Thursday, May 16, 2013

The American Kitchen

This is a good read if you're interested in anything you could possibly want to know about the American kitchen from Colonial times up to the present day.

Here is some household wisdom from days past. "Never oblige your servants to tell a falsehood for you, and they will not be so likely to tell a falsehood to you." Godey's Lady's Book, August 1867.

HABITS OF SYSTEM AND devoted to preparing for the labors of the week. Any extra cooking, the purchasing of articles to be used during the week, the assorting of clothes for the wash, and mending...these and similar items belong to this day. Tuesday is devoted to washing, and Wednesday to ironing. On Thursday, the ironing is finished off, the clothes folded and put away, and all articles which need mending are put in the mending basket, and attended to. Friday is devoted to sweeping and house-cleaning. On Saturday, and especially the last Saturday of every month, every department is put in order, the casters and table furniture are regulated, the pantry and cellar inspected, the trunks, drawers, and closets arranged, and everything about the house put in order for Sunday. By this regular recurrence of a particular time for inspecting everything, nothing is forgotten till ruined by neglect. American Woman's Home-Catherine E. Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe, 1869

MAKING OF CLOTHING-With the present facilities for sewing, it is practicable for every housekeeper to cut out and make up all the articles worn by the different members of her family, with the exception, perhaps, of dress-coats and overcoats. The saving which she will thus make will more than pay the wages of a domestic, who will perform all the drudgery of a household such as washing, cleaning, ironing, sweeping, etc. The Philosophy of Housekeeping-Joseph & Laura Lyman, 1869

I am by nature an organizer. I like for things to be in place and for each day to be planned to within an inch of its allotted hours. BUT...I am a lover of spontaneity. I love a routine, and I love to throw it all out the window if something better comes along. I have noticed that our house is in its best-running order when I stay home all day and attend to 'things'. And I like doing that for a time. After that, I need something new. Yesterday that happened to be a trip to Wal-Mart. I'm pretty easy to please.


Pom Pom said...

I love staying home all day, puttering around with no pressure. Home is best.
I can't imagine what it must have been like to have "help" and I am quite sure I would not have been a good manager. I'm glad I get to work alone at our house! I do love my gardener-hubby. He can do the lion's share of the outdoor work!

Left-Handed Housewife said...

I used to have a weekly routine, but I've been hard-pressed to get into it the last few years. Too much running about hither and yon. I love those days when I'm home and don't have to leave. I get all sorts of things done!


Cranberry Morning said...

Haha. I could totally identify with that last paragraph. :-) And for some reason, I get lots more done and organized on a sunny day.

Cathy said...

Tending to home duties makes me happy. When I do keep my home tended, then I am better able to take off and do something beyond the norm...whether that means a trip to Walmart or ....whatever.

I enjoyed reading this historical excerpt!

Cranberry Morning said...

Hi Debbie, I got your comment, but evidently your email is not enabled so I couldn't respond by email. SO, re. York Minster, yes, I also went to the top and took photos out over all those amazing red roofs - on a snowy March day. It was beautiful, and the city and minster are amazing! Thank you so much for stopping in. Spent time in the Undercroft, but we weren't there in time for a service. Fortunately, we had the opportunity to attend services at King's College Chapel in Cambridge, St. Paul's in London, Westminster Abbey, and Ripon Cathedral. As you can tell, it's one of our favorite things to do. :-)

Gumbo Lily said...

This post reminds me of so many things I need to do. A servant would be a nice addition to my housekeeping right now.