Pink Fire Pointer English Country Kitchens

English Country Kitchens

I have always had a thing for English country kitchens.  They just exude coziness.  The Aga stove, the larder cupboard, the dresser, the copper pots, the storage baskets, the big farmhouse table, the hearth, and the promise of homemade jams and freshly baked breads.  They make me want to pull out my mixing bowls and whip up some scones and brew a pot of tea.  I spotted these images recently and they take me to that place of comfort and warmth that the best country kitchens convey.  After all, isn't a country kitchen where we all want to hang out?  I can imagine a cook setting aside a day each week for baking in these kitchens, producing scones, pies and  cakes --  the baked goods that have always made an English tea so delicious.  

Pale blue Aga stove set within a brick recess 

A larder cupboard provides storage for baking supplies, as well as crockery and linens.  I love the blue and yellow colors that have been used here.  The floral linens add a prettiness to the look. 

Country-style gingham shade on the door

English cheeses like Stilton are often kept in a cool space, stored in a cheese safe like this glass dome

 A door rack adds additional space for spices, herbs and dry goods and looks so charming

All ready for baking day, marble counters look great in a country kitchen
 These pretty beaded linen covers for the jugs add to the old-fashioned look

A pretty magnetic board to keep shopping lists and other materials visible

Jams and pickles are canned and covered with decorative lids, pretty labels and charming fabrics

This storage piece for an apple harvest allows the air to circulate

Great storage ideas for the pantry
All photos above via Country House and Interiors

Ben Pentreath owns a home decor shop in London, Ben Pentreath Ltd., and spends his weekends at his lovely country home in Dorset.  He is also the author of one of my favorite blogs, Inspiration/Ben Pentreath.  I love reading about his adventures in the Dorset countryside.  This dresser displays his lovely china plates and Wedgewood biscuitware terrine.

With many of us going into nesting mode in the winter, there is a comforting feeling of warming ourselves, both body and soul, in the kitchen.  

I pull out my coziest country-style cookbooks for inspiration.

One of my favorites is "Home Cooking" by Laurie Colwin.  She was one of the best food writers around.  I read her articles for many years in "Gourmet Magazine" with great affection.  She cooked honest and delicious food without any pretense and her feelings about being in the kitchen often resonated with  me.  She wrote:

"When people enter the kitchen, they often drag their childhood in with them.  I was brought up on English children's books, in which teatime and cottage life play an important role.  These formed my earliest idea of comfort:  a tea table in a cozy cottage.  As an adult I have reinforced these childhood notions by reading English cookbooks as if they were novels..."

When I read these words I knew I had met a kindred spirit in Laurie Colwin.  My influences were also English books, especially English novels.

English food writer Elizabeth David is another one of my favorite food writers.  In "Elizabeth David's Christmas" she gives a recipe for "Sugared Oranges" that sounds delicious:

Sugared Oranges
"Halve and quarter the oranges, scoop the flesh from the pith and skin with a serrated knife and, adding white sugar, store the orange segments in a wide covered glass jar in the refrigerator, adding to them whenever you have a moment to prepare a few extra.
Serve the oranges chilled, in deep wineglasses.  Pour a tablespoon of Kirsch or Cointreau into each glass just before the meal, or perhaps a little lemon juice and a sprinkling of freshly chopped mint leaves."

This recent book on the domestic life of Bloomsbury promises an interesting look into the kitchen of Virginia Woolf who had houses in London and the Sussex countryside.   

I love reading Melissa Clark's column "A Good Appetite" in the New York Times especially at this time of the year when she features comforting country recipes.  Recently she wrote about these savory scones and suggests serving them with stews and soups.   Here is the recipe for her "Savory Scones with Onion, Currants and Caraway."  They would be so good with a great lentil soup.

And finally here is the English country kitchen that we see every Sunday night on Masterpiece Theatre.  I love this scene in "Downton Abbey" when Lady Sybil decides to learn how to cook.  Those kitchen scenes with Mrs. Patmore and Daisy bustling around and producing meals are some of my favorite scenes on the show.

I am inspired to get cooking.  How about you?