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?
About Kevin Williams
Hi, my name is Kevin Williams and I am owner of Oasis Newsfeatures and editor of The Amish Cook newspaper column.