"Like many families, ours boasted strong Southern roots, and nowhere was it more evident than in my mother's, grandmother's, and aunts' pots and pans." B. Smith, (1949-2020) Southerner, Supermodel, author of many cook books and lifestyle books, restauranteur
While she loved Southern food, Barabara Smith ( aka B. Smith) said her goal was to "always keep it eclectic." That attitude reflects her interesting life. She was cosmopolitan but down to earth at the same time, an attractive way to be in the kitchen and out. When people asked her if she was originally from the South, she would say she was from Southwestern Pennsylvania. Her family was from Virginia and North Carolina where the first enslaved Africans arrived. Growing up, she said she never differentiated between Southern food and Northern. She said, "all I knew was the food we ate, and it wasn't good-- it was great."
We're so fortunate that B. Smith brought us some of that food through her restaurants and cookbooks. Every good kitchen should have at least one B. Smith cookbook. It's must have kitchen decor.
If we are lucky, the kitchen is a place for family and love. B.Smith's love of her family and the history of cooking is inspiring. But Barbara did not just stay at home in her kitchen. Far from it, she traveled a lot for her modeling career first as a model for Ebony Fashion Fair and then as a Supermodel for the famed modeling agency, Wilhemina. She eventually lived in New York where she loved restaurants that served Southern cooking, like The Pink Tea Cup and Sylvia's. And she traveled all over the country where she learned in the kitchens of others, like about Creole from Paul Prudhomme, and gathered inspiration and recipes for her B. Smith restaurants in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere. In her intro to her cookbook, "B.Smith Cooks Southern-Style" she writes, "Contrary to popular belief, whites blacks and Native Americans ate a lot of the same foods. What was different were the conditions under which they ate them. When you put this all in a big pot, we call that Southern cuisine." We can all take a page from B. Smith's cookbook when we think about our cooking and our kitchen decor - and about our relationships with others.
B. Smith's cooking show had the best guests ever. Here she is in the kitchen with Gladys Knight! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDFttBxLScE Who knew the singer Gladys Knight loves to cook? She and B are making pumpkin bread. Gladys says she often has Sunday dinners for 60! Clearly she has a large kitchen. B. says she is going to make the pumpkin bread for Thanksgiving dinner and serve it with ice cream. Sometimes we at Decorative Things are so focussed on our kitchen decor, we forget about the food. But we highly recommended pumpkin bread. It should come out well, whether you have a large kitchen or a small kitchen.
On another edition of B. Smith's cooking and entertaining show, Eartha Kitt and B. are in B.'s kitchen wearing cat masks at the top of the show. Together they make a "purrfectly delicious vegetable soup." And in the course of the interview, Eartha says the kitchen is her favorite room of the house!
DecorativeThings.com does not pretend to offer you everything a cook needs to stock a kitchen, much less one as great as B. Smith. But to neglect such an important room would be unpardonable, so we offer you some decorative kitchen accessories that will add a little cheer to ordinary pots and pans. Kitchens have some of the most quotidienne objects in home decor. There are lots of tools and gadgets in kitchens that are useful and necessary. That doesn't mean they can't be made in a decorative way. The right kitchen accessories can help turn ordinary kitchen decor into decorative kitchen decor. We have a few kitchen decor ideas we think you will enjoy as you cook and entertain in the kitchen.
Whether you have a modern kitchen or a farmhouse kitchen or any other style, we recommend you start with a few choice decorative kitchen accessories to spruce up your kitchen decor. One really fun relic of a kitchen cookbook is Plats du Jour. It was out of stock for years, but the wonderful British publisher, Persephone, has brought it back. It includes excellent advice from two charming British experts about what kitchen decor is important, but even these experienced cookbook authors describe the hunt for kitchen accessories as a bit daunting:
"We know perfectly well many people live in far from modern homes and are cooking daily with possibly ancient but serviceable weapons. In discussing pots and pans, here the intention is not to revile old equipment but to run over a basic list of utensils for the sake of those who are setting up house for the first time or who need to replenish.
It is always disturbing to be confronted with the listed regalia of kitchen implements, a natural reaction to the disparity between an ideal condition and the existing facts. If one examines the Batterie de Cuisine in L'Art Menagere de la Cuisine Francaise, for instance, a feeling of despair is more likely to take possession of an English woman rather than an immediate resolution to acquire some of the articles mentioned."
Speaking of cookbooks, a well-stocked kitchen library can be as important as the bookshelf in a study. Even kitchen cookbooks can be part of your kitchen decor. Persephone Press's Plats du Jour and Kitchen Essays have endpapers that are taken from vintage designs and charming illustrations that are just what you would expect from cookbooks first issued in England in the early 1900's.
Good-looking paper towel holders and napkin holders are must have kitchen accessories. Both of these kitchen tools are needed for kitchen organization. Paper towels and napkins are two of the most needed kitchen supplies. Why not have the best looking paper towel holders and napkin holders you can find. Ours are made in USA and have the advantage of going with a lot of kitchen decor styles, from modern kitchen decor to farmhouse kitchen decor. These decorative kitchen gadgets will help you with kitchen storage. Afterall, you can't have the paper towels and paper napkins flailing around the kitchen without paper towel holders and napkins holders. These kitchen organizers have a mission to keep kitchens neat and store kitchen items with style.
Kitchen rugs are another important kitchen decorating detail. Small rugs keep the floor clean but they are also instant decorative kitchen decor. Add one of our Claire Murray rugs under your sink and you will not only have to mop less, you will add warmth, color and interest to the room decoration. You can bring the garden inside with our floral rugs, the beach to a winter's day with our beach themed rugs, or a touch of French country kitchen decor to your kitchen with our rooster washable rugs.
Our kitchen valences also offer lots of pizazz for kitchen decor. They are easy to hang decorative kitchen curtains. Kitchen window treatments are basic kitchen accessories that you will enjoy whenever you are in the kitchen, which is a lot. We have valence curtains in many fun patterns from striped curtains to floral curtains and in many colors.
In short, our kitchen decor varies from items you can use on the kitchen counter, on the kitchen table, on kitchen floors, in kitchen cabinets....Wherever you use our kitchen accessories, kitchen gadgets, kitchen organizers....we hope you find them as useful, and delicious as we do.