Kitchen Thoughts

I was flipping through a copy of San Francisco Kitchens by Paumes last night and became so inspired I started drawing a new plan of what our kitchen could be like someday … with actual cabinets! and not just some boxes screwed to the wall at various angles. Then I started doodling the various kitchen articles I yen for. Dreaming and scheming is good; of this I am convinced. There’s something about the physical act of writing or sketching what’s on the wish list that helps it manifest. And after looking at page after page of beautiful old wooden bowls, handmade plates, vintage furniture, and vibrant textiles, I realized the wish list is long and rather specific.
When I go to the thrift stores or flea markets, I’m always running through the mental wish list — old school multi-colored nesting bowls in decent shape, a tea kettle with character, large Ball jars, bird plates (I collect them), cast iron cookware in colors … it goes on. Rarely do I find what I’m after, but often do I stumble upon the fabulously unexpected, like this amazing pastoral Dutch-themed plate! The only indication of its origins are a very smudged stamp of the word “Germany” on the back.
I’m sure you all have kitchen items or artifacts that are near and dear to your heart, each with their own story. A particular plate or bowl or spoon, grandmother’s cookbook, perhaps even some heirloom family furniture? They say the heart of the home is the kitchen, and I buy into it completely. For me, the objects most savored are those of use.
I’d love to hear (and see) what you have in your kitchens. Feel free to email me a nice shot and a short blurb for any of your treasures. If I get enough I’ll do another post on this topic. Read on after the jump for a look at more of my recent finds, including an amazing vintage egg carton retrieved from a dusty back corner of my mother’s cupboard.
PS My tutorial on selecting colors from zoomed in images is on it’s way! I just got distracted with Maker Faire and Kitchens and dreaming and such.

I found this old egg carton at the very back of a top cupboard at my moms while looking for cookie tins. When I asked her about it, she told me that a woman gave it to her when when we kids were young, when she was rather poor and selling eggs. The woman thought she’d appreciate the box, though I was the one going ape over it all these years later. I was blown away by the design — not very safe for eggs, but the graphics have an incredible deco feel. I am so intrigued about the decision to bleed the line work into the middle oval. And what is going on with that One Dozen? Reminds me of the old Oz books we used to read. Oh, and the best part? The wartime “For Defense: Save and Sell” stamp on the inside. Copyright 1934 by the Bloomer Bros. Company.
Lately I’ve been really attracted to tools that look like animals, like this garlic press in the shape of bird … Though, I’m not entirely convinced it’s a garlic press. It could be some kind of cocktail strainer? Does anyone know?
And of course, who can live without berry baskets? These are from my childhood, as are the measuring spoons. I was a visual learner to say the least, so when I couldn’t get the hang of numerical measuring my mom bought these color-coded spoons. I still use and prefer them over others.
Ball jars are a kitchen staple. And those big ones … swoon! The fork and spoon are now glued together, but once upon a time they were actually used. In fact, my boyfriend, who’s a woodworker, made these to eat his lunch with because he kept forgetting utensils and the shop didn’t supply any. Cute!
Three of my favorite plates. The top one I just found at an antique store. When you hold it up to the light at a certain angle you can see the sheen where the leaves were painted, and now rubbed off. The glaze has cracked in the most wonderful pattern, and the plate has the feeling of being used and loved. The bottom ones are singles from 2 different sets, one found at the Alameda flea market, and the other at a going-out-of-business antique store in my boyfriend’s tiny hometown of Newcastle, CA. They make my heart happy.
The orange container I just picked up from a great place in the Mission (SF) called The Apartment. The guys who run it have been there for 20 years and they’re super sweet and will happily talk with you about each item in their store. I’ve been looking for a ceramic container with lid to use as a crock for pickling, and this one is actually oven safe too. The pepper/coffee grinder came from a flea market in Paris in the 60s. My step mom Claire brought it back to the states when she returned from living abroad 17 years.
These are just a few of my favorite things. I hope you’ll share with us some of your own.

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