Country Kitchen: A Kitchen Window To the World

Country Kitchen: A Kitchen Window To the World

By Mary Emma Allen

My mom enjoyed gazing out a window while washing dishes and recalled the window of her childhood above the pantry sink. For years she bemoaned the fact that, in our farmhouse kitchen, she only had a wall to stare at. So one day my dad hauled saw and other tools into the kitchen, bought a window with four panes, and installed it above our kitchen sink. It did brighten the large kitchen and helped make washing the dishes for six family members and hired man an easier task...for Mother, and for Sister and me.

Window to the World

That became MotherÂ’s "window to the world". It looked out to the brook that ran between the house and barn. Beyond the barn were a corn field, pasture, and woodland. The scenery was ever changing, depending on the time of day and year. Glimpsing deer at late afternoon grazing in that pasture adjacent to the woodland was a time of excitement for us children. This almost became a daily ritual looking for the white tailed deer moving slowly across the pasture as they grazed.

Windows in Later Years

Even after she developed Alzheimer's, Mother looked out the window of the house where she then lived and went back in time to the scene from her farmhouse kitchen, even though she was no longer there. It took me awhile to figure out what she was talking about when Mother told me she saw the cows coming to the barn or the deer near the woods when neither were outside this kitchen window. Then I realized she was talking about the window of my childhood and we both reminisced over a cup of tea, providing us a happy occasion.

My Kitchen Window

Wherever my husband live, even though we have a dishwasher and I donÂ’t spend so much time at the kitchen sink, I still want a window. I like to gaze at the woods around my home, see my grandchildren playing in the yard, watch the birds flitting around, or look at trees budding in spring and changing color in autumn. A window above the sink becomes the heritage of women who spend time in their kitchen. Mine encompasses memories of my childhood and of my mother who wanted her window to the world.

Family Recipes

As I think about the window of my childhood, I also reminisce about recipes.

Try this QUICK FRUIT BREAD - Mix together 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar, 1 egg, 1 1/4 cups milk, 3 cups biscuit mix; beat for 30 seconds. YouÂ’ll have a slightly lumpy batter.

Blend in 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, 1/2 cup mixed candied fruit, 1/4 cup raisins or currants.

Pour into well-greased 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees F. for about 45 minutes until inserted toothpick comes clean. Turn out on rack to cool. (You can substitute other fruit and nuts for variation.)

WALDORF SALAD was a favorite of my childhood. Combine 3 cups unpeeled diced apples, 1 cup finely sliced celery, 1/2 cup raisins, 1/2 cup chopped nuts, 1/3 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing. Toss lightly. Serve on bed of lettuce.

(C) 2002 Mary Emma Allen

About the Author

Mary Emma Allen has been writing her "Cooking Column" for newspapers and online publications for 30 years and has compiled a family cookbook. SheÂ’s currently compiling a cookbook/story book, "Tales From a Country Kitchen." Visit her web site for more cooking articles. Contact her at

The Country Kitchen Series

Window to the World

Mud Season Means Spring!

Memories at the Kitchen Table

The Pioneer Kitchen


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