I wish we could sit down together to converse over a slice of homemade pie with a good cup of coffee. I’m usually wearing a skirt; hence, “skirt in the kitchen”–and sometimes, I’ll put on an apron.
I enjoy the company of friends and family around a table whether it be outdoor dining or around a vintage 1950’s table in my kitchen. I think it might be on its last leg since I can’t quite part with it but it’s still functional and beautiful to me.
I prefer mixing modern with vintage.
For most of my childhood, we ate around a vintage table, early on, having a chrome edge and chrome legs that we’d hang on as kids when we were knee-tall in stature, then it became a leaning post for “home base” of “tag-you’re-it” on those bad-weather days. It was also a spot to play hide-and-seek under, and it served as a secondary countertop for food prep since the kitchen was too small before more counter space and cabinetry took its place.
We ate from vintage plates with mismatched makes and colors. Forks would clink a few Fiesta platters and a couple of porcelain pieces and “second-hand junk” that my mother and a friend of hers found at our small-town rummage sale with runny egg yolk on the plates not being washed prior to purchase. It still “cracks me up”–the lady who sold them told us she didn’t have time to wash dishes before the sale, lol. Mother purchased the dishes from her, we went home and washed the yellow yolk off our new serving plates, even white cups that were stained and still dripping with coffee. Mother soaked them in vinegar and they became brand new again. I should have learned how to keep the dishes washed in my later years!
We were a noisy bunch, my three older brothers, my little sister, and I. We were almost like stair steps in ages and heights. It’s a good thing that nothing matched.
By middle school or a little sooner, we went to veneer, and that was the last table that my father used in his house after we had all grown and moved away from home. He kept that table, and knowing him, it was because of the memories and how much he missed us. It wasn’t solely because it was still a resourceful table. He was every bit a practical man, but he was also a sentimental father and grandfather.
We went through a few old vintage refrigerators in the early days: A Frigidaire, a Kelvinator, and a Philco that always leaked at the bottom, it being old even then and needing a towel kept at the floor to sop up the water. They were oldies but goodies. We may have had one of my grandparents’ refrigerators that they handed down to us at one time. What I recall is that we made a way to have what was needed; my parents did, anyhow. It was the beginning of my practicality, the resourcefulness that was instilled in me of now, and the start of my lifelong love of vintage appliances and dishes.
Did I mention a white Ford Fairlane? I’m pretty sure it had a deep-red interior. Dad loved driving that little car with all of us in it, going ever so slowly up the main roads and on the sandy dirt back-roads in Central Kansas where the Sand Hill plums were plentiful and ripe for picking.
My history of baking and cooking began basically at toddler age. I was my parents’ shadow in the kitchen and everywhere they were in the gardens and orchards. I had an immediate interest with them in what became natural for me, from farm field to garden to table, in the kitchen preparing food, to fulfilling the belly with an accomplished meal mainly out of practicality that initially taught me how to put different foods together harmoniously and creatively. My palette was broad even as a young child.
We planted fruit trees and always had a large garden, but we also traveled each summer to pick the Montmorency cherries and Red Haven peaches, my brothers and sister included. We each helped and we had a lot of fun together doing what we liked best, the way of life that my father cherished from his own childhood.
I liked how my parents were “together” around food, preparing it, talking about it, deciding excitedly how they’d cook and bake with each ingredient that they wanted to try. They stretched every meal into much. It was a wholesome way of eating, feeding and raising us. I am grateful for what they gave me with the learning capabilities that they offered me, what they taught me, and what I now carry through in the wake of my father’s absence since his death two years ago. I have the love of living for having had them as my parents. I live and do, occupy my time with great passion of the same interests that they shared. In my childhood, we were poor to many; but realistically, we were abundantly wealthy in various ways. No one knew all that we had.
Skirt in the Kitchen became a blog site simply because people asked for my recipes. I did it for that reason, then it became fun for me to take pictures and talk about food and what was centered around each meal. Slowly but surely, I began to build this little part of the world that came out of my kitchen from something that drives my passion.
As time went by, I went through moments of memories that truly depicted Skirt in the Kitchen–my family–my parents and grandparents, even my children among much of my extended family.
I believe in being there for others. I’ve been accustomed to the ways of giving. My parents were always giving, loving people. I naturally am because of them. I cannot imagine Skirt in the Kitchen functioning without having the means to supply for others in times of need, to help support charity causes, to even provide food in times of hardship. We’ve all been there a time or two. I’m not too proud to say that I haven’t. In fact, I think it can build and make the character of a person. Financial abundance is not what makes someone somebody.
Food can be an open window, an entryway to an everlasting friendship. It brings a smile to a neighbor next door when you’re standing there holding a casserole or a fresh dessert baked from the oven. It says a lot to a person. It’s meat and potatoes to the joints, to the heart of someone who needs recognition, sincerity, and time spent. It’s a welcoming statement.
Thank you for taking the time to show interest in Skirt in the Kitchen, to possibly cook and bake from our recipes if that is what you find enjoyable in doing. Perhaps you log onto Skirt in the Kitchen just for the inspirational aspect of it. For whatever reason you find that fits your personal take, I hope you walk away with a filled belly of love and acceptance as well as the knowledge that is passed down and shared.
May God bless you with the richest of blessings of family through his comfort and joy.
Susan Nuyt, Chief Editor of Skirt in the Kitchen