The Kitchens We Love

BCE92475-0FB0-45BA-A537-0868D878337CThere are those kitchens where more memories are made than any other place on earth. I remember when my Oma and Opa moved to Fruitland, Ontario. There was an apricot tree there. Oma baked the most delicious sand cakes filled with apricot jam. Years later I realized that this must have been a new recipe she developed or borrowed to use up an abundance of fruit that year. This in itself might appear unexceptional if not for the fact that she was quite elderly already. As young persons we do not always pause to really observe and understand the elderly. They are often merely part of the backdrop of our lives. As a teenager I saw nothing of myself in my Oma’s wrinkled face. She has been gone for almost 30 years now but the memory of her readiness to innovate with new ingredients whispers through the years to me as I cook and experiment in my kitchen.  It tells me that I am very much her grandchild.

E200517D-CC1C-49B5-A590-7E056A95E22EKitchens are often the hearts of our homes. Being greeted by the aromas of supper cooking after a long day at work makes our labour so much more worthwhile. Special conversations happen over a cup of tea and a slice of our favourite cake.  Bruised knees and feelings are comforted by a sweet treat. At the heart of these kitchens, however, are the cooks who make these places special.  These are the people we celebrate with more of our “Handmade Kitchen” signs. Whether you call her Gramma, Nana, Nagymama, Mom or something totally different you can honour the special cook who is making memories for your family by commissioning a personalized sign at The European Pantry.

A Good Sign

 

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The sun comes up. It is a good sign: a new day, a new beginning.

I love what is solid, tried and true but I also love new beginnings! I have to remind myself to look over my shoulder and see where I have been because I am always excited about new challenges and opportunities.

For a long time I have been wanting to add to our selection of kitchen articles and gifts.  But as I pondered our commitment to the concept of “The Handmade Kitchen” I wondered how we could do both.  I love creating things but my responsibilities for keeping the shelves at The Pantry stocked with goodies from all over the world limit my time for creative endeavors. Yet……

My friend Charmaine Stulp is my hair stylist. She has been making people feel beautiful about themselves for a long time. Yet… she, too, was yearning to explore her creative side further. Charmaine is my type of girl! She is happier in a lumber yard or home repair center than in a clothing store…unless it is a thrift shop.  So it wasn’t surprising when she announced a new business venture she was starting with another friend. Both of them are hair stylists, hence the name of their new business: Scissors to Saws.

One morning…the time for new beginnings…an idea came to me.  By partnering with local artisans, I could honour our commitment to “The Handmade Kitchen” and I could encourage creativity right here in Niagara. So if you have been by the store lately, you will have noticed new handcrafted and hand-painted gifts appearing on our shelves. The signs are the work of my friend Charmaine.  We will be reaching out to other local artisans but today I would like to introduce Charmaine and let you see some of her beautiful work.  You will be able to buy her signs off the shelf here at The Pantry, commission her to make you a personalized sign or attend one of her very fun workshops.

Our first line of signs is “bon appetit”. It doesn’t matter what your language is, everyone has an expression that means “Enjoy your Food!” The line of signs will also enable you to honour the mothers in your life with personalized messages like:

  • Everything Tastes Better at Grandma’s (or Oma’s or Nana’s or Nagymama…)
  • Mom’s Kitchen: Satisfied Tummies Since (insert the year she became a mom)

We have some great other new ideas that will be coming and we also hope to offer kits that will enable you to create at home. We will keep you posted!

Read more about “The Handmade Kitchen” Here.

Connect with “Scissors to Saws” Here.