High-res version

 

 

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Few more views of the old Metters wood burning stove, or range, in our kitchen.  You can see this model is not freestanding & has to be set in brickwork to function.

 

We ultimately finished the kitchen walls, the cooking area, in the deep, dark & moody hue . . .  and we love it for various reasons.

 

One is that it reminds me of my early childhood when the family cooking, when meals were prepared using the same model of Metters wood burning cook stove.

 

Even though we had electricity, frugality was the rule & wood was a cheaper energy source.  And although the cooking area, in the old part of the kitchen, was dark, the stolid old Metters always had a large pot of stew, a soup, or similar on top, or a roast in the oven, to satiate the hunger of us 9 children.  Kettles & pots always on the boil, billowing steam. Our country family was large.

 

Another reason is that I remember, fondly, the stove alcove & surround was always dark if not somewhat sooty.  While the sense of comfort & warmth it evoked stays with me to this day, I had our electrician install a light in the alcove each side of our stove so the cook or chef would have no trouble seeing what they were doing.

 

The last 2 images (below) show the alcove lit up.

 

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We are not using the stove right now as it’s summer here in the southern hemisphere.  Yes, December, January & February are high summer and, yes, you got it, Christmas is in the middle of our long, hot summer when hours & actions slow & watering the garden takes up a lot of my precious time.

 

 

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I have a small collection of rusty & not so rusty kitchen & cooking ironmongery.

 

We don’t use these old cast iron pots & pans, the kettles. They are rusty & some may leak.

 

And I love them just as they are.

 

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You can see the lit up alcove in the 2 images above.

 

I spoke about the old stove & associated accoutrements in earlier posts here, here, here, here & here

 

The canvas art above the stove is ‘The Luncheon’ by Claude Monet painted in 1868.  The autobiographical piece works perfectly in the spot:

The painting is autobiographical. An artist constantly plagued by financial straits, Claude Monet had the fortune to receive a small “salary” from one of his patrons in the summer of 1868. For the first time, he was able to offer his family a proper home. It was his family who posed for him here, though Monet excluded himself from the depiction. He is already awaited at the table, but for the moment he is still enjoying the role of the happy onlooker.

 
The scene is carefree and cosy. We can almost detect a longing for middle-class standards – there is even a maid. As an artist, however, Monet did not conform to convention. Usually, a private setting such as this one would have been represented in a small genre painting. Monet provocatively painted it on the large scale reserved for historical events. The composition likewise contradicted every tradition. For example, the painter emphasised such matters of minor importance as the food on the table; indeed, he integrated an entire still life. He emphasised the emotional focus – his little boy – by casting the brightest light on him and on his mother; at the same time, however, he pushed the child to the far edge of the scene. What is more, the right hand edge of the canvas cuts harshly through the table and chair. The jury of the conservative Paris Salon rejected the painting. It was not to be placed on public view until 1874, in the exhibitions independently organised by the Impressionists.