kitchen Items list;Every Kitchen Must Have.Every kitchen should have windows on two sides of the room, and the sun should have free entrance through them; the windows should open from the top to allow a complete change of air, for light and fresh air are among the chief essentials to success in all departments of the household. Good drainage should also be provided, and the ventilation of the kitchen ought to be even more carefully attended to than that of a sleeping room.
The ventilation of the kitchen should be so ample as to thoroughly remove all gases and odors, which, together with steam from boiling and other cooking processes, generally invade and render to some degree unhealthful every other portion of the house. It is the steam from the kitchen which gives a fusty odor to the parlor air and provides a wet-sheet pack for the occupant of the “spare bed.” The only way of wholly eradicating this evil, is the adoption of the suggestion of the sanitary philosopher who places the kitchen at the top of the house.
To lessen to discomforts from heat, a ventilator may be placed above the range, that shall carry out of the room all superfluous heat, and aid in removing the steam and odors from cooking food. The simplest form of such a ventilator this inverted hopper of sheet iron fitted above the range, the upper and smaller end opening into a large flue adjacent to the smoke flue for the range. Care must be taken, however, to provide an ample ventilating shaft for this purpose, since a strong draft is required to secure the desired results.
There should be ample space for tables, chairs, range, sink, and cupboards, yet the room should not be so large as to necessitate too many steps. A very good size for the ordinary dwelling is 16 x 18 feet.
Undoubtedly much of the distaste for, and neglect of, “housework,” so often deplored in these days, arises from unpleasant surroundings. If the kitchen be light, airy, and tidy, and the utensils bright and clean, the work of compounding those articles of food which grace the table and satisfy the appetite will be a pleasant task, and one entirely worthy of the most intelligent and cultivated woman.
It is desirable, from a sanitary standpoint, that the kitchen floor be made impervious to moisture; hence, concrete or tile floors are better than wooden floors. If wooden floors are used, they should be constructed of narrow boards of hard wood, carefully joined and thoroughly saturated with hot linseed oil, well rubbed in to give polish to the surface.
Cleanliness is the great desideratum, and this can be best attained by having all woodwork in and about the kitchen coated with varnish; substances which cause stain and grease spots, do not penetrate the wood when varnished, and can be easily removed with a damp cloth. Paint is preferable to whitewash or calcimine for the walls, since it is less affected by steam, and can be more readily cleaned. A carpet on a kitchen floor is as out of place as a kitchen sink would be in a parlor.
The elements of beauty should not be lacking in the kitchen. Pictures and fancy articles are inappropriate; but a few pots of easily cultivated flowers on the window ledge or arranged upon brackets about the window in winter, and a window box arranged as a jardiniere, with vines and blooming plants in summer, will greatly brighten the room, and thus serve to lighten the task of those whose daily labor confines them to the precincts of the kitchen.
30 kitchen Items list;Every Kitchen Must Have
The Kitchen Furniture.—The furniture for a kitchen should not be cumbersome, and should be so made and dressed as to be easily cleaned. There should be plenty of cupboards, and each for the sake of order, should be devoted to a special purpose. Cupboards with sliding doors are much superior to closets. They should be placed upon casters so as to be easily moved, as they, are thus not only more convenient, but admit of more thorough cleanliness.
Cupboards used for the storage of food should be well ventilated; otherwise, they furnish choice conditions for the development of mold and germs. Movable cupboards may be ventilated by means of openings in the top, and doors covered with very fine wire gauze which will admit the air but keep out flies and dust. All stationary cupboards and closets should have a ventilating flue connected with the main shaft by which the house is ventilated, or directly communicating with the outer air.
No kitchen can be regarded as well furnished without a good timepiece as an aid to punctuality and economy of time. An eight-day clock with large dial and plain case is the most suitable.
Every kitchen should also be provided with a slate, with sponge and pencil attached, on one side of which the market orders and other memoranda may be jotted down, and on the other the bills of fare for the day or week. In households where servants are kept, the slate will save many a vexatious blunder and unnecessary call to the kitchen, while if one is herself mistress, cook, and housekeeper, it may prove an invaluable aid and time-saver if thus used.
A Convenient Kitchen Table.
Lack of sufficient table room is often a great source of inconvenience to the housekeeper. To avoid this, arrange swinging tables or shelves at convenient points upon the wall, which may be put up or let down as occasion demands. For ordinary kitchen uses, small tables of suitable height on easy-rolling casters, and with zinc tops, are the most convenient and most easily kept clean. It is quite as well that they be made without drawers, which are too apt to become receptacles for a heterogeneous mass of rubbish. If desirable to have some handy place for keeping articles which are frequently required for use, an arrangement similar to that represented in the accompanying cut may be made at very small expense. It may be also an advantage to arrange small shelves about and above the range, on which may be kept various articles necessary for cooking purposes.
One of the most indispensable articles of furnishing for a well-appointed kitchen, is a sink; however, a sink must be properly constructed and well cared for, or it is likely to become a source of great danger to the health of the inmates of the household. Earthen-ware is the best material for kitchen sinks. Iron is very serviceable, but corrodes, and if painted or enameled, this soon wears off. Wood is objectionable from a sanitary standpoint. A sink made of wood lined with copper answers well for a long time if properly cared for.
The sink should if possible stand out from the wall, so as to allow free access to all sides of it for the sake of cleanliness, and under no circumstances should there be any inclosure of woodwork or cupboards underneath to serve as a storage place for pots and kettles and all kinds of rubbish, dust, and germs. It should be supported on legs, and the space below should be open for inspection at all times. The pipes and fixtures should be selected and placed by a competent plumber.
Great pains should be taken to keep the pipes clean and well disinfected. Refuse of all kinds should be kept out. Thoughtless housekeepers and careless domestics often allow greasy water and bits of table waste to find their way into the pipes. Drain pipes usually have a bend, or trap, through which water containing no sediment flows freely; but the melted grease which often passes into the pipes mixed with hot water, becomes cooled and solid as it descends, adhering to the pipes, and gradually accumulating until the drain is blocked, or the water passes through very slowly. A grease-lined pipe is a hotbed for disease germs.
Water containing much grease should be cooled and the grease removed before being turned into the kitchen sink, while bits of refuse should be disposed of elsewhere, since prevention of mischief is in this case, as in most others, far easier than cure. It is customary for housekeepers to pour a hot solution of soda or potash down the sink pipes occasionally, to dissolve any grease which may tend to obstruct the passage; but this is only a partial safeguard, as there is no certainty that all the grease will be dissolved, and any particles adhering to the pipes very soon undergo putrefaction.
A frequent flushing with hot water is important; besides which the pipes should be disinfected two or three times a week by pouring down a gallon of water holding in solution a pound of good chloride of lime.
Stoves and Ranges.—The furnishing of a modern kitchen would be quite incomplete without some form of stove or range. The multiplicity of these articles, manufactured each with some especial merit of its own, renders it a somewhat difficult task to make a choice among them. Much must, however, depend upon the kind of fuel to be used, the size of the household, and various other circumstances which make it necessary for each individual housekeeper to decide for herself what is best adapted to her wants. It may be said, in brief, that economy of fuel, simplicity of construction, and efficiency in use are the chief points to be considered in the selection of stoves and ranges.
A stove or range of plain finish is to be preferred, because it is much easier to keep clean, and will be likely to present a better appearance after a few months’ wear than one of more elaborate pattern. But whatever stove or range is selected, its mechanism should be thoroughly understood in every particular, and it should be tested with dampers open, with dampers closed, and in every possible way, until one is perfectly sure she understands its action under all conditions.
Oil and Gas Stoves.—In many households, oil, gas, and gasoline stoves have largely taken the place of the kitchen range, especially during the hot weather of summer. They can be used for nearly every purpose for which a wood or a coal range is used; they require much less labor and litter, and can be instantly started into full force and as quickly turned out when no longer required, while the fact that the heat can be regulated with exactness, makes them superior for certain processes of cooking to any other stove. But while these stoves are convenient and economical, especially in small families, they should be used with much care. Aside from the danger from explosion, which is by no means inconsiderable in the use of gasoline and oil stoves, they are not, unless well cared for altogether healthful. Unless the precaution is taken to use them in well-ventilated rooms or to connect them with a chimney, they vitiate the atmosphere to a considerable extent with the products of combustion. Oil stoves, unless the wicks are kept well trimmed, are apt to smoke, and this smoke is not only disagreeable, but extremely irritating to the mucous membrane of the nose and throat. Oil stoves are constructed on the same principle as ordinary oil lamps, and require the same care and attention.
Quite recently there has been invented by Prof. Edward Atkinson a very unique apparatus for cooking by means of the heat of an ordinary kerosene lamp, called the “Aladdin Cooker.” The food to be cooked is placed in a chamber around which hot water, heated by the flame of the lamp, circulates. The uniform heat thus obtained performs the process of cooking, slowly, but most satisfactorily and economically, the result being far superior to that obtained by the ordinary method of cooking by quick heat. The cooker is only used for stewing and steaming; but Mr. Atkinson has also invented an oven in which the heat is conveyed to the place where it is needed by a column of hot air instead of hot water. With this oven, which consists of an outer oven made of non-conducting material, and an inner oven made of sheet iron, with an intervening space between, through which the hot air circulates, no smoke or odor from the lamp can reach the interior.
Kitchen. Utensils.—The list of necessary kitchen utensils must of course be governed somewhat by individual circumstances, but it should not be curtailed for the sake of display in some other department, where less depends upon the results. A good kitchen outfit is one of the foundation-stones of good housekeeping. The following are some of the most essential:—
Two dish pans; two or more papier-maché tubs for washing glassware; one kneading board; one bread board; one pair scales, with weights; scrubbing and stove brushes; brooms; dustpans; roller for towel; washbowl; soap dish; vegetable brushes.
A Double Boiler.
For the Tin Closet.-One dipper; one egg-beater; one two-quart pail; one four-quart pail; six brick-loaf bread pans; three shallow tins; three granite-ware pie tins; two perforated sheet iron pans for rolls, etc.; one set of measures, pint, quart, and two quart; two colanders; two fine wire strainers; one flour sifter; one apple corer; one set patty pans; two dripping pans; two sets gem irons; one set muffin rings; one toaster; one broiler; the six saucepans, different sizes; two steamers; six milk-pans; one dozen basins, different sizes; one chopping bowl and knife; six double boilers; two funnels, large and small; one can opener; griddle; kettles, iron and granite ware; two water baths.
For the Dish Closet.—One half dozen iron-stone china cups; three quart bowls; three pint bowls; two large mixing bowls; two quart bowls with lip; six deep plates; three kitchen pitchers; one glass rolling pin; six wooden and six iron spoons, assorted sizes; six kitchen teaspoons; one stone baking pot; glass jars for stores; crocks and jars.
The Pantry.—The pantry and china closet should have direct light and good ventilation. The dark, dingy places sometimes used for this purpose are germ breeders. There should be plenty of shelf room and cupboards for the fine glass and china-ware, with a well-arranged sink for washing the dishes. The sink for this purpose is preferably one lined with tinned or planished copper; for dishes will be less liable to become injured and broken then when washed in an iron or earthen-ware sink. Extension or folding shelves are a great convenience, and can be arranged for the sink if desired. The accompanying cuts illustrate a sink of four compartments for dish-washing, devised by the writer for use in the Sanitarium Domestic Economy kitchen, which can be closed and used as a table. Two zinc trays fit the top, upon which to place the dish drainers. If preferred, the top might be arranged as a drainer, by making it of well-seasoned hard wood, with a number of inclined grooves to allow the water to run into the sink. If the house be heated by steam, a plate-warmer is an important part of the pantry furnishing.
Compartment Sink for Dish-Washing. Open.
The Storeroom.—If possible to do so, locate the room for the keeping of the kitchen supplies on the cool side of the house. Plenty of light, good ventilation, and absolute cleanliness are essential, as the slightest contamination of air is likely to render the food supply unfit for use.
The refrigerator should not be connected with the kitchen drain pipe, and the greatest care should be taken to keep it clean and sweet. It should be thoroughly scrubbed with borax or sal-soda and water, and well aired, at least once a week. Strongly flavored foods and milk should not be kept in the same refrigerator. The ice to be used should always be carefully washed before putting in the refrigerator. Care should also be taken to replenish it before the previous supply is entirely melted, as the temperature rises when the ice becomes low, and double the quantity will be required to cool the refrigerator that would be necessary to keep it of uniform temperature if added before the ice was entirely out.
The Water Supply.—The water used for drinking and cooking purposes should receive equal consideration with the food supply, and from whatever source obtained, it should be frequently tested for impurities, since that which looks the most refreshing may be contaminated with organic poison of the most treacherous character.
Compartment Sink for Dish-Washing. Closed.
A good and simple test solution, which any housewife can use, may be prepared by dissolving twelve grains of caustic potash and three of permanganate of potash in an ounce of distilled water, or filtered soft water. Add a drop of this solution to a glass of the water to be tested. If the pink color imparted by the solution disappears at once, add another drop of the solution, and continue adding drop by drop until the pink color will remain for half an hour or more. The amount of the solution necessary to security permanent color is very fair index to the quality of the water. If the color imparted by the first one or two drops disappears within a half hour, the water should be rejected as probably dangerous. Water which is suspected of being impure may be rendered safe by boiling. Filters are only of service in removing suspended particles and the unpleasant taste of rain water; a really dangerous water is not rendered safe by filtering in the ordinary manner.
Cellars.—Sanitarians tell us that cellars should never be built under dwelling houses. Because of improper construction and neglect, they are undoubtedly the cause of much disease and many deaths. A basement beneath the house is advantageous, but the greatest of care should be given to construct it in accord with sanitary laws. It should be thoroughly drained that there may be no source of dampness, but should not be connected with a sewer or a cesspool. It should have walls so made as to be impervious to air and water. An ordinary brick or stone wall is inefficient unless well covered with good Portland cement polished smooth. The floors should likewise be covered with cement, otherwise the cellar is likely to be filled with impure air derived from the soil, commonly spoken of as “ground air,” and which offers a constant menace to the health of those who live over cellars with uncemented walls and floors.
Light and ventilation are quite as essential to the healthfulness of a cellar as to other rooms of the dwelling. Constantly during warm weather, and at least once a day during the winter season, windows should be opened wide, thus effecting a free interchange of air. All mold and mustiness should be kept out by thorough ventilation and frequent coats of whitewash to the walls. Vegetables and other decomposable articles, if stored in the basement, should be frequently sorted, and all decaying substances promptly removed. This is of the utmost importance, since the germs and foul gases arising from decomposing food stuffs form a deadly source of contamination through every crack and crevice.
In these days of invention and progress, much thought and ingenuity have been expended in making and perfecting labor-saving articles and utensils, which serve to make housework less of a burden and more of a delight.
The Steam-Cooker.Vegetable Press.
The Steam-Cooker.—One of the most unique of these conveniences is the steam-cooker, one kind of which is illustrated by the accompanying cut. Steaming is, for many foods, a most economical and satisfactory method of cooking. Especially is this true respecting fruits, grains, and vegetables, the latter of which often have the larger proportion of their best nutritive elements dissolved and thrown away in the water in which they are boiled. In the majority of households it is, however, the method least depended upon, because the ordinary steamer over a pot of boiling water requires too much attention, takes up too much stove room, and creates too much steam in the kitchen, to prove a general favorite. The steam-cooker has an escape-steam tube through which all excess of steam and odors passes into the fire, and thus its different compartments may contain and cook an entire dinner, if need be, and over one stove hole or one burner of an oil or gasoline stove.
The Vegetable Press.—The accompanying cut represents this handy utensil, which is equally useful as a potato and vegetable masher; as a sauce, gruel, and gravy strainer; as a fruit press, and for many other purposes for which a colander or strainer is needed, while it economizes both time and labor.
Lemon Drill.The Handy Waiter.
Lemon Drill.—This little article for extracting the juice of the lemon, and which can be purchased of most hardware dealers, is quite superior to the more commonly used lemon squeezer. Being made of glass, its use is not open to the danger that the use of metal squeezer is are from poisonous combinations of the acid and metal, while the juice extracted is free from pulp, seeds, and the oil of the skin.
A Handy Waiter.—In many households where no help is employed, a labor-saving device like the one represented in the accompanying illustration, will be found of great service. It is a light double table on easy-rolling casters, and can be readily constructed by anyone handy in the use of tools. If preferred, the top may be covered with zinc. In setting or clearing the table, the dishes may be placed on the lower shelf, with the food on the top, and the table rolled from pantry to dining room, and from dining room to kitchen; thus accomplishing, with one trip, what is ordinarily done with hundreds of steps by the weary housewife. If desirable to reset the table at once after a meal, the waiter will be found most serviceable as a place whereon the glassware and silverware may be washed. It is equally serviceable for holding the utensils and material needed when cooking; being so easily moved, they can be rolled to the stove and is always convenient.
Wall cabinet.—where cupboard space is limited, or where for convenience it is desirable to have some provision for supplies and utensils near the range and baking table, a wall cabinet offers a most convenient arrangement. It may be made of a size to fit in any convenient niche, and constructed plainly or made as ornamental as one pleases, with doors to exclude the dust, shelves on which to keep tin cans filled with rice, oatmeal, cracked wheat, and other grains; glass jars of raisins, sugar, citron, cornstarch, etc.; hooks on which may hang the measures, egg-beater, potato masher, and such frequently needed utensils; and with drawers for paring knives, spoons, and similar articles, the wall cabinet becomes a multum in parvo of convenience which would greatly facilitate work in many households.
Percolate Holder.—The accompanying cut illustrates an easily-constructed device for holding a jelly bag or percolate. It may be so made as to be easily screwed to any ordinary table, and will save the housekeeper far more than its cost in time and patience.
Kneading Table.—Much of the tiresome labor of bread-making can be avoided if one is supplied with some convenient table similar to the one represented in the cut, wherein the needed material and utensils may be kept in readiness at all times. The table illustrated has two large tin drawers, each divided into two compartments, in which may be kept corn meal, entire wheat, and Graham and white flours. Two drawers above provide a place for rolling-pin, bread mallet, gem irons, spoons, etc., while a narrow compartment just beneath the hardwood top affords a place for the kneading board. The table being on casters is easily moved to any part of the kitchen for use.
Dish-Towel Rack.—Nothing adds more to the ease and facility with which the frequent dish-washings of the household may be accomplished than clean, well-dried towels. For quick drying,—an item of great importance if one would keep the towels fresh and sweet,—the towel rack represented in the cut, and which can be made by any carpenter, is a most handy device. When not in use, it can be turned up against the wall as illustrated. It is light, affords sufficient drying space so that no towel need be hung on top of another, and projecting out from the wall as it does, the free circulation of air between the towels soon dries them.
Vegetable Brush.Kitchen Brushes.—These useful little articles can be put to such a variety of uses that they are among the chiefest of household conveniences. They are also so inexpensive, costing but five cents apiece without handles and seven cents with handles, that no housewife can afford to be without a supply of them. For the washing of dishes with handles, the outside of iron kettles, and other cooking utensils made of iron, they are especially serviceable. The smaller sizes are likewise excellent for cleaning cut glass ware, Majolica ware,—in fact, any kind of ware with raised figures or corrugated surfaces. For cleaning a grater, nothing is superior to one of these little brushes. Such a brush is also most serviceable for washing celery, as the corrugated surface of the stalk makes a thorough cleaning with the hands a difficult operation. Then if one uses a brush with handle, ice water, which adds to the crispness of the celery, may be used for the cleaning, as there will be no necessity for putting the hands in the water. A small whisk broom is also valuable for the same purpose. Such vegetables as potatoes, turnips, etc., are best cleaned with a brush. It makes the work less disagreeable, as the hands need not be soiled by the process, and in no other way can the cleaning be so well and thoroughly done.
All brushes after being used should be carefully scalded and placed brush downward in a wire sponge basket, or hung up on hooks. If left around carelessly, they soon acquire the musty smell of a neglected dishcloth.