Today’s kitchens, with their modern technology, granite countertops and track lighting, are certainly cutting-edge, filled with their nifty gadgets. And yet, they often seem to possess all the inviting warmth of a hospital operating room. Instead, we take a fond look back at the kitchens of yesteryear, the ones run by our parents and grandparents. The ones we stood in while drinking milk from the carton and where we sat staring at every square inch of a Cocoa Puffs box until it was time to catch the school bus. They looked something like this:

For many of us, these images conjure up memories of standing next to mom and helping with the chocolate chip cookie duties, or sitting next to dad in the morning as he read the paper, smelling a combinations of coffee and aftershave lotion. These are but a few of the endless aromas that drifted from this comfort food Mecca that seemingly produced a steady supply of pot roast, beef stew, macaroni and cheese, spaghetti and brownies. Perhaps it’s the place where you first finely honed your french toast and scrambled eggs skills. And maybe it’s the place that you found yourself wandering towards in the middle of the night, searching for snacks like a famished raccoon.

As a kid, this is where you wanted your artwork proudly displayed. It was also the room you were most likely to be thrown out of, should you get too rambunctious. Cooking requires focus, and your unrequested input could lead to mom having a rather short fuse. We made other mistakes in the kitchen as well, occasionally burning or slicing ourselves, and dropping more than a few full glasses or plates. Yes, the kitchen was a room that required attention and there were plenty of lessons to be learned.

Perhaps all of this nostalgic fodder explains why there has been a trend in recent years to create replicas of the kitchens from yesteryear. Vintage-looking modern appliances sell quite well today, as people seek to build a place like where mom used to cook. And thanks to a company called KidKraft, you can even get your youngsters to experience the kitchens of an earlier era.

Take us back to your own childhood kitchens by sharing your memories in our comments section. Tell us about the aromas, and the colors (harvest gold, anyone?) and anything else that you fondly remember about your family kitchen, as we celebrate these special places here at Retroland.

3 Responses to “Kitchens”

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  1. Easyreader says:

    In the 1970s, my Mom favored the Avocado Green in her kitchen. Canisters, electric can opener and blender all matched in Avocado!

    The other popular choice in the 70s was Harvest Gold.

    These dark rustic earthy tones were really a hit then, but now are very rarely appreciated.


  2. HardyGirl66 says:

    Our appliances were chocolate brown, and our curtains had brown, gold and orange mushrooms. Our utility cabinet w/ counter top was also chocolate brown. Our fridge had a huge freezer on the bottom. We lived in an old building, so we had a boarded up dumbwaiter, done over w/ corkboard (our kitchen bulletin board). We also had a really deep sink. Sadly, the only thing that didn’t match the chocolate brown theme was the kitchen table. It was grey formica. The kitchen was small, but my mom and older sister were always cooking something good, and I was usually around to either watch or help. Biscuits, cookies, cakes, lasagna, chili, lemon merengue pie, etc. I even cooked my very first meal (hamburgers in the oven, broccoli and baked potato) w/ a little help from my mom when I was 7 years old. I can remember popcorn, and birthday cakes, and Jell-o being made and me bugging everyone ‘cos I couldn’t wait to eat! My mom used to get up at 5am and cook Christmas and Thanksgiving dinner. The smells coming from that kitchen would drive me nuts all day! Lotsa fun memories in that old kitchen. I wonder who cooks in it now?

  3. Gina says:

    At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, they have a fun restaurant called Prime Time Cafe. The seating areas there resemble 1950’s kitchens. The waitresses act like mothers. Book ahead!

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