Wednesday, April 21, 2010

And the winner is...

Carolyn MacDonald! She will win a signed copy of The Pantry as well as a vintage apron from my extensive collection. It was a difficult selection to make from many fine entries (I would like to include all of them here in the coming weeks, if I may) and I thank you for all of them. However, Carolyn wrote about a variety of pantry memories in the process of building a new pantry of her own (we hope that she will share photographs of the finished pantry with readers here). In the meantime, here is Carolyn's winning entry: 

I am having a pantry built.  I am so excited about it that it is all I can think about!  The construction started about 3 weeks ago and it is almost completed except for cabinet fronts and painting. It is a space in the back of my garage but it is attached to the house with a hallway that leads to my kitchen.  I am trying to have it be a tribute to both my grandmothers who loved to cook.  It will have open shelving and cabinetry with glass doors.  I had a piece of marble in the garage that will be used as a small counter.  It will have scalloped brackets similar to the ones on page 18 of your book. I have your book The Pantry.  I have read it several times.  I am going to display it in my new pantry.  I love it! Along with the book I am going to hang my grandmother’s aprons that they sewed or crocheted.  I am going to display one of my grandmother’s canister sets.  I have random dishes from my mother and aunts that will be proudly displayed.

My maternal grandmother had a wonderful pantry.  I tell my daughter about it all the time.  She had jars of clarified butter for baking, canned vegetables from the garden and lots of rolling pins.  I have one of her rolling pins and I am going to hang it in my pantry.  My grandmother always made sweet cookies and they were proudly displayed on the counter of her pantry. She had beautiful handmade doilies hanging on the shelves and bottles of rose water or orange blossom water used for baking in the cabinet. When you opened the cabinet you would smell the fragrance from these bottles.  I tell my daughter that she never wasted anything.  All jars and containers were used and filled with nuts, golden raisins and chocolate sprinkles for baking.  You never knew what was in a recycled coffee can or cookie tin until you opened it.  But, she knew what each container held.  An avid gardener, my grandmother always had a bowl of apples, mulberries, tomatoes or cucumbers on her counters.  I hope to do the same.  My grandmother passed away in 1986 the same year my daughter was born.  I tell my daughter about her and I always mention her pantry and how she loved to cook for her family as I do.

My mother also had a pantry and she tell me that as a little girl I would ask her to stand me up on the counter to look out the small pantry window at our back yard.  I don’t remember this but I love the story and I can picture myself as a small child in the 1950’s climbing up to see out our second floor pantry window.

My husband remembers his grandmother’s pantry also.  He said she had a wonderful wooden ladder that helped her to reach the top shelves.   He used to climb up on it.   Oh, how I wish we kept some of these things!  I do have a salt and pepper shaker collection of his grandmother’s and I am sure they will look fantastic in the glass cabinet.
I have let everyone in the family know about the construction of the pantry and it puts a smile on their faces.  I am sure they will give me mementos to display. I am trying to find a quote from your book to hand paint on my pantry walls along with my favorite saying “count your blessings."   

Thank you for letting me "count my blessings" here In the Pantry on a regular basis these past five years. I appreciate, as always, your stopping by for some sugar or salt. 




Nan said...

Oh, what a wonderful piece of writing from Carolyn. I just loved it. The rose water, the orange blossom water, those cans and jars that her grandmother reused. I can picture everything, and love it. I'm so, so glad she will have a pantry of her own which pays homage to the past and will be beautiful and necessary in the present and future.

Rosemary UK said...

It is indeed very evocative writing from Carolyn.I have vivid memories of our pantry at home,my grandmother's pantries,both maternal and paternal and my own that I have created in the several homes my family have lived in.I have a fabulous one now,created from scratch,as the original one in our old farmhouse had been incorporated into a foul fitted kitchen by the previous owners.This happened so often from the 1970's onward,to be replaced by mass produced cupboards all around kitchens,making them all look the same.In the houses I have occupied I have always replaced these with freestanding pine or antique kitchen dressers etc, and restored the pantries if necessary.

Martha said...

What fond memories! Alas, I come from a pantryless heritage and how I envy yours.

You'll have to share pictures of your pantry when complete!

Carolyn said...

Thank you for your wonderful comments about my pantry essay. I was very surprised that I won. Of course I will send photos as soon as I am set up. It is not a big space but I am already dreaming of how to organize it. If you have any ideas on how to organize so that the pantry is functional and attractive, I would love to hear about it. I have food items, cookbooks, linens, dishes, antiques etc. Catherine has great ideas and I am sure she will write about them. I love hearing about your love of pantries. I thought I was the only one!

Mrs. Arrow said...

Dear Catherine,
I hope you didn't get washed away!
(Here in NYC we're glad we didn't get blown away).
Peace to all in KY.

Catherine said...

Hi Mrs. Arrow ~ I just posted a blog tonight on the local flooding which was quite devastating in some areas. We were spared but many of those we know were hard hit, especially some area businesses.

Carolyn, I haven't forgotten your book! Again, congratulations and thanks to everyone for sharing such lovely pantry memories. I will post them all in the coming weeks.