At the Heart

At the heart of the home is…the kitchen.

In the Midwest farming community where I grew up — many of the houses (town or rural) had the entrance into the kitchen. Often this was via a back porch — sometimes open, sometimes enclosed. This was the door that was used.

Yes, every house had a front door which often opened to the living room. But the traffic pattern here was light. A knock on the front door signaled strangers.

Step back a few generations and the same pattern emerges.

Time was spent in the kitchen — by residents and visitors. This is where the women did a great amount of work preparing food for either immediate or future use. Family and guests gathered around the table for meals. Visiting and evening tasks were accomplished close to the heat and light of the fire.

This two room frame house with a central fireplace was a common floor plan in the 1830’s. The kitchen side of the fireplace was at the literal center as well as the functional heart of the home.

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