Above is an aluminum bowl that happens to be my favorite bowl I own. It’s from the 50s I think and it has a small dent in one side that doesn’t affect it’s use at all. I have a pot and small colander that match this small bowl. But this bowl– I don’t know why I love it so. It’s not big but I utilize it frequently for mixing biscuits, shelling what few peas we have got, and as a serving dish at meals. This was a yard sale bowl that I picked up for 50 cents. The owner had assumed It was beaten and done for. It was hidden in a box stuffed under a display table full of electronics and flashy jewlery items. Somewhere in the past– judging from the wear on the set– these were used by some other housekeeper in a different time. She probably really didnt even think about them. In her time, everyone had this same set. These honemakers probably never considered how difficult and expensive it would be to find quality kitchen items. I do just love these old finds and knowing somewhere some long time ago another woman used this same bowl.
Many women try to add new appliances or dishes to their kitchens and homes. I know because I did to and sometimes I am still tempted to. However this bowl serves as a reminder of a simpler time when kitchen tools were few but they were enough.
I have been reading a set of home economics books from 1914-15 that were used to teach young girls in the New York public school system. These books were written by Mabel Hyde Kittredge. I found them on the internet archives website. I hate reading books on a screen but these have been worth it. So much practical advice I wasn’t taught as a girl.
One of the things I have really been working on is saving water and dish detergent since I do dishes by hand. There were dishwashing instructions. I did already know the order of the dishes but I decided to buy another dishpan since my sink stoppers leak no matter how many times I have replaced then.
I spent $1.22 on the white dishpan and the black one I had found about a year ago for a dollar. I had used the black one for awhile for washing but now I have a rinse pan as well. The water bill will show how effective this is.
So far it has worked well for washing though. After the dishes are done, I clean out the the black one and keep the white one for handwashing until the next load of dishes. I just wash it out, fill it with clean hot rinse water and repeat the cycle. This works out great.
Above is my sourdough setup. I always use this glass bowl. It was given to me by a very dear preacher friend when he moved. I made more bread for the week Saturday. The big white bucket holds unbleached white flour and hooked on the bucket it my solar bulb because I try to use as little electricity as possible. The tablet in the background was playing one of my favorite YouTube channels “Townsends”. He teaches ways and receipts ( recipes) of the 18th century. Watching or listening to something I enjoy makes kneading the bread go by faster.
I bought these two tubs and I really am thinking about hand washing clothes in them. I have handwashed many times before in 5 gallon buckets and it doesn’t work so good in those.
These reason I bought them originally was to hold the little kids clothes until I am able to find them a dresser or chest of drawers. The one they had was a family piece and they were so rough with it I moved it to my sewing room and am Now on the lookout for something for them. They immediately saw the tubs as pools so we filled them yesterday afternoon and while we worked on the mower They splashed and played. They had so much fun.
This sight always soothes me. Just the simpleness of this scene. I really crave simplicity and I have been going through our house eliminating things that I just feel take up space. The first lesson the homemaking book taught those young girls was to have an orderly house. It said every item should have a purpose and to have no item that was not absolutely loved or needed. Even the loved beautiful items should serve a purpose. It said empty spaces were more desirable than things just filling a room. I agree with this. I look around my house and see the need to simplify and I have been working on this for over a year but it wasn’t till reading these books have I realized exactly the results I wish to see. I want a simple house with the old tools and not all this modern clutter that not only clutters the house but destroys my peace as well. I look around and just want simple. Just old fashion. I want my home to be a haven not such a mess. The book stressed over and over no matter how clean a room or closet is– if there is no order– it doesn’t matter about the cleanliness because all you will see is the disorder. I agree. And I am striving for more order and simplicity not just cleanliness. Oh how I wish these lessons had been passed down to me by someone– anyone. I am determined to teach my children these things. I want them to know the old ways– the simple ways. I am not saying new things are bad– I enjoy my contacts instead of glasses, my fridge, freezer, washing machine– all these things are good things. Even the internet or I wouldn’t have had access to such old books– but I think these things we shouldn’t depend so much on. We need to learn more than one way of doing things or learning things. I hope and pray I can instill in my children this because I am still learning myself and still working towards this simplicity.
I am not sure if any if this makes sense. Sometimes I feel I am writing just to work through what I am thinking and maybe it doesn’t make sense to anyone else. But the bottom line is– I want open space in my home, I want less consumer goods, I want cleanliness (which I do clean all the time) and order, I want older items that will last and serve the funtion I need– I just want a simpler old fashion life and I am striving for this.