A Jolly Kitchen and a Gem of a Website

A jolly kitchen complete with a decorative woman

"The Kitchen, A Workshop of Color and Charm.The kitchen should be the pleasant room in the house. There is not good reason for the millions of ugly kitchens in the world. Nor is there any good reason for kitchens that look like white tile lunchrooms. In a kitchen that is gay, cozy, and pleasant, half the labor of cooking seems to be eliminated. In many houses that have been restored and kept in memory of another day, the kitchen is a most interesting and delightful room. When a tour of the house has been made and the kitchen is reached, there is always a sigh of pleasure. A sense of comfort and jollity pervades the place. The mellow walls, the lovely old containers for flours and spices, the gay platters, bowls and cups, the gleaming copper, the rocking chairs!...The modern housewife should try to get her kitchen the same jolly atmosphere, while preserving a convenient arrangement of furnishings and utensils...Above my stove I have hung a mirror in a green and gold frame. It reflects the jolly kitchen as well as the cook. A cook should consult a mirror often. For what use is a decorative kitchen without a decorative woman in it!"

---Bamberger's Cook Book For The Busy Woman, Mabel Claire [Greenberg:New York] 1932 (p. 18-21)

I found this selection while researching historical menus for our upcoming 1850-1950 history studies on The Food Timeline. This website, a labor of love by a research librarian with a passion for food history is a wealth of information! Other than the fact that it begins back in 17,000 B.C., and the bother that some of the thousands of links no longer work, it is a real treasure, even though it may not appear so on first blush. You can find all sorts of subsections including 20th Century American Foods by decades, complete with sample menus and numerous quotes from cookbooks, along with links to many, many of those sources. What fun to read excerpts from cookbooks of yore and catch a glimpse of the times in which our grandmothers lived and raised their families!

P.S. If you have trouble with the link for the 20th Century American foods by decades, try this address:    http://www.foodtimeline.org/fooddecades.html


Anonymous said…
I really appreciate the quote you included at the beginning. I'm almost all done unpacking the kitchen boxes and there are grand plans for cooking baking tomorrow. The linked website provided a nice break from the unpacking. Thanks!

Anne said…
Jessi -

Glad that you all arrived in safely in TX! I know that you will have a jolly kitchen because your home is inhabited with joy-filled big and little people. One of the things I will miss most about you, Jessi, is your sense of humor and ready laughter! May the Lord bless you as you set up your new home.

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