Thursday, March 1, 2012

Nanny's Kitchen

This photo is exactly how I remember my Grandmother, and it is one of my favorite photos of "Nanny".

Nanny's Kitchen was a very small room, maybe 9 ft by 12 ft. It was bright, clean and cozy. There was a 3ft counter with a cabinet above it in the corner that held a sink in later years. The kitchen table was in the center of the room, and a large wood burning stove sat next to the table. There was a small daybed along the inside wall and of course, Nanny's rocking chair fit right by the front window.  This was the space in which she prepared meals for her family of seven, among many other things. Making everything from scratch, there were no modern conveniences for this woman.

Looking around the kitchen, one would ask how did she possible function in such a little space.  I think what saved her was a long pantry in the back hallway. In this hallway, was the entry from the side of the house, a door leading to the root cellar and a door to the pantry.  In the pantry there were cupboards, counter space and storage for baking and cooking supplies. I remember the temperature in this room was cooler than the rest of the house. I was always very curious about the pantry and liked to look and snoop around. 

Nanny's day would start early, stoking the fire in the stove to warm the house and to prepare breakfast.  It seem as if she was constantly preparing something, breakfast then mid morning tea, lunch then afternoon tea, dinner then evening tea. It was a non-stop routine and I bet her dishes were washed over a million times.

When she first moved into this house and while raising her children, she had no running water. Water was retrieved from the well and brought into the house by bucket for drinking, cooking, bathing and cleaning. Aunt Agnes said, during the winter if a bucket of water was left in the hallway overnight, a layer of ice would form by morning.

I made this sketch so you can see the layout of the first floor of my grandparents house. I think it is pretty close.

1 comment:

  1. I don't think I appreciate our modern conveniences as I should. Your Nanny was a strong, hard working mother and wife. Aunt Agnes has really given you many valuable stories. Elaine, Did you go into the root cellar?