As I mentioned in a previous post, daughter Hallie sent a link to this YouTube video (here) developed in 1949 on the modernization the farm kitchen. “Did anyone ever have such a kitchen?” she wondered. Here are her observations and my responses:
· Note the food waste bin that can be emptied from the outside. REALLY?? Is that actually more convenient?
I don’t think it is more convenient, and I was reminded of the Dragnet radio episode where the perpetrator gained entrance to the apartment through the garbage chute.
Who would take out the garbage and how often was a mid-century household discussion. In the first kitchen I remember, garbage was an issue. We had neither disposer nor dog, so plate and pot scrapings went into a can under the sink which was lined with a paper bag. I considered it nasty and hated dealing with it! And boy! – if “we” forgot to take it out – whew!! Today, our house is on a septic tank, so I use the disposer judiciously. Any scraps the dogs can’t devour are immediately removed to the outside garbage receptacle or compost bin.
· The film shows lots of things that are so useful but clearly did not become mainstream. Why not? Storage behind the sink, bins under the cupboard for flour, sugar, etc.
I suspect these inventions were too expensive to produce, given that kitchens don’t come in standard sizes. This was a customized kitchen, and while the presenter seemed to say we could all have these features, I think it was in the dream phase.
And perhaps even more importantly is the fact that in this post-war period, we were sitting on the cusp of great change. Women were losing interest in the role of homemaker, including chief cook and bottle washer. She was ready to put the focus on other aspects of life.
|Good place for a lazy susan|
Of all the ideas presented, the rotating cupboard (lazy susan) is one I’ve actually experienced, and I like them. It’s “a round peg in a square hole,” as it were, so clearly there will be some waste space, but space in a deep cupboard is mostly wasted through inaccessibility anyway.
· Was that lady feeding an army with that quantity of potatoes and onions?
I thought that was funny, too. Remember, mid-century we were still a meat and potatoes society. And while my parents were feeding teen-agers in the ‘50s, we also had large quantities of potatoes and onions on hand. We ate a lot of potatoes (mostly boiled) and gravy. I also thought it was funny that she ringed the platter with the potatoes and then squeeeeeezed the meat into the middle.
· What was she doing at the seated-height cutting board (filling boxes)? Does she have a side business? Is that marijuana?
I had a good laugh over this question. She appears to be putting blanched spinach into freezer boxes. (Ah! I remember this process well.) And was she using her iron to seal the bags? I finally determined she was using the iron to compress the bag. It’s just an example of how the system could be used, but couldn’t she just sit at the table? The only time I ever want to sit in my kitchen is when I’m at the sink to clean, pit, and/or peel a large quantity of fruit. That process can go on a long time, and I do get tired of standing.
And what about that dessert? It appeared to be fruited Jello and a large piece of frosted chocolate cake. Talk about super-sizing in an era when we usually didn’t! – or at least we think we didn’t. KW