Embracing the Farmhouse Kitchen

When I think of farmhouse kitchens, I think of my grandmother and also Aunt Bee from the Andy Griffith Show. Remember the episode when Aunt Bee and Clara entered the pickle contest and Aunt Bee’s pickles tasted like kerosene? Just like Aunt Bee’s kitchen, my grandmother’s was simple yet comfortable. It’s where all the important conversations of the day took place. Her kitchen was truly the heart of her home, which is the same characteristic I try to bring to my own kitchen.

Farmhouse Kitchen ItemsIronstone pitchers, farm fresh eggs, and a French scale speak country farmhouse kitchen to me. I think a farm kitchen tugs at my heartstrings because it brings back so many memories of my grandmother, who we called Mimi. My grandfather was called PawPaw, which could be confusing because they lived in PawPaw, Illinois.

Farmhouse Kitchen VignetteMimi was an amazing cook and would probably cook circles around the farm-to-table chefs of today.  In the summer, she froze corn straight off the cob, so all winter long we had amazingly sweet corn.

Farm Fresh EggsAs a kid, I would often spend a week at her house in the country. She’d cook up a farm fresh breakfast complete with eggs, bacon, and toast made in the oven. In these photos, the solid brown eggs are real, the other speckled ones are fake and simply props.

White ceramic creamerI no longer eat bacon since I’m a vegetarian and I focus on eating locally grown produce whenever possible.

Ironstone pitcher and French scaleI think the less processed our food is, the better. Just watch the movie Food Inc. and you’ll see what I mean.

Brown farm eggsMaking food from scratch is a priority for me, even though it takes longer. I don’t even buy bottled spaghetti sauce anymore. When we use whole, fresh foods to make meals, they’re more full of flavor and better for you.

Farm eggs on natural linensWe grow our own tomatoes and make a variety of sauces. This past summer was ridiculously dry and I didn’t have enough tomatoes to can and last us through the winter. I really missed the canning process.

Ironstone pitcher and small basket I’ve never tried making pickles like Aunt Bee and Clara. I don’t think my grandmother ever made those either. But she did bake lots of cakes and biscuits. Mmm. Those biscuits were heavenly!

Kitchen basketLike Mimi, I prefer to mix my dough with wooden spoons as opposed to a mixer. It’s good for the biceps!

Brown, cage-free eggsHave you ever bought eggs fresh from the farm? Do you ever buy organic or cage-free eggs? They’re more expensive, but I think they’re worth it. I’ve found eating organically costs more at the store, but I believe it reduces medical expenses in the long run.

White linens, fresh eggs, and ironstone pitchersI love fresh-washed linens in the kitchen. So much better than creating waste with paper towels.

Farmhouse kitchen vignetteMimi loved to sing while cooking and cleaning her kitchen. I think she was happiest when spending time in the heart of her home. I’m so fortunate to have such fond memories of my grandmother who was generous with both her food and love!

View more photos of my kitchen at these links:

Bluebells in the Kitchen

Open Shelving in the Kitchen

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Comments

  1. What luvly memories. I too have the best one of my grandmothers ( yes, blood and by marriage. Luved them both… over flowing with luv and great food)
    Beautiful vignette. I grew up with free range eggs at the early part of my childhood, and home grown produce. I have tried to grow my own herbs and tomatoes… but I have to tell you * holding up 10 black thumbs*, I am grow challenged. So I do try and by organic when I can. The taste is awesome. I d make my own sauces though. Non of that jar stuff… oh no. So easy and rewarding to do.
    Thanks for sharing… now I am swimming in memories of my Grands….
    Hugs, Gee

  2. We try to eat only fresh food- shopping the perimeter of the grocery store instead of the processed food aisles. One of the problems we have is buying local fruit. Right now so much of our fruit is from Chile. We only go to the fruit stand for our strawberries and they are always delicious.

    You are lucky to have great memories of good cooks. My mother was a horrible cook. Both my grandmothers were horrible cooks. My last name is Cook, but it should be baker. i am the world’s worst cook, but I bake a mean brownie and cookies.

  3. Great post! Brings back memories of my yiayia (grandma in Greek) and her kitchen. She didn’t live in the country but she had a farmhouse type kitchen. I remember her hooiser cabinet, little metal stool, farm table…so many great memories. And, boy could she cook, all from scratch, of course. Thanks for bringing back so many wonderful memories!!!

  4. This was so nice to read! Neither of my grandparents were alive while I was growing up. I now have a 3 yr old granddaughter and am very much into creating wonderful memories for her (and for me too!). We bake cookies, make gingerbread houses at Christmas, and do a lot of crafting in our “art room”.

    My soulmate has prostate cancer and we, too, are now moving away from processed foods. Only wish we would have done so years ago, but it is never too late. And, speaking of starting things late, I now sing in the kitchen ;0)

    Love your blog, thanks for sharing your memories with all of us.

  5. I cook from scratch and only buy local grown organic too. My bestie keeps me supplied with eggs. I think we all need to go back to a simpler life…grow our own food and live off the land. I enjoyed your post and love your new WP look.

  6. Audrey Zumwalt says:

    Lovely post … we also grew up “living off the land” … mainly because that was the only way my parents could feed a family of seven kids and a grandmother who lived with us. I have great memories of that and wish I could do that now too. I did grow some tomatoes this year and made some really good green tomato (chow-chow) relish. Felt real good about that.
    Blessings,
    Audrey Z.

  7. I use linens for everything except spills that are really going to stain a towel beyond further use. Then I start with the paper towels, which are biodegradable and then move to sponges or rags. We haven’t used paper napkins for daily use for at least twenty years, either. In the rare case that my everyday napkins need ironing, it can be quite therapeutic to spray and press those creases into oblivion! A lovely post…

  8. I love your kitchen – so fresh and homey. I love fresh eggs and produce. I want my own chickens someday. I have always cooked from scratch and am trying to use more fresh ingredients. You’re right; it tastes so much better.

  9. What lovely memories and beautiful vignettes. I enjoy making homemade food as well. Lately, I’ve been making a lot of salad dressings. They taste so much better than those horrid store bought ones! And they are less expensive too!

  10. You have such warm and sweet memories of your grandmother and her kitchen. I can see that she influenced you in more ways than one! Now that my kids are a bit older, I have the time and interest in baking from scratch (I’ve always cooked from scratch). And I hit up the farmer’s market every Wednesday when it’s in season. I’m glad that this generation is learning from the past, and reaping all the benefits of fresh foods.

    Thanks for a great post, I really enjoyed your beautiful pictures!

    XO,
    Jane

  11. I can never get enough of your cute farmhouse kitchen. I love that you shared all the sweet memories as we looked at your pictures. Such a sweet post.
    Kris

  12. I love your kitchen and these pictures are perfect. I always buy organic eggs and when I can I buy them from a farm at the farmers’ market. I believe that hens that give us eggs to eat should have a happy hen life outside rather than living in a ridiculously small cage.

  13. crisp clean white beadboard! that says farmhouse better than anything, and i never tire of seeing it.

    happy monday, lovely blogger.

    michele

  14. You just hit the nail on the head for me with this post. What you describe in some of your memories here is very much what I remember from my childhood in Denmark too. My grandmother in her farm kitchen, all us grandkids on the bench around the big kitchen farm table. A healthy breakfast and everything made from scratch. In my busy every day life, this post really has given me something to think about. Very well written :)

  15. I too love the farmhouse kitchen and embrace it :) To me it represents a simpler time. Your kitchen is lovely!

  16. What beautiful pictures! And such a great way to eat!

    Pam

  17. I hear ya! Both my grandmothers are an inspiration to me. They raised large families with little means and did it without thinking or feeling hard done by. I want to be more like them and can’t wait to move in to our little farmette :-)
    Karen

  18. I too love a grandma’s Kitchen and use wooden spoons myself. Infact I collect them ………. Hugs …Love your blog so much and your post and pics …………..Love, Sherry @ The Rusty Pearl

  19. Jennifer,
    Your photography of your Farm House kitchen is exquisite!!!
    Light, bright natural…and those eggs…ah~h~h!!!
    How well I remember collecting brown eggs as a child on my grandparents acre and a half farm!
    Your story touched my heart and reminded me of precious memories with my late beloved Mother
    ~in~law as we worked side~by~side in her Country Kitchen on The Cantwell Farm during my first
    years of marriage!!!
    Fondly,
    Pat
    P.S. Visiting from Susan’s!!!

  20. Sweet memories and lovely photos.
    Grandma’s (Gammy’s) kitchens are the best!

    -Angie

  21. Beautiful post, your pictures are so lovely. I totally agree with you on local food, I think it’s important to know where our food is coming from. I try to buy all my produce at local farms in the summer, and do my own canning and freezing. You should totally try pickles they are pretty simple to make and so worth it!
    Have a great day,
    Tereza

  22. I loved this post! : ) Now my mouth is watering thinking about my grandparents large garden …oh my there was rhubarb and fresh leaf lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, onions and Lots and Lots and LOTS of wonderful sweet corn and then cantaloupe and watermelon….my grandfather called the cantaloupe “mushmelon” for some reason or another : )

  23. Lovely post. I actually use to cook with my grandmother in her kitchen too! I still have memories of her red linoleum floor and farmhouse sink…..

    Yes – I prefer fresh vegetables versus processed ones too! And love the farm, fresh eggs too, nothing better!

  24. Jennifer, I just found your blog and I will become an avid reader! I do enjoy the blogs from the younger mothers but it’s nice to find someone in the same season as me! I also have two daughters, both married, and I’m a grandmother of a preschooler. I love your home and the pictures you’ve taken of it are really lovely. I’m curious what camera you use? I’m in need of a new one and want to buy one that I can post nice pictures with too. Thank you for the trip down “memory lane” I too have fond memories of my grandmother’s food…just wish I could have her biscuits once again!!

  25. Lovely thoughts and photos.

  26. Jennifer,

    I love your kitchen with all its homey touches and warmth.

    Cynthia

  27. This lovely post brings back a lot of wonderful memories of my grandmother who also baked everything from scratch, and what a great cook she was. It seemed to so effortless. My grandparents didn’t live in the days of buying organic, but they still lived into their 90′s!
    Mary Alice

  28. We don’t eat organic but we do eat lots of fruits and veggies.We are vegetarians we feel so much better now that we don’t eat meat.Still can’t give up those sweets.But we limit them.
    What wonderful memories of your grandparents.
    xx
    Anne

  29. Sweet memories! Reminds me of my Southern grandma who would cook enough food for an army at every meal! (Biscuits included :) Love your gorgeous kitchen, too !
    Susan

  30. Oh I love vintage linens over paper towels any day:)

    Blessings,
    Linda

  31. Such pretty pictures:) I love the simple, clean look of your kitchen. Thanks so much for sharing!

  32. I love the idea about eating more organic. I too grew up in a family that preserved tomatoes, corn, and fruit. We made jam, jelly, pickles and pickle relish. I not only believe it is better for you, but is better for the environment as well. We have become a society of so much waste. We build products to last only a short while, to be thrown away. I love the quality of antique and vintage items of the past. They have more charm, are built better, and last longer. At Rezueit Emporium we try to do just that, bring back the timelessness of past treasures to be used again.

    Reuzeit Emporium Blog
    Reuzeit Emporium

  33. I absolutely love the farmhouse kitchen style. It is my dream kitchen! I am on the lookout for an old scale like yours. I love what you said about eating locally grown, whole foods. After my husband and I watched Food, Inc. we totally changed our way of living. We moved out to the country so we could have a huge garden and lots of chickens :) I also became a vegetarian after watching the film and after getting my chickens. They are just so full of life and personality that I couldn’t fathom the idea of eating chicken ever again!

    I clicked over from Tweak It Tuesday and so glad I did. I really enjoyed this post! You have a way with the camera :)

  34. Love all your farmhouse whites, so inviting. Also enjoyed the treasured memories of your Mimi !

  35. It’s so refreshing to hear that so many of us are trying to eat a healthy, chemical free life, Jennifer. We love preparing various chicken dishes, and after reading about how even chickens are pumped full of steroids to make them big and plump, we switched to “air chilled” organic, free range chickens. We buy both the breasts and chicken burger. I can’t remember the last time we bought hamburger or steaks. We depend on the venison that my husband hunts each autumn and salmon from a friend who gives us grocery bags of it during the summer. We have a huge organic veggie garden that provides us with a freezer full of goodies all season long. And we can tomatoes, pickles, venison, salmon, salsa, too. It just feels so good to do something so right, doesn’t it? :)

    xoxo laurie

  36. Hey Jennifer. Love this post because of what a farmhouse kitchen means to me as well. Both of my grandmothers cooked, canned, baked, etc. We always sat around in their kitchen for hours and talked and laughed. It truly was the heart of the kitchen.

    As for eggs, we have our own chickens. I do love having farm fresh eggs everyday. We have lots of layers so we have lots of eggs.

    Your kitchen is beautiful, Jennifer. I would love to have more that style. I try to do the best I can do with my dated oak cabinets and green counter tops. I am happy and content with what I have and make it work as best I can.

    Enjoyed this post tonight..a lot!

  37. What a warm and delightful kitchen. I would love to prepare a meal there. I love the fresh and neutral colors.

  38. Your kitchen is so lovely as are your memories. The vintage scale is the perfect addition to your vignette. I would love to have you link up to ‘Saturday Sparks’ if you get a chance.
    Thanks for the inspiration,
    Suzanne
    Pieced Pastimes

  39. Wow, how great that you have those wonderful memories. I don’t remember either of my grandmothers being cooks, but my mother was. It was “her thing” to love people with food, which could explain my obsession with it. My husband does all the cooking now and loves to cook gourmet meals from scratch, as well.
    Love your kitchen and your nice post!

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