This page, WRITE TO A PICTURE, is an invitation to our regular writers and to our visitors. Send an original poem, a story, or your recollections. Share your thoughts and experiences with those who like to READ what others write. Send to me at LaraOct7@aol.com.

 Early 'Write To A Picture' pages are archived. The links are here:

Beach Scene "1" Old Train Station "2"
The Carousel "3" The Fifties "4"
Summer Picnic "5" From The Heart "6"
Cloudy Moon "7" September Morn "8"
Passing The Time "9" Apples "10"
Rain "11" Pumpkins "12"
Halloween "13" Big City "14"
Remembrance Day "15" Autumn Harvest "16"
A Cozy Nook "17" Migration "18"
The Kitchen On Memory Lane "19" 20






 


Your Title

By Your Name (LaraOct7@aol.com)







This week's topic is about the kitchen or kitchens in your past.

This time of year I do more cooking and baking than usual. I have modern appliances and I cook with natural gas. My work in the kitchen is much easier than it was for my mother, who had to cook on a wood-burning kitchen range.

During the winter months, my mother's kitchen was toasty warm. It was where we took our baths and it was where my family ate. During the summer, the kitchen got very hot because my poor overworked mother would have to bake biscuits. She seldom baked a cake or cookies, however, and if she did decide to bake a cake, it was always a pineapple-upside-down cake. Those were my dad's favorites and she would bake them in a big iron skillet.

In the past we made our cakes from scratch. The butter and sugar were creamed with a spoon, not an electric mixer. My family had a cow so there was always a good supply of fresh-churned butter, buttermilk, and cream. We raised chickens, too, and always had fresh eggs.

Once supper was over, the fire in the range was allowed to go out. There weren't any late night omelets, or anything else that had to be cooked. My brother and I would crack the black walnuts we had gathered that fall and we would pick out the nut-meats and munch on those.

I hope this topic inspires you to write about your early kitchen memories. In most homes back then the kitchen was a place where family members would gather to eat and talk. It was a place where you shared the events of the day. Was that how it was in your home? Fiction or fact, we look forward to your entry.






 


My Mom And Her Baking

By Jeanie (Mingo184@aol.com)





The picture conjured up memories of my Mom and her baking. She had the crank egg beater and the wooden rolling pin. I have that same rolling pin now, but never use it. I can't roll a decent pie crust like she did, so I get the frozen kind. I wonder if she'd be appalled!

We had a big old apple tree in the back yard and we were always picking apples for Mom to use in her baking. She didn't have a recipe book. Everything came from her head. She made the best upside-down apple cake. She never used a measuring cup or measuring spoons. Oh, she did use a regular coffee cup for the flour and/or sugar, but that was it. She rolled the dough for pies. I can still smell the aroma of fresh apple pies baking in the old coal stove.

Sometimes, Mom would make Lemon Mirangue pie. She had to make 2 of them..one regular size and one small as my older brother was allergic to eggs and couldn't eat the mirangue. So, my younger brother and I ate both..lol.

I see my Mom, now, in my minds eye. Her brown hair is held back by a net and she is wearing a full body apron..the kind with the bib. It has flowers on it and she brushes away a wisp of hair from her forehead with the back of her hand. She's chattering away as she tells me to break the eggs and add them to the cake mix. Yes, we're having the upside-down apple cake this time. I watch as she pours the batter over the apples all cut up and on the bottom of the baking pan, dusted with cinnamon and sugar. A treat for us.

I miss my Mom and her wonderful baking. One thing she never made was cookies and I don't know why. But her apple pies were the best. I'd tell her sometimes, "Mom, just a skosh more sugar in the pies" and she'd say "Never mind! I like it like that!" They were eaten and that's all that mattered.








 


Two Kitchens

By susi Taylor (Texaswishr@aol.com)





I remember the kitchen at my Grandma's house in Aurora, Missouri. It was a big one with linoleum and a big rag rug in the middle of it covering up the cellar door. There was a big wood stove that had four burner holes with covers and a reservoir for hot water at each end, and a big ol' oven. There were two doors to the outside, one going out on a porch and the other going out to the sidewalk that went to the smokehouse and the gardens. In front of one window was the sink and there was a dry sink next to it. By the other window sat Grandma's little rocking chair where she would sit to snap beans, shell peas, read, listen to her radio soap operas and take little naps. There were two big "safes", one where she kept the dishes and another one where she did all of her preparing. It had a flour bin with a sifter on one side, shelves on the top and bottom and an enamel counter top that pulled out. Then there was a pantry full of her canned goods and all the foodstuffs. Once there was an icebox, but then as the years went by, a refrigerator replaced it. The wood stove never left. And what a wonderful kitchen it was!! The smells of something baking in the oven was a constant, summer and winter. I remember when there would be my mother, my three aunts, my grandma, me and my sister, Norma, and my cousin, Shirley, all in that kitchen. The adults would be cooking and preparing the greatest meals while the three of us kids were picking out of everything and Grandma would give us a light whack on the hands with her wooden spoon and a resounding, "nat!!". Fixing meals was always a family affair. And the ones that came out of that kitchen were fit for a king!

Grandma left us in 1972 but all of us in the family still remember that wonderful kitchen. And the kitchen in my house is one that I have known most of my life. It is a big kitchen too. I remember us kids taking our Saturday baths in a number three tub in the middle of it. I remember when we had a kerosene stove and an icebox. And a big table that we would gather around when it was just us family. There was a dining room with another big table that was used when there was company. This big kitchen was always warm too, and my mom would cook the most wondrous meals here. I remember Norma Jean and I standing at the sink doing dishes and singing. I always sang melody and she sang harmony. Now there is no table, but a small island and a big rocking chair. I always wanted one there since my grandma's kitchen had one. Kitchens are always the gathering place when company comes. It is a chat room offline. This one is full of the ghosts of departed family. I always feel my mother's presence especially when the family comes for dinner. It is, after all, her kitchen.








 


Mom's Kitchen

By Joy (JOY3032@aol.com)





We moved into a rather run down two story colonial house when my sister and I were in high school. We had a pretty nice house before, but my mother's illness and my father's heart problems had depleted their finances. They were both at Mayo Clinic at the same time and they had to sell the house to keep up with the expenses.

We really were feeling low to leave our beautiful house, but we understood and undertook the decorating of our bedrooms. When mom got stronger she decided to put a new red brick tile floor in the kitchen. It really didn't match anything in there including the cupboards.

One day when we got home from the school, the kitchen, the cupboards, the ceiling were all painted white. Well, it definitely was an improvement over the mish-mash that we had before, but it was pretty stark. My dad joked that if he had to have surgery, he could have it on the kitchen table.

A couple of days later when we got home from school the kitchen had been sponged over with shades of red and beige. It was gorgeous. We were in awe of mother's artistic bent. She had never had time to get into anything like that when she was working. With new curtains, throw rugs and handles sprayed flat black, it was a showplace. We all loved that kitchen.

Mom went on to do some very interesting decorating in the bathroom with the claw foot tub. She painted the old linoleum in large navy blue and white squares and painted the bottom of the tub navy blue. The walls were painted white below and blue and white stripe above the chair rail. Mom was on a roll. Nothing was ever safe from her and the paint brush.

This brings back some wonderful memories and I am sure that is where I got my flair for decorating.








 


The Kitchen On Memory Lane

By Brier (Brierhillbarbara@aol.com)





Our kitchen stove was fired by wood and coal
It was white with black trim.
Most of the kitchen was white, even the floor.
White tiles with black trim.
Only the best of food came from that kitchen.


Grandma's hands were never still.
She had coffee warming on the back of the stove.
In the oven there was bread baking
On the front burner was stew or soup.
Every thing was always spotless.


She always had an apron on in the kitchen.
She always wore a hair net too.
I could see her praying often.
Her prayers got me this far I feel sure.
Her prayers went up I felt them floating up.


I loved her so, as she did me.
I was only 12 when she died.
She was my Gram and I was her Barbara.
Someone knew we would need each other.
So it was, so it was.









 


The Kitchen On Memory Lane

By Sharon (Sunyskys1943@aol.com)





Mama's in the kitchen
Rolling out the dough
Making an apple pie
I'm impatient so


Mama's in the kitchen
The apples I picked
Lots of sugar here
Apple pie is dear


Mama's in the kitchen
Cinnamon's ready
The first piece is for me
And not for Teddy


Mama's in the kitchen
The pie is baking
With pieces left over
Tarts we'll be making


Mama's in the kitchen
Oh the smell is good
She gave me the first piece
I knew that she would









 


The Kitchen On Memory Lane

By Doris (Toto38@aol.com)





My dad died when I was six years old, and on my seventh birthday we moved into a new apartment in Brooklyn, NY. There were four bedrooms, one bath, a living/dining room, and kitchen. The kitchen was the center of our lives. The biggest thing in the kitchen was a huge black coal-burning stove. Mom used it for cooking, but it also kept half of the apartment warm in the winter. Mary, Tom and I would sit in the kitchen after school, with mom, and keep warm as we chatted about our day in school and did our homework. Mom always had something brewing on that big old coal stove. A pot of soup or stew was the winter's mainstay. But hot chocolate or a cup of tea with toast, or whatever mom had baked that day, was our after school snack. I still hold fond memories of laughter, fun and occasionally some tears about a boyfriend, or school problem that were hashed out at the kitchen table, in front of the coal-burning stove.

Mom would clean the stove down once a week with some strong-smelling black polish till it shined like 'nobody's business', she'd say. : ) I can remember dripping water on top of the 'lids' and the drops would sizzle up and bounce around until they dissolved. Ah, the simple little things that we amused ourselves with, in our Kitchen on Memory Lane. : )








 


The Kitchen On Memory Lane

By Tom (tomWYO@aol.com)





Ah, Grandma’s kitchen around Christmas time is a place oh so divine. Sort of old, quite quaint, but my Grandma knows how to cook. First it is gingerbread just for fun, and then she bakes five or six fruit cakes. German pound cake made with chocolate, then of course a couple pound cakes. But her apple sauce cake is divine and then when all of that is done; she does smile and say, “Oh better make a batch of candy or two.”

Old wood stove, oh how old. No electric mixer or grater either. Rolling pin, lots of big spoons and she cooks in old tin pans. Fudge with black walnuts, peanut butter and powdered sugar roll. Then my favorite of all, it is time to make taffy.

All day long that white head moves, asking for no help and wanting none. My Grandma makes it all and then a few days before Christmas she does five angel food cakes make.

Black walnuts cracked by her own hands, hickory nuts oh so small. Peanuts roasted in her oven and lots of coconut she has grated. Eggs by the dozens she does use, oh how much flour, plus a lot of her age-old special ingredients.

Yes sir, yes indeed, my grandmother’s kitchen it may be old and quite passé, but who can bake a better ham? Who can make better stuffing, and whose pickles are delicious? She may be old, her head so white, but my Grandma in the kitchen is quite the sight.

Gosh, oh gee, you know what? I am full and haven't had a bite. Time to a pot of coffee make and hope she has a few scraps left over. Or if I am lucky, I will get to sop the bowls and taste the crumbs. Ta ta








 


My Mom And Her Canning

By Jeanie (Mingo184@aol.com)





I REMEMBER THE HOT SUMMER MONTHS THAT MOM DID HER CANNING. SHE HAD POTS FULL OF BOILING WATER TO STERILIZE THE JARS AND CAPS. IT SEEMED LIKE THERE WAS A POT OF SOMETHING BREWING TO FILL THE JARS. MOST OF THE TIME, IT WAS TOMATOES. I CAN STILL SEE A BIG WHITE POT FILLED WITH TOMATOES THAT MOM WOULD BE BOILING TO MAKE HER TOMTO SAUCE. SHE MADE JARS AND JARS OF IT AND USED THE SAUCE IN SOUPS, TO MAKE SPAGHETTI SAUCE OR TO POUR OVER HER GOLUMKI'S (STUFFED CABBAGE, TO YOU). WE WERE POLISH AND SHE GREW UP IN POLAND AND PROBABLY WAS TAUGHT BY HER OWN MOTHER TO CAN.

IN OUR CELLAR, THERE WAS A SMALL ROOM WITH SHELVES THAT WAS STACKED WITH THE JARS OF CANNED FOODS MOM MADE. BESIDES THE TOMATO SAUCE, SHE MADE HER OWN PICKLES, PEARS, PEACHES AND, SHE HAD HER OWN RECIPE FOR CHILLI SAUCE. MY DAD AND MY BROTHERS LOVED HER CHILLI SAUCE ON HAMBURGERS OR MEATLOAF. I WASN'T A CHILLI SAUCE FAN AND I RARELY USED IT BUT I LOVED HER PICKLES AND PEACHES. NOT TOGETHER, OF COURSE.

THE DAYS OF CANNING ARE GONE AND I DON'T KNOW WHEN MOM ACTUALLY STOPPED CANNING. SHE DID, THOUGH, NOW AND THEN, MAKE HER CHILLI SAUCE WHEN MY OLDER BROTHER WAS COMING TO VISIT AFTER HE RELOCATED TO CALIFORNIA.

IS THE ART OF CANNING STILL OUT THERE? I WONDER. I KNOW I NEVER DO IT. A LOST ART, I GUESS.








 


The Kitchen On Memory Lane

By Norma (Twi1ite@sbcglobal.net)





It was spring on the Rio Grande
Bulbs were bloming Mama left in the sand
And a fan stood ready to cool
The warming kitchen.


Mama was out back shelling peas,
Humming "A gold mine in the sky, just for me."
Her family so far away.
Mama was homesick.


Her little girl came then from school,
Where she was learning the golden rule,
And to fool around on her way home.
She plucked a peace-offered iris bloom.


Cheering, Mama found a jar,
Sorrow turned to vapor, fled afar,
Nothing now to mar her pleasured window sill.
Now her home, her own.









 


Modern Convieniences

By Swampetta (SWAMPETTA@aol.com)





When I look around my kitchen I see things that my Mom and Grandma never even dreamed of. Say "Dishwasher" to them and they would point to the sink and say, "OK. I'll dry."

Show them the big freezer on the refrigerator and they would say.."Why would you want to keep something that long that you have to freeze it? Better you should go to the butcher every other day and get the fresh stuff. Why would you freeze vegetables? That's why you 'Put them up' in those mason jars. There's a whole summer's worth of tomatoes stored on the shelves in the basement."

Show them the Kitchen Aid standing mixer with the bread hooks and all those extras. (Which my daughter bought for me and frankly....I'm intimidated by it!) They would laugh and say..."You have two broken arms? Here's a whisk for you to do the egg whites with."

Show them the stove that cleans itself and has unlimited temperatures to cook anything with. "Now that's just silly! You should be standing right there looking at the pots and pans so they don't cook too fast. And if the oven gets dirty...get on your knees and grab a chore girl scrubber and get to work."

The washer and dryer...? "How can you get clothes clean if you aren't grabbing them and scrubbing them with your own two hands? If you shut the lid you can't see them and how will you know what's clean and what still needs to get a rub down with a bar of Fels-Naptha soap? And if you want to dry something you hang it out in the morning air and let the sunshine give it an extra bleaching. Of course if it's raining it's not the day to do the wash."

The microwave...."Ay Gevalt!",,(Grandma),,,"Jesus, Mary and Joseph"...(Mom) "You have an oil well in the back yard so you can pay the electric bill for that toy? A baked potato is supposed to be in the oven for as long as the pot roast is cooking. What's the hurry?"

They performed magic with the elemental tools that they had in their kitchen. I have a rolling pin that belonged to my Grandma. It's over a hundred years old and made of one piece of wood. It is completely smooth and will probably last another hundred years. She could turn out pastry with that that would make the angels cry with envy. I also have a hammered aluminum dutch oven that was my Mom's. She bought it from the guy who went door to door and sold pots, pans, silverware, and china. She paid him 25 cents a week. Mom could turn out a lamb stew with that pan you would never have leftovers with. Grandma wouldn't use it because she said.."It's already full of dents. Why would you buy a new pan that has dents all over it? The dents happen when you use it a lot. Maybe he sold you an old pan?"

I know my children could manage with the utensils that were around then. They wouldn't be really thrilled to have to load up a wringer washer but they could do it. But my Grands would be at such a loss if they had to stop using technology and perhaps beat a pan of whipping cream by hand with a wire whisk. They'd be looking for the power cord to plug it in. The idea that cavemen didn't have electricity in the caves astounded them! They couldn't figure out how they watched TV!








 


Memory Lane So Sweet

By Mary (MusingByMary@aol.com)





Smell those fragrances
permeating the air . . .
picture the kitchen
and mother so fair ~


Hands are so carefully
kneading the dough . . .
for delicious yeast rolls
our family loved so ~


Smell the aromas
throughout the house wafting . . .
ahhh, appetites building
darlin' mother is crafting ~


Fried chicken inviting
anxious mouths to savor . . .
mashed taters 'n gravy
my, oh my, what flavor ~


She's setting those pies
to cool on the sill . . .
chocolate and apple
our sweet tooth to fill ~


Kitchen entices our family
to join at the table . . .
hands and hearts connected
for grace strong & stable ~


Memory Lane So Sweet
we shall ever remember . . .
mother's special loving touches
during every December!









 


MEMORIES OF THE OLD KITCHEN AND THE CAST IRON STOVE

By Evelyn (Evenccw@aol.com)





The kitchen of my childhood years would not have earned the Good Housekeeping seal of approval! However, body and sensory memories of sight, sound, taste, touch and smell can easily be triggered by the many events that took place in the kitchen! The memories of the warmth in that room stemmed from two distinct sources–the cast iron cook stove and the love of a caring hard-working family who worked together to keep the duties of the home running efficiently.

Mama was the early riser, getting up and starting the cook stove fire.. There was no sleeping in when the aroma of coffee brewing and the smell of bacon or ham frying on the stove began wafting up the steps to where we slept! Most of our orders of the day were given while Mama was at the stove making breakfast.

The cast iron wood burning stove was the focal point of the room. I learned to cook on the same cast iron cook stove that my grandfather bought for his bride when he built that old farm house in 1891. It was the same stove that Mama and her sisters learned to cook on as well and–

As time rushes on it's hard to tell
Which are their memories and which are mine.
We learned to cook on the same wood stove
On fires started with pungent rich pine.


There was a wood box next to the stove and it was a daily chore of my siblings and me to keep it filled. I won’t lie and say this was my favorite thing. But at Christmas and Easter in anticipation of Santa and the Easter Bunny the wood boxes would be filled to overflowing without being coaxed!

One day the old stove gave up the ghost. Daddy bought a new one that had a reservoir on one end and a shelf on top. It felt so ‘modern’ to have hot water at will! The stove was still cast iron but it was green and ivory enameled with a thermometer on the outside of the oven door. There were adjustments to be made because it didn’t heat as fast as the old one. To her dying day, at 90, Mama, in her ‘dim’ years, idealized the old black stove to her friends at the nursing home.

The furnishings in the kitchen were basic and the floor was bare pine wood. Next to the steps going upstairs was a small cupboard used as a washstand. On the stand there was always a bucket of water with a dipper in it. Under the stand was a wash basin. At night before going to bed we would fill the basin and ‘sponge bathe.’ We’d put the basin on the floor and sit on the bottom step and wash our feet. I remember the warm water feeling so good. Walking on those dusty country roads our feet got really dirty and Mama insisted that we have clean feet to go to school the next day. “What if you have an accident and ‘they’ would see your dirty feet!” The basin was used in the morning to “wash the sleep out of your eyes!”

Then there was the Saturday night bath. After the dishes were done, buckets of water were heated on the stove and the zinc wash tub was placed next to the stove and the Saturday night baths would begin. Sometimes we would parch peanuts while we were bathing. Bathing done, we’d go to the large dining room where a heater was blazing away and and play checkers, dominos or some game of cards and eat peanuts till it was time to go to bed.

The kitchen was the base of operations variously as a creamery, a bakery, a cannery and a butcher shop. It was my first home economics class room. I learned how to scald, pluck and eviscerate chickens for many a Sunday dinner–and yes, how to fry them. Butter was churned twice weekly and Mama set her bread to rise every other day. On baking days the aroma wafted down the lane and we knew we had a special treat upon arriving home from school. I liked the crust best when it was still warm and drenched with butter and jam. Other times our after school snack would be a pan of warm baked sweet potatoes with butter. The walk home from school left us with an appetite!

Canning season and jam making began in strawberry time early in spring.

Then the garden came in with a vengeance
There was cabbage to kraut, beans to string
Pickles to pickle and apples to dry.
There were carrots to scrape, tomatoes to skin
And vats of jelly to skim
And we kept wondering why
We couldn't just go down
to the creek for a swim!



When I was about nine years old, I baked my first cake in a big iron skillet. It turned turned out great, even to the fluffy white frosting. After that it was my job most Saturdays to bake a cake for Sunday desert. There was no recipe. We called them 1-2-3-4 cakes. By the time I was ten years old I could put an entire meal on the table and loved to experiment with recipes found in the Birmingham News I was never too fond of cornbread, then one day I found a recipe there that I liked. I still use it!

I loved Mama’s home made bread, but her big pans of fluffy biscuits and gravy were my favorite breakfast. She wasn’t a great pie baker, but her strawberry shortcake and blackberry and peach cobbler in season were always a treat at our evening meals. Two of her Sunday desert specialties, made from scratch, were banana pudding and lemon meringue pie. I still use the lemon meringue pie recipe on the corn starch box!

Those were the years we called the depression years. We didn’t have electricity and I made many a trip to the country store for kerosene in a can that had an Irish potato stuck on the pouring spout. We drew our water from a well and heated it on the kitchen stove. We didn’t have Comet cleanser and kept out pots and pans clean and shiny with sand and paste made from ashes. We didn’t waste anything. Everything, even the dish water, went into the pigs' slop pail off the back porch with the potato and vegetable peelings. After our Saturday night baths, and the last one was bathed, the water was used to mop the kitchen floor. It was a way of life.

Now, fast forwarding to the twenty-first century, I am the first to admit that I love my conveniences. To name a few, there is my microwave, my electric cook stove, through the door ice refrigerator, dishwasher, stainless steel sink with its garbage disposer, and a plethora of small appliances which I use on a regular basis. There is even RO (reverse osmosis) water at my sink.

Even though my kitchen has most modern appliances, it essentially expresses my country origins. I have a passion for colanders and measuring cups. I love big-nested crockery bowls and have large canners with racks that “I might use again one day!” Resting on the counters are canisters of utensils and in my Lazy Susan cabinet corners I keep bins full of flour which I rarely use. Over my stove is an assortment of at least twenty-four spices neatly lined in Tupperware spice containers. I love the fragrance of the cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice on muggy days. A wall hangs with an assortment of things like a hand cranked egg beater, potato ricer, a bone saw, a butcher clever, an apple sauce maker to name a few. These are precious items I can’t bear to abandon to Goodwill. To my everlasting credit, I relinquished my 15-gallon crock and kraut cutter to my daughter Sheila which was passed to me by my Daddy. He made the best sauerkraut in the world. The art of sauerkraut making is alive and well in the family.

I am grateful for the hard times I lived through in the early years and grateful for a mother who met the challenges and led us through them with grace, and laughter. I am sure there were tears, but I did not see them. When I griped about washing dishes she reminded me:

Thank God for dirty dishes
They have a tale to tell
While others may go hungry
We're eating very well



Many years later I found a plaque with this poem and placed it over the sink in my kitchen for my five daughters to see as they washed the dishes after our family meals. I still have the plaque in my kitchen! Author unknown.

And lastly,No matter where I serve my guests,
It seems they like the kitchen best



I love to cook and entertain and my kitchen, wherever we have lived, has been the heart of our home. When I was a youngster, there was always room for one more at the table. My children grew up with the same philosophy and the song, from the Fifties, “If I Knew You Were Comin’” remains our philosophy of life! We sang it often.


If I Knew You Were Comin’



If I knew you were comin’
I’d have baked a cake
Baked a cake, baked a cake
If I knew Your were coming
I’d have baked a cake
Howjadoo, howjadoo, howjadoo!


If I knew you were comin’
I’d have hired a band
If I knew you were coming
I’d have hired a band
Howjadoo, howjadoo, howjadoo


Well I don’t know where you come from
‘Cause I don’t know where you’ve been
But it really doesn’t matter
Grab a chair and fill your platter
And dig, dig, dig, right in.


If I knew you were comin’
I’d have baked a cake
Baked a cake, baked a cake
If I knew Your were coming
I’d have baked a cake
Howjadoo, howjadoo, howjadoo!



Y’all come! There’s always a place at our table. Grab a plate and fill your platter and dig, dig, right in.









 

 

 

 



Watch these pages for more of these "Write to a Picture" pages.
In the meantime, click the links below for
poems and stories by our other authors.


The Christmas Money

Tom's Hello December

Zen Tide

From The Heart

Hello December (4 authors)

Winds And Seasons

Winter Walk





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