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WHAT MAKES AN IDEAL KITCHEN

It is a mistake to suppose that any room, however small and unpleasantly
situated, is “good enough” for a kitchen. This is the room where
housekeepers pass a great portion of their time, and it should be one of
the brightest and most convenient rooms in the house; for upon the
results of no other department depend so greatly the health and comfort
of the family as upon those involved in this ‘household workshop’.

dragon-fruit-4795__180Every kitchen should have windows on two sides of the room, and the sun
should have free entrance through them; the windows should open from the
top to allow a complete change of air, for light and fresh air are among
the chief essentials to success in all departments of the household.
Good drainage should also be provided, and the ventilation of the
kitchen ought to be even more carefully attended to than that of a
sleeping room. The ventilation of the kitchen should be so ample as to
thoroughly remove all gases and odors, which, together with steam from
boiling and other cooking processes, generally invade and render to some
degree unhealthful every other portion of the house.

There should be ample space for tables, chairs, range, sink, and
cupboards, yet the room should not be so large as to necessitate too
many steps. Undoubtedly much of the distaste for, and neglect of,
“housework,” so often deplored, arises from unpleasant surroundings. If
the kitchen be light, airy, and tidy, and the utensils bright and clean,
the work of compounding those articles of food which grace the table and
satisfy the appetite will be a pleasant task.

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It is desirable, from a sanitary standpoint, that the kitchen floor be
made impervious to moisture; hence, concrete or tile floors are better
than wooden floors. Cleanliness is the great desideratum, and this can
be best attained by having all woodwork in and about the kitchen coated
with polish; substances which cause stain and grease spots, do not
penetrate the wood when polished, and can be easily removed with a damp
cloth.

The elements of beauty should not be lacking in the kitchen. Pictures
and fancy articles are inappropriate; but a few pots of easily
cultivated flowers on the window ledge or arranged upon brackets about
the window in winter, and a window box arranged as a jardiniere, with
vines and blooming plants in summer, will greatly brighten the room, and
thus serve to lighten the task of those whose daily labor confines them
to the precincts of the kitchen.

The kitchen furniture.
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The furniture for a kitchen should not be cumbersome, and should be so
made and dressed as to be easily cleaned. There should be plenty of
cupboards, and each for the sake of order, should be devoted to a
special purpose. Cupboards with sliding doors are much superior to
closets. They should be placed upon casters so as to be easily moved, as
they, are thus not only more convenient, but admit of more thorough
cleanliness.

Cupboards used for the storage of food should be well ventilated;
otherwise, they furnish choice conditions for the development of mold
and germs. Movable cupboards may be ventilated by means of openings in
the top, and doors covered with very fine wire gauze which will admit
the air but keep out flies and dust.

For ordinary kitchen uses, small tables of suitable height on easy-
rolling casters, and with zinc tops, are the most convenient and most
easily kept clean. It is quite as well that they be made without
drawers, which are too apt to become receptacles for a heterogeneous
mass of rubbish. If desirable to have some handy place for keeping
articles which are frequently required for use, an arrangement similar
to that represented in the accompanying cut may be made at very small
expense. It may be also an advantage to arrange small shelves about and
above the range, on which may be kept various articles necessary for
cooking purposes.

One of the most indispensable articles of furnishing for a well-
appointed kitchen, is a sink; however, a sink must be properly
constructed and well cared for, or it is likely to become a source of
great danger to the health of the inmates of the household. The sink
should if possible stand out from the wall, so as to allow free access
to all sides of it for the sake of cleanliness. The pipes and fixtures
should be selected and placed by a competent plumber.

Great pains should be taken to keep the pipes clean and well
disinfected. Refuse of all kinds should be kept out. Thoughtless
housekeepers and careless domestics often allow greasy water and bits of
table waste to find their way into the pipes. Drain pipes usually have a
bend, or trap, through which water containing no sediment flows freely;
but the melted grease which often passes into the pipes mixed with hot
water, becomes cooled and solid as it descends, adhering to the pipes,
and gradually accumulating until the drain is blocked, or the water
passes through very slowly. A grease-lined pipe is a hotbed for disease
germs.


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