Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Pantry

Thanksgiving celebrates the bounty of the land that we live in.  Preparing food is the center of our activity.  There are no gifts to buy or other events to attend--except for the traditional high school football games here in New England.  The biggest rivalries are saved for Thanksgiving morning. (And here that includes a spectacular bonfire the night before.   It is already taking shape down on the field.)  Having a beautiful, large, and extremely functional kitchen was always just a dream for me until this house. I had just moved from a custom, newly built, large home, but it did not have any real character of its own.  This renovation, two years in the making, was completed just in time to cook Thanksgiving in several years ago.  In the next couple of posts I will share with you My vision of what an old (165 years old) farm kitchen should be.  Not over the top fancy, but so, so nice.  
The Pantry: Placed in the corner of the adjacent room that seemed to be a place to chop the wood, the new pantry can be closed off from view.  It has a baking center and lots of storage.  The doors are made from two old screen doors that I found down under the carriage shed.  Like everything in this place, they are "custom."  One was a little larger than the other, so we cut off a bit. They are painted, and you know me, looking new is NOT good.  So they have been distressed.  The panels are lightweight board painted with first magnetic paint, then a custom color of chalkboard paint.   Fun for all.  And the best part of all is that they swing just like the doors on your media cabinetry thanks to some special (read, quite expensive) hardware.  It took me months to track down this hardware which will pull out then swing the doors straight back into the space.  Remember these are very heavy doors.
The Baking Center:  The cabinet is the bottom half of a solid oak Thomasville breakfront bought at the local auction for about $100. I gave the top glass half to my friend, Harry, for his model truck collection.  To the cabinet I added the two front legs from MatthewBurak to lift it up and add more character.  It is painted an Old Sturbridge Paint color.  Lovely paint.  It always goes on furniture so well.  (I am not paid by OSV.)  Baking requires the cool surface of marble.  My marble came from a Craigslist find.  I had to sand it down and polish it up.  $20.  There are two electrical outlets. My husband built the shelving from pine, but we faced it with strips of cherry so that it matches the island.  But it looks like solid cherry from the fronts.  I kept the brackets as minimal as possible.  The tile floor balances with the tile on the opposite side, the entry, to the room.

One door open and slid back into the compartment.

The lower cabinets hold my major pots and baking pans, candles, and bakeware.  Under the cabinet, I'm sure, are several of Jello's tennis balls.

Old sterling silver serving spoons are bent and serve as two sets of rolling pin holders.  I use the same
as curtain holders over the two kitchen windows.  I polish them now and again.
Heavy duty hardware attached in six places to the heavy old screen door.

Mechanism of the media cabinet hardware.

It could be a disaster from pie making in there, but who would know?

The pantry design is just a corner of this beautiful kitchen.  It is an easy task to mix and roll at the well lit baking center, and move things to the island or off into the convection ovens.

While the popovers are baking, I am sitting with my back to the fire to warm up--or maybe just to the right with the little tv watching The Chew.

Details.  Kept the knobs country simple on the doors and the baking center cabinet.

Good view of the new leg that was applied to the cabinet.  They come with a 1/4 notch
out of the back--such a difference they make. 

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