Grandma had placed her final touches on Sunday dinner, making sure her mashed potatoes had just enough lumps in them to ensure there was no mistake they were home made. Reaching into the white enamel and chrome faced, fuel powered oven she pulled out a fresh baked apple pie with oven mitts that had a red name-brand tractor motif which she had hand painstakingly sewn many years ago.
She turned to Grandpa who was dutifully placing cloth napkins in a sunny yellow color at each place setting and told him to ring the dinner bell. Grandpa’s touch on that old cast iron bell with a replica of an old barn placed atop for decoration was very insistent. “Ding! Ding! Ding!” was belted out in rapid succession and could be heard throughout the entire farm. It didn’t take long for every family member to surround the rough hewn pine farm table and bow their heads as Grandpa said grace.
After the prayer everyone began by passing the tightly woven grape-vine bread basket full of fresh baked dinner rolls. The entire family took part in a set-down-to table dinner. Each person used the salt and pepper shakers that were in the shape and color of brown eggs that appeared to be plucked from under the roosting hen that morning. The piping hot dishes that held Sunday’s menu were carefully removed from their cast iron teapot-shaped trivets in varying sizes and passed from the head of the table to the far end.
As each family member finished their meal they waited patiently for the others and happily chirped about their afternoon’s work on the farm and their plans for tomorrow. Finally, with Grandpa taking his last bite, you could hear the clatter of dishes as everyone helped to clear the dining table and move to the kitchen sink. Everyone, that is, except Grandma. Grandpa saw to it that Grandma was sitting comfortably in her chair with her favorite magazine while her “brood” from restaurant supply stores, as she fondly called her family, started the dish washing, drying and putting away process.
Each person who claimed the drying task snatched a cotton dish towel of varying farm motifs from Grandma’s prized hutch. Ma ended up washing, using a dish cloth made from cotton, softened over time. I put everything its proper place in the oak china cabinet and silverware box made from walnut wood.
As I fondly think of this important family event it is obvious to me that every cook and chef has quite a list of accessories they find necessary for their kitchen. While many would envision needs of a blender, coffee maker, toaster and microwave; my thoughts go to those less obvious that I’ve mentioned here.
You can accessorize your kitchen through various companies including Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, and World Market. The important thing to remember is to personalize your space in your own style so you feel inspired while cooking for yourself and others.