Tools Of The Trade….

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One of the first Amish kitchens I ever entered was at the home of a very conservative Amish family in the area of Reading-Camden, Michigan.  The kitchen was a cluttered but organized panoply of pans, pots and utensils.  This was my kind of cook!:)  I’m someone that if it’s “out of sight”, it’s also “out of mind.”  If I stow something in a drawer or a cabinet, it may never be seen again.  I’ve heard it’s a left brain/right brain thing.  People like me don’t do so well with drawers and desks, I instead do better with shelves, hooks, and cubby holes where I can actually see my stuff and easily get my hands on it.  This cook had huge copper pots, spoons, and spatulas all hanging from hooks in her kitchen where she could instantly grab something. Everything seemed with in an arm’s reach.  As a contrast in styles, the late Elizabeth Coblentz – the original Amish Cook – was the opposite.  She had beautiful floor to ceiling cabinets where everything from stainless steel bowls to stockpots were neatly stored away.  Unless she was making something, you could walk into her kitchen and never see a bowl.  This photo is part of an Amish woman’s kitchen in Aylmer, Ontario. It’s a whirl of whisks, spatulas, and strainers. Everything accessible, hanging from hooks and within reach, kind of like that home I was in years ago. Below is a photo from an Amish home in Fredonia, Pennsylvania.  This would be more the style of Elizabeth Coblentz’s or her daughter Lovina’s, everything neatly stowed away in beautiful cabinets and cupboards.  There’s not a “right ” or “wrong” way, it just showcases the different methods people use. Even among the Amish, people will choose a methodology that works for them.  So are you a cook that keeps everything out of sight in cupboards and drawers or do you have everything hanging on hooks and stored on baker’s racks within reach?

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The Discussion


  1. I like everything put away into their own little cabinets or drawers.

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  2. I’m a mix of both. Things I use on an everyday basis I like to keep out on my shelves and the daily-used utensils sit in crocks (some I picked up in Lancaster PA yard sales!) are on the counter tops and on near my cook top. Other things that get used less often I keep in cupboards and cabinets.

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  3. I have tools sitting in clean flower pots on kitchen island.

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  4. I would put more stuff away if I had the cabinet space, but my kitchen is tiny so a lot of stuff has no where to go but on what little counter space I have. I also store most of my small appliances in the basement, and the basement serves as my pantry. It makes for a lot of running up and down stairs when I’m cooking!

    I do like to keep my spoon, spatulas, and whisks handy in crocks on my counter, and the iron frying pans I use every day hang from a rack.

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  5. Angie Yoder says:


    I keep my daily use items in a collection of hobnail glass pitchers that I’ve collected over the years, along with my grandmother’s red Fiestaware pitcher that was a wedding gift to her and my grandfather. I keep larger things, like pots and pans, in my cupboards, and I keep only occasionally used items like the waffle maker or the pressure cooker, down in the basement laundry room in a storage cupboard my husband built for me.

    In the last photo, I love the tomatoes lined up in the windowsill. My grandmother always did that, my mother did and now I do too. In the summer, when the sun hits them, they smell so wonderful and fresh!

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  6. marge nistler says:


    I do the same as Christine. Had extra cupboards put in after we bought this house.

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  7. Most of my utensels are in a couple containers on my counter. Especially the things I use all the time. Toasters and other little appliancess are kept in cupboards. I like my counters basically unclutered. It makes life interesting to see how other people live.

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  8. The clean flower pots sound like a great idea. A person could decorate them however they wish.

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  9. Donna Leitner says:


    All my pots, pans, and appliances are put away because we are fortunate to have kitchen cupboards are from the floor to the ceiling. The upper cupboards all have the doors removed and we display beautiful floral dishes,platters and pitchers surrounded with greenery and matching silk flowers. Our kitchen is painted jadeite green with accents of pinks, yellow and a touch of lavender. I collect jadeite and love all the soft colors that have been hand painted on old floral dishes mixed in with the jadeite green. On the extra deep counter tops we have our whisks and utensils in green ceramic flower pots but also haveadditional dishes here and there on display too. I found a pale green metal and wicker baby scale at a flea market and have the weighing basket filled with assorted smaller pieces of my .jadeite collection.Over the years we have added a vintage jadeite milkshake maker,a pink ice crusher,and an old mixer that uses the jadeite mixing bowls.My husband and I both cook all the time and feel very blessed to be in our pretty kitchen surrounded by the things we enjoy.

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  10. Mary Ingram says:


    All of my stuff is in drawers, or behind doors. I think if stuff sits out it gets dusty, & would have to be washed before you use it

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  11. I’m a bit of a mix. Like you, I like to see everything, making it easy to grab and go. But I also like the tidy look of everything being put away….
    Tiffanie of Truly Skrumptious recently posted..Recipe Exchange: Cinnamon Roll PancakesMy Profile

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