Monday, August 22, 2011

Canning Season

It is full-fledged canning season at the farm so come on over to my other blog Farmwife at Midlife and visit me in my cottage canning kitchen. There are gently cooling breezes down from the knob and we can enjoy the porch again after a long heat wave and drought-like conditions here in south-central Kentucky.

I promise there will be more regular updates here at In the Pantry with pantry-related posts throughout the autumn and winter months ahead.

In the meantime, I'm filling our pantries and freezers from now until the colder weather. Getting a woodstove installed–oh how I miss a woodstove!–and we will soon be piling up many cords of seasoned wood from our farm on our back porch. Here in the very hot and dry South we will welcome Fall sooner than we did in the Northeast. And Fall rains will be welcome as will the cozier and cooler days ahead. I used to mourn the summer's passing in late August–now I embrace it like an old friend or my favorite shawl.

And oh how I still love to fill a pantry, our many freezers, and a wood box. There is something immensely gratifying about seeing your jars of the summer harvest lined up in rows on the shelf. It is a visual record of a day's work, of self-sustenance and good nourishment, too. The idea of living out of our own food stores, with our own animals and eggs, local produce from farmers we know, and avoiding the store? Priceless.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Pantries I Saw on My Summer Vacation

An old Hoosier-esque cupboard in the shed at Green's Heritage Museum
 in Orient, Ohio. [I particularly like the vines growing around it.]
We took several trips to Ohio this summer and, of course, I brought my camera along. I'm always on the lookout for unusual spaces and pantry places along the way. What's fun about visiting Ohio is that even though I have spent much time there––as a child and adult––there is always something new to see or find. [For more about "What I Learned on My Summer Vacation," please see my Farmwife at Midlife blog.] We don't go far together now that we have a cattle farm and much responsibility here in Kentucky, so we do try to pack as much time as we can into our short trips.

The butler's pantry at the James A. Garfield Historic Site in Mentor, Ohio.

The interior of the small field worker's wagon at Green's Heritage Museum.
It was used by migrant workers from Kentucky who came up to Ohio each summer.
There is a small bedroom and an open area for cooking and living space––like a Gypsy caravan.
The cupboard and counter in the field worker's wagon.

A former tourist cabin.
The cupboard and kitchen area of the tiny tourist cabin
 at Green's Heritage Museum. What little girl, or grown woman,
would not want this as a playhouse of their  own?

Two views of the kitchen and pantry area that was in the old store at Green's Heritage Museum. 

A row of old oatmeal boxes in the old store.

A "Portable Pantry," made in Ohio in the latter part of the 19th century. I'd heard about them but had never seen one before. I found this in an antique shop in Berlin, Ohio (but did not buy it!).

A flower arranging volunteer in the room made for the same purpose at
Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens in Akron, Ohio. Above this space,
on the second story, is a commodious linen closet with cupboards and drawers.
Last but not least, my friend Linda spotted a copy of my book on the upper shelf
of the gift shop of Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens. I was glad to see it and they ordered more copies.