Quilting, Farming, Variety

Monday, January 24, 2011

Making New Like the Old

This little green cabinet belonged to my husband's grandmother. We called it a Hooiser cabinet although it was not an original Hooiser. The term "Hoosier" referred to free-standing kitchen cabinets with porcelain work tops, roll doors, and built-in floor sifters. Many also had tin bread drawers, sugar jars, spice jars, pull out bread boards, and could store cooking utensils, dishes, and most staple items found in kitchens. In other words, the Hoosier was the kitchen cabinet.

For years I had wanted a Hoosier; we had looked at ads for farm auctions in Kansas where there would almost always be cabinets for sale. As I have mentioned before, not many good items can be found in our area; this was simply a part of the country where people were mostly too poor to have much of anything that would have lasted throughout the day-to-day use of big families. So, my husband took paper and pencil in hand, measured the little green cabinet, and made one for me one cold winter.

It is made from oak, harvested from our farm. Not every detail is the same as the original; it has no rolling door, and no flour sifter. He had purchased a used flour sifter but we decided the extra storage space was more important. My spices go behind the upper door and drinking glasses behind the lower door. The counter has a Formica top, and pulls out for a perfect place to roll out pie crusts. The lower portion of the cabinet holds cookware, measuring cups, etc., and storage containers. The glass in the upper doors of the green cabinet were etched, but mine have been left plain for now. I sorta like the looks of a calico print hanging behind them.

To the left of the cabinet is my cook stove, and "yes" I do cook on it, for if you look closely you can tell it is electric. This is another new thing, made to look old; an authentic replica of the old fashioned kitchen range. It is made of cast iron from patterns of old wood-burning stoves. They are (were, at least; I've had mine since 1998) manufactured by The House of Webster, in Rogers, AR. Now I have to admit, I don't use the oven very often; it's pretty small so I have a standard size range also to bake in. Just ignore the wooden blocks it's sitting on; they were supposed to be replaced with a tiled platform, but you know how "honey-do" lists get shoved aside. The floor is pine, which is a soft wood, and since the stove is so heavy we figured it would make dents in the floor. I guess it really wouldn't matter since the stove is not going anywhere. They've darkened over time and don't show up as much now. Well, that's a partial peek at my country kitchen which is outfitted with free-standing cabinets, much like an old kitchen would have been.

Oh, by the way, the little green cabinet has been refinished, and now sits in the beautiful new home of my sister-in-law and her husband.


  1. Your handmade cabinets are beautiful and must mean so much to you. Your country kitchen is such a wonderful place, and the old "wood burning" stove looks so right in its spot there.

  2. Hi.. I love your cabinet and your kitchen is lovely..
    I too have wanted one for a long time.. I just showed my husband your pic... Suppose it will help? lol...
    God bless...

  3. My aunt and uncle, who were share croppers and were like grandparents to me, they had one of those cabinets....Aunt Polly's was red & white...I always admired it even as a kid. Now...the cook stove...I am jealous, I have always wanted one of those. It looks beautiful in your kitchen....but better in mine. HaHa!

    Thanks for visiting and please stop by anytime.
    You are on my favorite list also.


  4. Is that the cabinet that used to be out on the back porch at Mamma's? I always loved that cabinet!