We took a trip south a while back and visited Monticello. There are many wonderful things there but I was particularly interested in the kitchen. After his wifes death Thomas Jefferson spent a lot of time abroad as the U.S. Minister to France (1784). At the time most cooking in America was a pretty simple affair…stewed in a pot over a fire, roasted in an over or direct flame. At Monticello Thomas Jefferson had the kitchen above installed. It is a row of single burners that can be heated quickly from their individual fireboxes below not all too different from the stove tops of today. This allowed for more quickly sauteed dishes not common at the time. The kitchen at Monticello was one of the best equipped in Virginia. Stocked with the finest cookware from France (lovely copper pots!) as well as a bake oven and fireplace. I could be very comfortable in this kitchen.
Currently I am in the final phase of what feels like the never ending planning for a kitchen remodel. No, I’m not installing wood fired saute stations, but I do appreciate the clean lines in TJ’s kitchen.
This is the view of the opposite wall. I appreciate the simplicity of the design, the space and the tools. Everything old is new again. The open shelving here from the late 1700’s is what I’ve been seeing in pretty much every home decor magazine the library stocks!
The crocks and pottery of Monticello were meant as functional pieces that serve a variety of functions. That they are in fact lovely is an added bonus.
The west front of Monticello. The building is still a work in progress…much as it always was when Jefferson himself lived there. Much as our place is too…always tweaking here and there. Do you live in a space that is utterly complete with not a care to change a thing? Although I envy that I don’t think I’ll ever actually arrive, there’s always something…