Saturday, March 9, 2013

9 march 1954 “A peek in a 1954 Small Kitchen and Laundry & Interesting Magazine Recipes: Edible Centerpiece and Soup Milkshakes”

smalllaundry1 I may have shared this article with you before, but I couldn’t find the images and so have scanned them again. The clever use of small space and the wonderful color combination of navy, sage green and aqua is really lovely. As an owner of a very tiny kitchen, I can appreciate the need for sound proofing and hiding of storage and necessities.

laundrylayout This clever layout shows how the circular hung curtain acts both as a sound deadening agent as well as a room divider. Allowing one to change the backdrop and position of dining. You can see that the room’s dimensions are quite modest. The curtains can be seen here with a description of their various uses as kitchen or living room wall. You will also notice that the homemaker's desk chair is one of the dining chairs.

The sweet little end desk could also be closed off from the living room as an office if one was busy with bill’s and the Abernathy’s next door stopped by unannounced for a cup of sugar or a gab and a cuppa.

incinerator You will also note, in the utility section, the item labeled incinerator. Here we see our lovely little homemaker using it, tossing in her trash. Most homes had such a device. Before laws against air pollution, one was allowed to burn trash they did not throw away. And other trash was tossed away in brown paper shopping bags or simply straight into the metal bins to be hauled away. I find it funny personal clean burning of trash was stopped while large factories only increased. Though today with the amounts of plastics there may be little to burn.

Though, I save my burning garbage and do burn it up in outdoor fireplace. And other brown or white paper or cardboard I cut and save as fire starters for the wood stove. My garbage was reduced to 1/4 of what we used pre 1955. It is amazing what buying ingredients rather than pre-packaged, using reusable glass covered dishes rather than plastic or toss away containers/wrap and not buying endless goods for the home housed in throw away plastics.

laundrycorner This little corner of the laundry room is ideal with just enough space for sorting and spot attentions. I love the combination dryer/washer and would love one of these. I have a tiny kitchen and have both my washer and dryer in. I built a sort of pantry around my dryer so it is out of sight and then put in shelves to house more pantry storage. Don’t you love the little shelves with the plant and radio as well as supplies. Why not have some music and beauty to accompany your chores. Then they may actually seem less laborious, or at the very least seem to go by quicker.
laundrywallstorage Now, back in the main part of the kitchen, we can see the clever storage built in. This shallow wall which was built in the kitchen to create the laundry room was used to make shallow cabinetry. The fold out laundry with storage is genius. How clever to have the small door above hold mending things, needles, thread, embroidery hoop, items for darning etc. No trip to the sewing corner if you have what is needed specifically there. And a homemaker without tools is like a fish out of water. The little tool box with hammer nails, screwdriver etc. This goes to show, as I found out, that the 1950’s homemaker wasn’t a fawning imp in petticoats waiting for hubby to get to his ‘honey-do’ list. She had to roll up her sleeves and get to it. After all aprons hold nails as well as measuring cups and feather dusters!

I had forgot that I wanted to implement this idea in my own little kitchen and if and when I do, I shall share it with you.

Now to veer off our sensible path of well planned out economy and organized space to use in the real world, let’s take a quick funny step into two odd little magazine recipes. Often these recipes were simply thinly veiled lures to buy and use the products. But I have found if one is wont to make it more ‘healthy’ or home-made we can substitute canned items with fresh or home-made.

Now who doesn’t love meat loaf? The folks at Dole wanted us to create a masterly centerpiece and then dig in and eat it!
fruitcocktailmeatloafThis might fall into kitsch, but really fruit and meat do go well together, but just for fun, why not try this and see what your family says when you plop this deadly down in their midst at meal time. I’d love to hear their responses if any of you are so brave.
soupshakes1 And why not finish off the meal with a lovely dessert shake. Who says it’s only sweet for milk shakes, why not the savory joy of chicken and mushroom with milk?!


Now, I can just about get my head around the tomato soup, as it might have a slight bloody Mary quality about it. And the celery actually might be a delicious cooler on a summer day, but the cream of chicken is a bit odd. Yet, if one were to whip this up cold and serve it as the soup course in a dinner, it would probably seem inventive and clever. I think it is just the drinking of it out of the glass that seems particularly, well, kitsch. But, if one wanted to throw a Kitsch party here is your menu, meatloaf centerpiece followed by a tall cool glass of chicken and cucumber, why not?
I hope all have a lovely day and as always Happy Homemaking.


  1. I love the curtain as a "wall" of sorts. Not sure I would ever do that, but I love the idea of it.
    Friends of ours had been given a nice combo washer and dryer at their old farmhouse. The dryer did not always dry things very well so they ended up having to drape clothing every where. So if you ever do look into getting one, make sure you really research it first :)

  2. Jilly-thank you!
    MissFifi-That is good to know. It is not on my priority list right now, as I have a perfectly serviceable set, but when one has such a small space to cook in, a large washer and dryer sharing it does make a challenge. But, I make do and come wash day, the large capacity certainly makes what would be a hard chore a breeze.
    TO All I am always trying to update my blog and make it better and more fun and now I have started transferring my post to blogger to implement the page break so only part of the post is on the main page, so that other elements can be viewable. But, blogger editor takes all my paragraphs and rams them together and all the spacing seems odd. So, I hope you will bear with me as I try and figure out another solution and that my posts are still readable.
    I have never claimed to be diligent with my editing and heaven knows I love a run-on sentence, but everything being smashed together does look a bit messy in the post. As long as you get my 'gist' I am sure it is fine.
    Happy Sunday all.

  3. I love the little kitchen! :) but not the chicken shake.

  4. I wish some of those ideas had been utilized when our kitchen was built. We live in a small home that was built in the 1950's. Our kitchen is VERY small.


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