving equipment we take for granted today. It's one thing to say it must of been hard work but it's another to actually see what little they were working with and to imagine ourselves attempting to do it.

We see recipes today that have changed little over the years except in the way they are prepared and that is the part that we forget, the absolutely amazing unsaid preperations behind what are more than a just list of ingredients. To bake a cake in the 17th century meant to do it over an open flame and gauging temperaturing by sticking a piece of paper in and seeing how long it took to brown or sometimes even your hand went in, if you were a good cook. Can you imagine the watching and the waiting, even simple things like the adjusting of temperature took time and work, you didn't turn a knob like today, but had to add more wood or open your flue and you used ingredients that were precious and expensive and couldn't be purchased again if mistakes were made. Such pressure!

So when I come across an early cookbook and see notes about what worked and what didn't, I think that this recipe or this cookbook that I hold in my hands must be good if she went through all that she did and made it. Enjoy and let me know what you think:)

Back by popular demand!

Here it is, one of the jewels! The White House Cook Book written by Hugo Ziemann who was once upon a time the steward of the White House, and Mrs. F.L. Gillette. It is a cookbook treasure that has a special place in cookbook collectors hearts. It's a hefty one with 609 pages and packed with cooking, toilet and household recipes, menus, dinner-giving tips, table etiqutte, care of the sick, health suggestions, facts worth knowing and etc. Also has pic of Helen Axson Wilson, this classic cokbook would put the current First Lady at the time of publishing on the title page. This copy also has pics of Helen Herron Taft and Frances Folsom Cleveland.
Vintage Cookbooks are for everyone who has ever wanted to bake something special and turned to a modern cookbook and realized they never seem to have all the ingredients at the same time, there're for history lovers that want to feel connected to the past in a way that's missing in history books, there're for the people that love that musty old book smell and laugh at kindle's, they're for people that feel like we as a society have gone a little too far, a tad off course with life and want to get back to the simple and the real, and they're for the people that want to pay homage to all the grandma's and great aunts that did it best!

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