What Is A Summer Kitchen?
A hundred and fifty years ago, women didn’t rely on stores like they do today for their food or home decor. Instead, women grew their own food in gardens and orchards, foraged for it in the woods, or raised animals to obtain the meat, eggs, and dairy that they needed. They sewed their own clothes and created their own home decor.
Women often used a Summer Kitchen, which was a small building that was often separate from their main house, to cook meals, make bread and butter, and preserve the harvest from their gardens for use during the rest of the year and to craft their own yarn and fabrics.
The Summer Kitchen was a place of necessity and productivity in the home. The Summer Kitchen served as a central part of a woman’s life for almost 100 years. As rural Americans began to move to the suburbs the need for these separate kitchens fell out of favor and modern kitchens started to develop.
Even though Summer Kitchens are no longer used for the same purposes, today, one can still drive around central Pennsylvania and find Summer Kitchens on farms.
Why The Name Summer Kitchen Creations?
I love history and older homes – especially their kitchens and pantries. I often wish I had a real Summer Kitchen – a place to preserve summer’s bounty or hand dye wool – but I live in suburbia with a modern day kitchen. Since I don’t have my own Summer Kitchen, I did the next best thing . . . I made the kitchen the centerpiece of our home.
In addition to cooking our food, I use the kitchen to:
- preserve the harvest every summer,
- create homemade items for my home and gifts for others,
- read in the evenings (at our kitchen counter), and
- serve as a place where I hang out with friends and family.
In short, our modern kitchen, like Summer Kitchens of the past, is a place of necessity, productivity, and creativity in our home.
Let’s create together!