A Sentiment

God knew what He was doing when He sent a gentle breeze and brought a lovely butterfly to set my heart at ease. The happiness of your friendship and the gentleness of your words have touched my life in special ways and now I feel assured. Thank you for your loyalty and for reading everyday. I only hope you find things to make a happy day.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Betty Crocker's Kitchen Gardens a Gem of a Cookbook

In 1971 a dear friend gave me a small cookbook called Betty Crocker's Kitchen Gardens. There was a special offer in a magazine.. where you could send in a few dollars and order this little book. I like to read it every year at about this time.It's a book for the gardener who likes to cook and the cook who likes to garden. There are chapters about planting a kitchen garden, taking care of it, herbs, little recipes all presented in a very quaint way...illustrated by one of my favorite artists...Tasha Tudor. I have been researching this little book this morning and find that the little 1st edition book is worth more that a few dollars. I would never part with it...it's special.

The work buttery is mentioned many times in my search today. I have heard this from antiquing friends of mine too. I wondered how many people know what a buttery is? The following describes an old kitchen and buttery...way back in time.

The kitchen is well furnished with an 1873 cast iron cook stove complete a coal bucket and shovel and an interesting array of cast iron utensils including a waffle iron, pot pusher, and doughnut mold. The 1840 worktable is made of pine with crossbuck legs and is now used to display a variety of kitchen utensils that were commonly used in routine meal preparation. The dry sink, made of pine and painted, was a common feature in German communities before the advent of indoor plumbing. At the back of the house is a small room called the buttery or keeping room and was used to prepare and store food, bathing, and washing clothes in cold weather. A pine pie safe, with designs pierced in to the tin panels, shows off a form of period folk art. Out the back door is a brine barrel used to cure meats and a corn drier hanging from the rafters.

A room in a castle called the buttery was intended for storing and dispensing beverages, especially ale.

We have other names for a buttery....a pantry, larder, keeping room are a few.

I have always wanted a room like this. I would stock it with all manner of things. Shelves with clear glass jars full of flour, sugar, pastas, crackers etc.There would be shelves with specialty canned goods...good pickles, olives, salad dressings etc. A wine rack would be on the shelf filled with wines of all kinds. Next to the wine rack a wheel of some kind of wonderful cheese. Drawers would be filled with the finest table linens. Hanging across the beams would be bouquets of dried flowers and herbs.. ropes of peppers and garlic...there for use in a stew or ready for twisting into a beautiful herb wreaths. The floor would be covered with a beautiful handmade rag rug in all shades of blue. Of course I'd need a stool to step on to reach all of these things. It would be handpainted, by me. A small gray cat would sit on the stool to look out the paned window with old bubbled glass. Just outside the window would be a window box filled with red geraniums, allysum, and blue lobelia. A clothesline in the distance with sheets blowing in the breeze. I would probably have some old clay pots with new seeds just planted. Of course what would a room like this be without a shelf with the old cookbooks...with their fingerprints, yellowed pages, shredding bindings and old recipe cards for bookmarks. My Kitchen Gardens book would have a special niche.

Here is a little addition from Laddie (who is lying at my feet) Small gray cat!! What cat!!


JGH said...

Found you on Blotanical and had to click over and read your post in full! I enjoyed reading about your buttery and how you would furnish yours. Sounds like a tradition that needs to be revived. A big closet with shelves seems to be the modern "pantry" and it just isn't adequate. I'm also a Tasha Tudor fan and was sad to see that she passed away last year. I did't know that she illustrated cookbooks, too.

Britt-Arnhild said...

Hibernating with a cookbook. Lovely! Then the storm can take its time .-)

Balisha said...


I have always loved her illustrations. I have a Tasha Tudor Cookbook.It was always fun to read about how she lived. I tried to read your blog, but couldn't get access.

Balisha said...

Hi Britt,
I would imagine that you are back and getting on with your life at home. It sounded like you had a wonderful time. I especially enjoyed reading about your "cabin life"

OhioMom said...

Oh I would love that cookbook, I collect vintage cookbooks and have never come across that one ... what I need is a larger bookcase :)

Stay warm!

Patti Cakes said...

I would like a room like that as well.

Feeling really well today. The doctor double the hormone dosage for a while to get me feeling better.

It's so cold today. I wanted to get a lot done but when it's cold I don't seem to get much done.

Balisha said...

Hi Ohio Mom,
My bookshelf space is shrinking too. I love book stores and used book sales.

Hi Patti,
So glad that you are better.I always have a lot of plans for winter and do the same as you...not what I planned.