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Thursday, 28 January 2016

Playing House





In my husband's late grandmother Doris Olds' farm kitchen there's a lovely solid old Aga style double stove that isn't used any more, but in the past it served to provide both heating and cooking and to make the kitchen the warm and welcoming heart of the home. Unfortunately I don't appear to have ever taken any photographs of it, or to have any photographs of any other real ovens in my collection, apart from a few that I have posted here previously.


Instead I thought I would post this one from 1986, which shows our younger son Strahan checking out what's cooking in the play oven made by his grandfather Bob Featherston. Bob was retired by that time and enjoyed making wooden toys such as this for his grandkids. He also made them a doll house, a ride-on truck and a multi-car garage for example. All were greatly appreciated and provided many hours of fun, out on the side verandah of our 1930s California style bungalow in Gilroy Rd Turramurra. 




Here's Strahan at Ikea recently, all grown up and having a look at a play kitchen like the one that his English niece Isabelle will be receiving for her second birthday. It was meant to be delivered for Xmas but was unexpectedly left with the neighbours on the wrong day and then somehow got stolen from their porch overnight. After some discussion over liability, Ikea agreed to provide a replacement. Of course young Isabelle was none the wiser.




Meanwhile here are Isabelle and her nursery friends Felix and Florence, playing house with Felix's kitchen, which is the same Ikea model. Play kitchens seem to be the 'in thing' right now, and there are many different styles available. With a sink, lights, and a mock microwave up top, this one looks rather more high tech than Bob's simple handmade version, but his was solid and served us well. Eventually we gave it away, hopefully to be enjoyed by others, although we do still have the dolls' house and garage. Thank you Bob!


                                              
Many hands make light work? 
Photo taken by Claire Featherston


To see what other Sepians have been cooking up this week, head over to Sepia Saturday 315

17 comments:

  1. I remember those all-in-one play kitchens except they didn't have microwaves in 'my day'. I'm surprised they don't now incorporate coffee makers in them as well. I never had one, but some of my friends did. I did have a little old fashioned stove Santa Claus brought me for Christmas one year when I was a little girl and I still recall it with great fondness when I think of it - like now, for instance. Thanks for the memory. :)

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  2. I wish there had been more pictures taken in kitchens past. What were we thinking? I remember a little stove I had too. Hadn't thought of it in years. It was metal and the oven opened.

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  3. I had an Easy-Bake oven, a kid's stove that was heated by a single light bulb! And it actually cooked stuff! Anybody else have one of those?

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    1. I llooked up the Easy Bake Oven on Google -fascinating! I've never seen them here but maybe because I haven't been looking. I see one version even came with packet mixes. I know it sounds trite but one ingredient that all these manufactured toys lack is the loving care of a grandfather. :-)

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    2. You're absolutely right, Jo! The Grandfather Factor is high on my list, too!

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  4. What a fun approach to the prompt. Love those Easy-Bake ovens.

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  5. At first I thought your post would be about the wonders of an Aga stove which I was introduced to when I visited the north of England years ago. But your fun spin on the theme tells a better story on the marvelous imagination of toys.

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    1. It probably would have been, if only I'd had a photograph!

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  6. I think it is wonderful to have hand made wooden toys for the children. We always have enjoyed "Kitchen play". I remember having a tea set made of tin, red with white dots. It seems children still today like to look what's cooking.

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  7. You have triggered a memory of a kitchen from my childhood too. Thank you.

    I definitely didn't have anything like this when I was a child.

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  8. The homemade kitchen is perfect. Many good recipes must have been cooked up there.

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  9. I wish I had had a play oven. I did have child size cooking pots and utensils.

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  10. So sweet! I loved the dolls house my father built for me. It was called Holly Lodge or Cottage as I remember.

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  11. My inventive mother made me a toy stove from a cardboard box. Your last photograph is delightful and coveys so much interest and enjoyment, even though we cannot see the children's faces.

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  12. I'm fascinated, what is a 1930s California style bungalow?

    When I was a kid the boy down the street had an electric stove that could be plugged in. We decided to cook up saltine crackers and water for a dead mouse he'd found in the large field across the street. Things didn't go as planned. We burned his bedroom rug and the mouse was thrown back into the field.

    Love Strahan with his oven!

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    1. Not much good cooking anything up for a dead mouse :-) Here's a blog that explains about Californian bungalows and their history, both in the States and in Aus.
      http://melbourneblogger.blogspot.com.au/2009/01/californian-bungalow-australias.html

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