Cooking just about everything from scratch means spending quite a bit of time in the kitchen. Here are some of my must-have Alaskan log home kitchen essentials.
Not all farmhouses are white! We live in a log home here in Alaska with a barn full of farm animals. Our farmhouse style is a little more on the rustic side with deep colors that tie into our wooded surroundings.
Our kitchen was a disaster when we first moved in over five years ago. You can read about our log home kitchen renovation in this post. But now, it is a very special part of our home where delicious and healthy food is prepared and enjoyed by all.
Over the years, I have been adding touches here and there to give our log home kitchen a rustic, old-fashioned feel. Here are some of my faovirte ways to bring an Alaskan feel to our kitchen.
Of course, this is a must in any rustic, old-fashioned kitchen. Cast iron has made a big comeback recently as kitchens all over have been reminded of why the pioneers lugged these pieces around on their travels. Perfect over the campfire or the woodstove, they hold their heat. And after careful seasoning and much use, are naturally non-stick.
I made the switch from cooking with stainless steel to cast iron a few years ago and haven’t turned back. Learning the art of caring for cast iron took me a little time but now it is second nature when I cook.
Our collection of cast iron cookware has slowly grown over the years. I have skillets in several sizes as well as griddles, a dutch oven (great for baking sourdough bread), and loaf pans. You can see how we display our most frequently used pieces in this post.
Cast iron can be expensive but is well worth the investment and will last forever with proper care. Antique shops are a great place to look for unique cast iron pieces. With a quick cleaning and reseasoning at home, they’ll be brought back to life and ready to cook with again.
My love for pottery began during our years of living in Germany. I began collecting Polish pottery, which is fairly expensive, but not when purchased in Europe. I love to serve our meals on beautiful pottery to make our time around the table even nicer.
After living in Alaska for several years, I have been slowly adding to my pottery collection with some beautiful, locally made pieces. There are quite a few local artisans creating rustic pottery for use in the kitchen and I love the touch that it adds. Serving platters, pie plates, bowls, and small dishes that have been made by someone’s skillful hand.
Purchasing handmade pieces that are unique to your region is another way to add charm and an old-fashioned look to the kitchen and table.
Cooking tools have been made out of wood for a very long time. Wooden utensils, cutting boards, bowls, and other items made out of wood are old-fashioned and natural elements to have in a rustic kitchen.
Again, we are fortunate that there are a few local artisans that make wooden kitchenware out of the beautiful birch wood that covers Alaska. I have collected some serving utensils, salad claws, cutting boards, bowls, and small utensils.
Plastic utensils can begin to flake over time and it’s best to avoid using plastics with food anyway. You don’t have to worry about using wooden utensils when preparing and serving food.
It’s no secret that glass jars have grown in popularity over the past few years, even though they have been used in farmhouse kitchens for generations. Glass jars have many uses beyond just canning so they’re the perfect addition to any kitchen.
They make great drinking glasses, instead of the ones from the store that break so easily. A perfect vase for a small bundle of flowers. And containers for condiments in the fridge or dry goods in the pantry.
Old-fashioned glass jars are abundant at antique shops and thrift stores. We have a small, local hardware store that carries a wide selection of glass jars, many that are unique.
We keep flats of overflow jars on a shelf in the garage so I can keep them organized. This way I always know what we have on hand when it’s time to do a large canning recipe.
Although many of the items listed above are often already antiques, there are other ways to add a rustic, old-fashioned touch to the kitchen using antiques. Going to a local antique shop or flea market will provide endless inspiration for adding antique kitchenware to your space.
We recently visited a very old log home built by a local trapper. The corner of the cabin that was the kitchen was made up of a long, narrow table with a shelf above it. There were old food tins used for storage, antique utensils, and handmade potholders.
When there isn’t a fancy store down the road to buy matching kitchen containers, you must use what you have. Purchasing antiques is a way to reuse and repurpose instead of always buying new.
Other Log Home Kitchen Essentials
Here are some other ways to bring a rustic, old-fashioned log home touch to your kitchen:
- Deep, dark colors-The all-white kitchens are so beautiful but a log home deep in the woods should reflect its surroundings. Deep shades of brown, red, blue, and green create a warm and cozy atmosphere.
- Food on display-Our countertop always has food on it. Usually, this includes the sourdough starter getting bubbly, fresh loaves of bread on the cutting board, and whatever cheese I am currently working on. A basket of fresh eggs from our layers is one of my favorite touches.
- Handmade linens-Our table is graced with a quilted runner that my husband’s grandmother made. A lace doily made by my great-grandmother sits on the windowsill. The girls and I sew cloth napkins (we each have a different fabric design to tell them apart). I also keep embroidered tea towels and fabric scraps to decorate canning jar lids.
Although very different from my previous design style in our past homes, I love creating a warm environment for the heart of our home. These log home kitchen essentials will add a touch of old-fashioned, rustic charm to any space.
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