Today, I thought I’d talk about the Heart of the Home . . . which means many things to many people, including me . . . but this is where it all started in my life . . .MUSICA

happy homemom's stove

In the kitchen.  We never took photos of my mom’s stove when we were growing up, we had too many other much more interesting subjects . . . but this is one of the rare ones where the stove insisted on being Dadin the picture, a photo-bomb so to speak.  These are two of my little brothers, Brad on the left and Chuck on the right and the little person in front is my sister Paula.  She’s about one, which means I’m about eleven at the time of this photo.  I grew up with that stove, learning to cook by helping my mom in our tiny kitchen.  This is where my mom and my grandma made Thanksgiving dinner for our big family and where Blogdaddy tasted and approved everything, especially the gravy and the stuffing. He was our own, built-in, Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. (That’s him showing us that if you hold a piece of bread in your mouth when you cut onions, you won’t cry, which didn’t totally solve the problem for me, but it did help; then I learned to hold my breath completely and that helped a little more until of course I had to breathe and then everything went haywire.)


she is beautiful

My stove at home, on the other hand, gets photographed every five minutes. Since I learned to cook on one just like it, this stove says HME to me, my kitchen wouldn’t have felt complete without it.


Just like my mom’s, mine is a 1956 O’Keefe and Merritt . . . two ovens, two broilers, four burners and a griddle.  Back in 1989, when we moved to this house, we found a refurbished one with all the original parts ~ she’s still going after almost sixty years in service.

kitchen linoleum

carrot cupcakes

Just like my mom’s, my stove is prone to photo bombing too.  Here she is, getting in on the action, peeking around the carrot cupcakes . . .


Knowing the power of her lasting beauty, she stands back and confirms the cheesecake, so proud of her accomplishment, as well she should be.


Cheese Blintzes

She slides in next to the cheese blintzes we made for a winter breakfast party, trying hard not to take too much credit . . . but finding it difficult.


I mean, hey, after all, I agree . . . when you got it, flaunt it.

with love from the heart of the home

She’s the Queen of Butter Cookies and she knows it!



She’s back there, warming the kitchen with her magical self, filling it with fragrance of turkey meatloaf making our cup runneth over with gratitude . . .

behind the brownies

Spicing the kitchen with chocolate; we come in from the cold to the smell of “after-school” when she and I make brownies together…



And even poking herself between the spiced pecanmaking for the holidays.  My old stove is the Heart of our Home too . . . she’s been a very good girl.

love the dishtowel display unit

Because of the way she makes the house smell, she righteously takes center stage in our kitchen . . . the Heart of the Home, where the action is.

heart of the home

our kitchen

But as you can see here, she is not overbearing, doesn’t take up too much space, never says “me, me, me” ~ like all stoves, she’s a giver,  quietly motherly and elegantly low-key, passionately nurturing. When our electricity goes out on the island (taking our heating with it), there she is, waiting to be put in service.  We close the kitchen doors and cook something by candlelight, heat up the kitchen, make it smell good, and it’s as cozy as can be as the storm rages outside.  That’s our stove. 

my stove As you have probably noticed in all these photos, she’s also a fantastic display unit for dishtowels, worth her weight in gold in so many more ways than one . . .


Because I love dishtowels . . . they’re decorative; they’re a fun and easy project to make, and they perk things up for the holidays or anytime.  She wears them well.

Cozy fall day

Another reason I love my stove so much is for that shelf up top, not a big thing, but a fun little item to have.


It’s not only cute and adds charm, but it’s handy for potholders at the ready . . .

stove top

And gives me one more way to celebrate the seasons as they change . . .

dressing up for the holidays


It takes just moments to go from flowery summer to owly fall; I add a couple of snowy trees, and it’s winter . . .

stove top dressing

And then, it’s Christmas.  I hang my banners there, and see the little snowman in front of the cardboard house on the left . . . we have those houses in our web store . . . they come like a card, you can take them apart and lay them flat.  I’m house-crazy year-round, but especially at Christmas.

Just painted the kitchen

The stove-shelf can actually lay flat if you want to have the ultra clean look, which for me is almost never; I do like clean, but not “ultra.”  Except for when we paint the kitchen, then it’s nice to see it like this.  I love the stove-on-stove look ~

All kinds of old stovesSo much so, I hunted around and found this little stove in an antique store and it’s now pretty much a permanent part of the stove shelf; good for all seasons.

the watcher

Hello Kitty.  While I decorate my shelf this little guy watches my every move from the top of the fridge . . . Girl sleeps through it all on the back of the couch in the “wood room”  

First thing in the morning

The stove is the first thing I go to in the morning, when the world is hushed, her pilot light burning softly . . .


first thing in the morning

. . . on windy days and chilly fall mornings, she warms up the tea kettle . . . my footsteps are the only noise, I take my cup through the house to my studio and start the day . . .

early morning shadows

. . .The sun comes up and casts long shadows, lighting the stove with rays cutting through the trees out back . . .


Yes, all this is good.  But cute is never really enough, is it?  The bottom line is, is she practical? That is the question.  Cute + Practical = Please come live in my house.  Despite practical shelf and dishtowel display, can she cook?  Oh yeah, she can cook.

Amazing pumpkin cheesecake

What better time of year to celebrate the little-white-stove-that-could than Thanksgiving?  She’s the gift that keeps on giving, like this most delicious Pumpkin Cheesecake.  If you’ve never made this, try it this year, you will be so happy you did!  It’s really easy.  I promise!  It’s in the Autumn Book, but click on the name ↑, it’s there too.



Joe at Thanksgiving

And so’s he, by the way, the gift that keeps on giving.  This is Joe pouring off the juices from the turkey so I can make the gravy, the famous (at least in our family) gravy my grandma made . . . Here’s a little tip for . . .

making gravy


Joe and I are away from the Island, in Arizona now, visiting with my darling Blogdaddy (the Daddio that leaves so many interesting comments in our “comment section”) and his wonderful wife Jeanie.  We’re making this gravy (I don’t have the recipe here to put up ~ traveling as we are makes it difficult, I’ll ask Kellee if she can put it on Facebook for you.  If you have the Autumn Book, the recipe for the gravy and lots of other things is in there) for Dad and Jeanie tomorrow night, with all the fixings, and then next week, we’re going back to California to do the same thing with my mom.  We are the bread dryingest people you know right now . . . getting ready to make my Grandma’s Stuffing everywhere we go, like this . . .

setting out the bread to dry

My grandma’s turkey stuffing is easy, it’s made the old-fashioned way with air-dried bread . . . takes about three days for it to dry properly.  When I’m at home, I use my ironing board to lay out the bread in the pantry, so I can close the door, no kitties allowed . . .  I think we may have it laid out all over our luggage in the back of the car on this trip!  Where there’s a will, there’s a way . . .

Grandma's Stuffing

Because we can’t have Thanksgiving without this . . . it doesn’t matter where we are.

making stuffing

Here I am rubbing the sage to drop it into the bread, now mixed with melted butter, sauteed onions, and celery . . . it’s just one of the things we are thankful for, it Heart of the Homesays Mom, it says Grandma, it even says Great Grandma.  Traditions are so important, they make the world a saner place.  Old ones are especially wonderful, so if you don’t have them, remember you can start now and do something the same way every year, and someday, your traditions will be as old and revered as our Grandma’s Turkey Stuffing.  You’ll be able to carry them with you no matter where you go, and make home in any environment.  As you can see, the littlest things can have the greatest meaning.  Connecting your traditions with the five senses, such as warmth and fragrance, makes them even better.  Throw in some MUSICA and a bit of heart and you have foreverness.

What comes from the heart

making cranberry sauce

We’ll make our favorite cranberry sauce too . . . if you have my calendar, you’ll find this recipe hanging on your wall right now! cranberry-sauce

Don’t forget to make extra so you can make delicious Christmas Jam with it ~ that recipe is on your wall too!

making Holiday Jam, cranberry orange marmalade

You put this on buttered toast or biscuits and your taste buds go to the moon, and you get to go along for the ride.

for the memories

So yes, that old stove is the practical of the practical, she’s been bringing people together for a very long time. Still going strong, born about the same time Norman Rockwell painted this lovely picture . . . look at the eye of the man in the lower corner.  I think that’s Norman Rockwell . . . Is he happy, or what?


Touch hands Girlfriends . . .

Touch hands  “Ah friends, dear friends, as years go by, and heads grow gray, how fast the guests do go.  Touch hands, touch hands with those that stay; strong hands to weak, old hands to young, around the Christmas board, touch hands.”  James Patrick Erdman

Bird and heart ... With love from Susan Branch



This entry was posted in Blog and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

507 Responses to HEART of the HOME

  1. Jennie Lou says:

    Hi Susan. Who said “When I count my blessings, I count you twice.”? Your blogs are full of so many things that speak to our hearts and remind us that no matter what is on the 6 o’clock news, there are more home-loving folk around than we ever hear about. I’m glad you have a stove that gladdens your heart. I will tell you about mine: three years before he passed away, my Father gave me a new stove for an early Christmas present. Our old faithful had blown up in a blue fireball on Thanksgiving and he told me to go right out and pick out a new one – no second hand one, mind, knowing I would prowl the Saint Vinnie’s until I found some ancient marvel- a new one, because it was from him. ( In our family, one cannot refuse a present at Christmas – no matter how extravagant).
    Every day when I walk into my kitchen, and certainly next week when we slide the big, blue roasting pan full of turkey in it’s belly, I will think of Daddy and just one more gift he gave that keeps on giving. Happiest of Thanksgivings to you and your Blogdaddy, your charming Joe and all the Girlfriends all over.

  2. Judi says:

    We just took down the old farm house and one of our daughters wanted Grandma’s old stove(just like yours) and her old sink in the washhouse. I was so pleased that she is going to use them. We have stored them in the machine shed on our farm so ready when she is.

  3. Esther says:

    What I especially loved about my 1955 stove, besides that it was the same age as me, was that the ovens unlatched and slid out so you reached in from the top to clean them…..instead of having to climb in. Who decided to do away with that lovely feature ? No doubt a man who never cleaned an oven

  4. Barbara in NC says:

    Two Thanksgivings! What could be better? Know your Dad is thrilled to see you. Thanks for the great blog about your trusty stove…they used to make them to last and that one has! I noticed the gingerbread man banner….will you have them again in the online store? Hope so!
    Enjoy your holiday!

  5. Rachel says:

    It is a lovely stove- I wish mine were as nice 🙂

    I do hope Blogdaddy is feeling better now!

  6. Siobhan in Santa Monica says:

    Thank you for the lovely narrative and piccies. Hope you are enjoying our sunny weather, and that you have a lovely Thanksgiving with your mama. We girlfriends thank her so much for having you!!! And, send Blogdaddy my kindest regards, and wishes for feeling all better as soon as possible. We adore you!


    – S

  7. Wendy Louise says:

    Dear Susan,
    What a lovely post, just what my soul needed right now so Thank-you so much dear sweet Susan. Now I just want to go find a wonderful stove like yours ! Gas is the way to cook for sure, I miss my Gramma’s gas stove and oven, there is a different smell, you said it, a cozy smell and feeling. Happy Thanksgiving to you and all your loved ones. We will be having two Thanksgiving dinners too, I like to think all our meals together are with gratitude for one another and all the wonderful bounty from the earth. Thanks for all the LOVE darling girl !
    Wendy-Louise oxoxoxoxox

  8. Sara from Northern Indiana says:

    Such a delight to read your post on this windy, frigid evening, Susan! I love your writing! It’s so apparent it’s straight from your heart. I’m so glad you included your turkey meatloaf recipe, which has become a favorite at my house! It is SO GOOD! And healthy too. My son now calls it ‘meal in a loaf’ and it is!

    I’m the one in our family that makes the dressing for the big day… one pan of turkey dressing and another of oyster dressing. (Surely there will be dressing in Heaven, don’t you think?) I’m also making the turkeys… yes, turkeys, plural… a smoked turkey and a regular one, which I pick up fresh at the Amish butcher shop two days before Thanksgiving, and cook the next day. I also do the dressings the day before, since we drive 75 miles to a niece’s house for the big day, and for some reason dressing always tastes better the day after it’s cooked anyway.

    Gosh, your post did it for me, Susan. It totally put me in the mood for Thanksgiving, which is the one time each year we all get together. Because there are so many of us, the dinner is served buffet style, and everyone brings their signature dish each year. (I am salivating in anticipation!) I also put together goodie bags for everyone–the 17 little kids and the 16 ‘big’ kids and at least a half dozen extras for guests who would otherwise be alone that day.
    That’s really what it’s all about, isn’t it?

    One of our family’s oldest traditions is storytelling after dinner. This has been going on for generations in our family. I’m the storyteller in our family, so I’ve been thinking about what stories I’ll be sharing with everyone, just as my Grandma Powell and my Aunt Glennis did when they were alive. It’s a tradition that everyone enjoys, and it’s so neat to see the faces of the children as they learn about Great Great Grandma Powell & her family of 8 traveling in a covered wagon through the Smoky Mountains to Georgia’s Hot Springs where they lived for 3 years, or my father at 17 and his brother at 16 driving my dad’s Model T to Colorado to work a year on an uncle’s ranch, and how my cousins and I used to play ice hockey on the frozen creek using yardsticks and freezer containers for hockey sticks and pucks.

    I think of you often, Susan, since I’m re-reading (3rd time) your book in anticipation of my trip to England next summer. You are a definite blessing in my life! My favorite photo this time is the one of your kitchen in the wee hours of the morning as you begin your day. I don’t think I’ve ever coveted what someone else had, but if I thought about it enough, I think it’s possible I just might covet your kitchen! Haha! xoxoxo 🙂 Sara 🙂

  9. Suzanne says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, Joe and all your family! I was so excited to read your post about your lovely old girl (stove). I have her big sister anxiously awaiting her place in my new remodeled kitchen, my husband has been working on it on weekends, days off and whenever he can and now finally after over a year of patiently waiting, the kitchen is almost completed. I feel like it’s Christmas Eve, anticipating the gift of my dreams. I hope to be baking in it by Christmas. Not sure of the year I imagine it’s from the early fifties as well. They just don’t make them like that anymore. Have a wonderful visit with both you Mum and your Dad and safe travels on your journey home. <3

    • sbranch says:

      You will love it forever. Just like my picket fence garden. It’s like from that movie “You complete me.” 🙂

  10. Susan R. says:

    Dear Susan,
    Once again, you have reminded me of the truly important things in our everyday lives! We have recently downsized to a small townhome from a larger home, and I have been feeling sorry for myself in my teeny, tiny kitchen. Your wonderful blog today about your 60 year old stove reminded me of my own Mom and the wonderful meals she prepared on teeny, tiny stoves through the years. Once again, you have given me inspiration to be creative, and also to remember it is those sitting at our table with us that are important….not the size of the kitchen!! Happy Thanksgiving to you and Joe…..I am thankful for your wisdom!!!

  11. Carolyn says:

    Lovely post and I especially love the Erdman quote at the end–says it all, doesn’t it? Thanks, Susan! Happy Thanksgiving, to you, Joe, the family, and all of the Girlfriends!

  12. I can almost smell the good things coming from that great old stove. I have never really thought of my stove as being a “character” in my life but I suppose it plays a pretty big role. I’ve just put a fish and seafood casserole in mine to bake for supper. I made up the recipe. That’s one bonus for having done the cooking for a family for some decades—there are just some things you KNOW. So my trusty stove is working away, while I type.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all my US friends. (Canadian Thanksgiving is in October so we’ve picked our turkey bones clean some time ago.)

  13. Jane says:

    Your stove is a treasure forever! I was surprised to see how little space she takes. Some of those big Viking and Wolf stoves take up half a kitchen wall!! And that she has been reliable…what more can you ask for?

    Off to check out that cranberry recipe on my calendar…Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

    Jane From Chicago

    P.S. Please take heart with my last comment, I truly adore you and your sharing of your life, art…well, everything! Always friends I hope.

    • sbranch says:

      Of course! Not sure what that other comment was, but I already know you well enough that I’m sure it was fine.

  14. Linda Joan says:

    Hello Dear Susan,

    I just want too be a little girl again and sit on your lap!

    • sbranch says:

      Everyone has a goal of how they want to look as they grow older. For better or worse, because the older I get the less choice I have, I’m going for the Mrs. Claus look, my lap gets more sit-ready every day! Working on the cheeks like roses, not as easy to come by as the bowlful of jelly!

  15. Gert~Iowa says:

    What a wonderful post. I love your stove and all the comparisons of home. My favorites are gas stoves, they have saved us many times! Living in Iowa and all. smile… I just knew it was sage dressing….that is the best. Mom always made it, also. And that is what I and my daughter make also. So glad you’ll be spending more time with your families. Blessings to you and yours…

  16. Elaine says:

    Happy Thanksgiving celebrations to you and Joe and all the family, Susan. Thank you for sharing such feeling; you stirred my own memories of childhood holidays. Lovely.

  17. pam says:

    I always love to see kitchen pictures. That stove! So perfect. I love your cozy kitchen and would love one just like it. Xo

  18. Carolyn J Chatham says:

    This being the season to be thankful, I want to say how thankful I am to have you, Susan Branch as a “friend”. I am thankful for the wonderful recipes, the beautiful art and the wonderful way you let us into your life. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  19. Marian from Orange, CA says:

    Thanks for the wonderful post. I also grew up with that stove, I’ve always enjoyed seeing it in your posts. God bless you and Joe and all your family this Thanksgiving.

  20. Anne D. S. says:

    When your heart is at home, you love things like stoves, sweet old fashioned cotton, hand-embroidered dishtowels, and spoons with worn handles that stir better than any other! Your stove is a gem! The joy that you have in the home arts is so clearly conveyed in your folksy, homey posts. Thanks for reminding us all to find joy in the heart of our homes. Happy Thanksgiving in AZ, CA, MV, and everywhere!

    • Anne D. S. says:

      When your heart is at home, you love things like stoves, sweet old fashioned cotton, hand-embroidered dishtowels, and spoons with worn handles that stir better than any other! Your stove is a gem! The joy that you have in the home arts is so clearly conveyed in your folksy, homey posts. Thanks for reminding us all to find joy in the heart of our homes. Happy Thanksgiving in AZ, CA, MV, and everywhere!

  21. Betsy says:

    I’ve made your cranberry sauce the last two years, Susan…it’s our new favorite!

  22. cynthia says:

    Happy Thanksgiving ! Thank you for sharing childhood memories. Funny how at the time we hardly notice things but luckly they stick to our brain and come alive just when we need them. Enjoy family time , I await more memories from your heart.
    P.S. Will the lavender soap and tray become available before Christmas??

  23. Susan (Grayslake, IL) says:

    I love your feature … the stove … it takes me back to my childhood and all the memories that come with being in the kitchen of my grandmother and great-aunt who were wonderful cooks. You and Joe have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with your family. Oh, and your Autumn book will help me to create a fabulous feast for the family 🙂

  24. Kimberly says:

    Love your beautiful stove, Susan! You always have such a cozy home! My favorite pics of the stove are the ones with the sun shining on it!

    I have your Autumn book and think I might try your Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe! It looks deliciousssssss!!!!

    So glad you’re posting even while traveling!

    • sbranch says:

      I try, not quite as easy as when I’m at home, must sneak it in between things and driving to next places!

  25. Suky says:

    Lovely! I really enjoyed this. Your gracious kitchen and particularly your wonderful stove, all bring back memories of my grandmom and happy times spent in her kitchen.
    That pumpkin cheesecake will definitely be happening in my kitchen this weekend.

  26. Amy says:

    Hi Susan!! I love your stove and all that it does to make your home a wonderful place!! Hallmark came out with this ornament in 2009. ebay.com/itm/like/181572737339?lpid=82 reminds me of your beautiful stove! I’ve been waiting to find it for a reasonable price. Sadly, that hasn’t happened. But, I have hope that I’ll find it one day! Just thought I’d share! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  27. Debbie P. ~ Weedsport, NY says:

    Hi, Sue~
    Great post! I love the way you captured “her” in all kinds of light and all seasons. The heart of the home remains pure and white and warm and giving regardless.
    So happy for you that you’re able to spend some quality time with your parents….family is such a blessing and the years go by so fast!
    Speaking of family blessings….I’m looking forward to baking pies this year with my sweet little assistant, Izzy. She just adores baking with me and I just adore her! The love-fest is just going to get bigger now…our son and dil are expecting a baby girl in January and our daughter and sil are expecting another baby girl in March. The family is growing in leaps and bounds! 3 little granddaughters…how blessed am I!!!
    Sending you wishes for relaxing, heartwarming moments as you gather with your family, Sue. Happy Thanksgiving!

  28. Debbie P. ~ Weedsport, NY says:

    PS: Touch hands….the most wonderful quote! And the most wonderful reminder to do just that…reach out and touch someone and let them know what a blessing they are! Happy Thanksgiving, girlfriends!

  29. Sharon in Fresno, CA says:

    I love your stove story. I grew up with a stove just like that, same brand with a folding shelf. Ahh the memories. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am getting a new grandchild the day after. Going down to Huntington Beach to be with my daughter. Have a safe trip.

  30. Memarge says:

    You are as faithful to us, your fans, as your stove is to you. My mom had an O’Keefe and Merritt stove too. My grandma was bought one just like it. Thank you so much for thinking of us even during your vacation. Hugs from Me.

  31. Janice Nelson in Park City, Utah from Boston says:

    I loved this post and all the awesome stove pictures. It truly is the heart of the home.
    Hope your dad is on the mend.

  32. Lisa R says:

    I love every single picture in this post! Kitchens, cooking, and old things are my favorite things.~ You are so sweet to think of us, as you are cooking TWO Thanksgivings for your loved ones. What a blessing you and Joe are to everyone! Have a wonderful time…. Love thinking of you in Arizona right now, I’m only about 40 miles from where you are. ; )

  33. Marilyn (in Ohio) says:

    Susan, a most enjoyable blog. I love your faithful stove – the older ones have such character & quite honestly I think they do a better job. I’m also jealous that it’s so CLEAN! I think I’d better get busy on my newer stove…..

    Wishing you & your family a blessed & Happy Thanksgiving.

  34. Diana from Ancaster says:

    I missed you dear Susan…thank you for sharing “the stove” with us.
    The pumpkin cheesecake from your Autumn cookbook made it to my table at our thanksgiving dinner last month (our’s is celebrated in October)…
    It was a HIT . …… So much so that my 4 son’s ( as well as their 4 better halves )
    Have proclaimed it will be a permanent addition to the menu!

  35. Susan, dearest, what a wonderful, heartwarming letter! The heart of YOUR home has spread love, warmth, and goodness throughout the world and brought us all together here! ♡ Our family stories matter… and you document them in such magical ways. The musica is so hauntingly beautiful, with images that stir my dreams. Enjoy every moment of your special Thanksgiving celebrations this year! Big hugs for Blogdaddy from all of us! Thanksgiving blessings!

  36. Diana Young Hall says:

    Happy travels and thanksgiving to you and yours! Store up all the hugs and giggles and jokes and just being together that you can while you are there. Time together is so precious no matter what’s on the table! Thanks for this beautiful post. I wish I had such a gorgeous stove! Mine is serviceable and for that I am thankful, not to mention my dishwasher and fridge, can’t leave them out! Lol. Happy trails!

  37. Sharon O'Hare-Meagher says:

    Love your stove, Sue! My mom had the exact same stove at our house. And I remember your tiny kitchen was the gathering place for butter and sugar sandwiches with all of us kiddos. Just the thought of those sandwiches now makes my blood sugar rise instantly! Ha!
    Best wishes to you and Joe and Your Momma for a wonderful Thanksgiving. I will be around the corner at my Mom’s. Maybe we can meet up to chat for a bit! 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Yes it was Sharon, I remember those butter and sugar sandwiches too, just loved them, especially after my nap! Love to see you Sharon, work it out with our moms if you can!

      • Susan from Bainbridge Island, Washington state says:

        My gosh! I thought my Gramma was the only one who made butter and sugar sandwiches. It was such a treat for us kids….Here I am almost 70 and now just learning that others made those delightful sandwiches also!!! they were soooooooooo good! kinda makes my mouth water for one more taste!!! ……. hmmmmmm >>>>> on my way to the kitchen to retaste my childhood!!! thanks for the memory!

        • Susan from Bainbridge Island, Washington state says:

          ahhhhhh…closed my eyes and took one bite….and all the memories came back….always on soft homemade white bread! num num

  38. Sandra says:

    I love this post about family and traditions and seeing and hearing all about your wonderful stove. Now I live alone in an apartment and things are very different for me, but when we were having a house built for our growing family, I asked the architect to make us a big family kitchen with a house around it and with a view on the garden. It was the heart of the home for many years and I remember it with great fondness and nostalgia!

  39. Dot from Illinois says:

    What a joyful surprise to have just read your blog. I have been thinking of you the past week and imagining the wonderful visit you must be enjoying with your family. Your time is precious and thank you for taking time out to say hello to all your girlfriends. The bird is bought and meal is planned for next week and now working on each room getting all the nooks and crannies cleaned for company. The tree is up and decorations will go on it tomorrow. Sending a bounty of best wishes and blessings to you Joe and your family for a wonderful holiday and a special prayer to your Dad.

  40. Linda says:

    Happy THanksgiving! Hope your Father is okay and that you are having a great visit. I guess your stove is gas(?) never had one but is that how you were able to use it without electricity? I was puzzled by that comment. Your food looks amazing,,wish we were having a dinner with friends or family but with just me and Mom we will just do the regular meal. Love your kitchen and what a great old stove! Linda from Idaho where it has been highs of 9-12 degrees and we got about a foot of snow some of which is gone now–only maybe 6″ left…………brrrrrrrrr! Tried to shovel the driveway but got too cold!!1

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, it’s a gas stove . . . keeps on ticking when the rest of the world has stopped! We’ve been alone at Thanksgiving too, and the perfect thing is to roast a chicken. Stuff him, have him with cranberry sauce and you will have an amazing, but easy, feast for you and your mom. Warms up the house too, and I can see you can use some of that!

  41. Gabriele says:

    I do so love your posts. Thank-you for your lovely sharing.

  42. Betsy Dean says:

    A lovely “ode to a stove.” Thanks for sharing, and Happy Thanksgiving!

  43. Linda says:

    Now that is a *real* stove! I had one similar for 30 years, but had to leave it when we moved cross-country. Have not seen another one like it since. I miss the pilot light. It kept the stove top warm enough to raise bread; sprout seeds for the garden.
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  44. Terry Jansen says:

    Oh wow, I’m hungry for gravy, your stove and your kitchen sink! Just lovely, as always x

  45. Cindy Maulin says:

    hi susan…. only YOU could write an entire post about a 60 year-old piece of metal and bring it to life and love in such an inspiring way. But I totally get it…these things that we love become one with us…and they are alive because they have meaning and memories…I totally loved this post and would give just about as much as I could to have my mom’s GE stove and her gigantic no-frost proof refrigerator/freezer….(not to mention the pink and black tiles with the some-kind-of-bird or swan on them that were on the wall in our downstairs bathroom…!). Your post has me all nostalgic and missing my mom…but I was already in la-la land because MY SON JUST GOT MARRIED!!! We just returned from Naples, Florida where he and Holly tied the knot on Vanderbilt Beach at sunset…..oh the celebration of love never grows old!!! Seeing you celebrating life with your family on this trip and reading the many wonderful comments from my Girlfriends reminds me of the many blessings we all have….it will be a grand Thanksgiving this year for we all have much to give thanks for….I hope that all is well for you and yours…. and thank you susan..for all of the joy that you have brought to so many….HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! xo
    love, cindy

  46. Susan, I love, LOVED everything about this post. If the kitchen is the heart of the home (and I firmly believe this to be true) the stove is at its nucleus! I have always wanted to have a stove just like yours. I just know that every kitchen in heaven must have one just like that, complete with cutsie tea towels that we can change at whim! I am cooking Thanksgiving Dinner this year for our American Sister missionaries, (Sister Harp from Missouri, and Sister Wagner from Idaho) and I am so excited about that! Finally I will get to share Thanksgiving with someone who “gets” it. Oh, the Brits do try, but they don’t really have the same ♥♥♥heart♥♥♥ invested in it as we North Americans do. Thanksgiving is so much better with people who have loved it their whole lives. I spent yesterday cooking dishes as a practice run, and of course for the blog. Sort of like a pre-Thanksgiving dinner. I am looking forward to getting the house all decorated and kick starting my holiday season! I hope you and Joe and your family have the best Thanksgiving every! Happy Holidays! xxoo

    • sbranch says:

      I know Thanksgiving is a bit new to the Brits, but the next generation will have that length of time to “get it” maybe and it will have some gravitas then. Have a wonderful time! Nothing more heartfelt than a prayer said at Thanksgiving. xoxo

  47. Leigh on HHI says:

    Our stove was a 30’s Roper — green, with spindly legs, burners on one side and a stacked oven on the end.

    It was the 1950’s and my Dad was in collage, so the best (i.e. cheapest) place to live for students was in a converted apartment in someone’s home. Thus the very old stove and furnishings.

    I was about 7 and my Mom liked me around when she was preparing dinner. But she was terrified of that stove. She would turn on the gas, duck back, and practically pitch a lit match towards the burner. Being bolder, I eventually took over lighting the burner, much to her relief.

    No matter how shabby the stove looked, it turned out the best biscuits and oatmeal to start off a winter morning in Iowa.

    Whenever/wherever you’re with your family you can be thankful.

    Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

    • sbranch says:

      Those old stoves are very heavy, they distribute heat so well, they are like cooking in an iron pot. You too Leigh, Happy Thanksgiving!

  48. Christabelle says:

    White appliances. No granite. I think I’m in love!

    Susan — is that turkey loaf recipe in one of your books?

    • sbranch says:

      Turkey meatloaf is in the Girlfriends Book! I made it last night for Blogdaddy, Jeanie and their friend Joe, and it was a big hit.

      • Christabelle says:

        Got it! Thanks so much — can’t wait to do this post-Thanksgiving. And yes, I, too, loved that you captured your stove in different kinds of light. I also loved the reference to photo bombing … assigning human characteristics to an inanimate object. Kind of reminds me of the time I apologized to a chair when I bumped into it, my first day on the job. Was my face red …

        Hope your Thanksgiving — and everyone else’s here — is the best yet!

  49. What a great post to pop into my mailbox this morning, it’s the first for me as a new follower and I can only say I loved it. Seeing your lovely cooker taking pride of place in your kitchen, and all the preparation for your thanks giving, travelling many miles to celebrate with family, such love for a special celebration. I wish you and your family a happy thanks giving, and look forward to reading many more of your posts and maybe looking to buy one of your books .

  50. Only you can write a whole post about a stove and make it interesting and fun!
    The only thing I never understand when you talk about your “blogdaddy”. Is he your real father or not? And why is he called that?
    groetjes from the pr-girl form the Netherlands

    • sbranch says:

      He’s my real dad, the father of eight children, I’m his oldest child. His name is John Patrick Stewart, but people call him Jack; he’s 91, married to a person I love by the name of Jeanie who is the cutest 87 year old you can imagine, and they live in Arizona. He comes on the blog and leaves lots of comments . . . somehow, because he is funny, sage and wise he became Blogdaddy and surrogate father to the Girlfriends. I’m at his house right now, visiting, making a Thanksgiving dinner (with my Grandma’s stuffing of course) in his kitchen for tonight.

  51. willemien says:

    Hi Susan
    Your kitchen looks so cosy! How geweldig (great) that your stove still works!I’m really glad that your book Autumn is for sale here in the Netherlands! Yes!!Yes!!I’ve immediately ordered one, it comes just in time for our Sinterklaas-evening, at 5 dec.
    Every year Sinterklaas(a kind of Santa) with his zwarte Pieten (helpers) comes by boat from Spain. On his boat he has lots of presents for children and grown ups. Kids put their shoes ready with some hay or a carrot in it for the horse of Sinterklaas. We’re singing songs for him: Zie ginds komt de stoomboot uit Spanje weer aan, hij brengt ons Sint Nicolaas ik zie hem al staan, hoe huppelt zijn paardje het dek op en neer, hoe waaien de wimpels al heen en al weer. Zijn knecht staat te lachen en roept ons reeds toe, wie zoet is krijgt lekkers wie stout is de roe. O lieve Sint Nicolaas kom ook eens bij mij, en rijd toch niet stilletjes ons huisje voorbij. You can find it at YouTube : zie ginds komt de stoomboot.
    It’s a very fun time of year I think, our kids are all excited what they’ll get in their shoes, and on 5 dec. We’re eating pepernoten(kind of round little gingerbread)and Zwarte Piet throws them in the room.
    I hope your having good weather, I ‘ve seen on the news lots of snow!
    You’ll soon celebrate Thanksgiving in America I believe.
    Have a Happy Thanksgiving you and Joe!

    Lots of love from Willemien

    • sbranch says:

      Santa comes from Spain! Love it! 🙂 Every country has the most interesting folk tales about Sinterklaas and the Pieten! xoxo to you Willemien, thank you for sharing with us!

    • Willemien, it’s so wonderful to hear about your holiday traditions in the Netherlands! Thank you so much for telling us about Sinterklass evening. I can just feel the magic in the air! One time I was lucky to spend Christmas with my dear friends in Germany. Another time, we spent Christmas in Paris. Oh, the wonderful memories!! Hope you will share more of your holiday traditions with us! Learning about family holiday traditions in other countries makes the world a sweeter place!
      Warm hugs from the Girlfriends here! ♡

  52. Diana from Ohio says:

    I Love the tribute to your stove! I don’t think I have ever read anything like it which is good! I would pay tribute to it also if I had one like it. I have always admired it in your posts before. Love the tea towels, oh let’s just face it I love everything about your blog. To many to name. Always look forward to you blog.
    You and Joe have a very Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving.

  53. Pam says:

    What a lovely post, and thank you for all the wonderful recipes. We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here but I hope you enjoy your celebration. xx

  54. Julie B says:

    Oh, Susan! When our modern oven/stove gave out a few years ago, I ALMOST bought a vintage one, and I’m absolutely going to search for one like yours for the next replacement. I do feel a bit guilty, tho, because mine does work-isn’t it funny how kitchen appliances can exude qualities that make you feel happy!
    BTW, what is the typeface you are using for your blog-is it unique to you? jb

    • sbranch says:

      No, it’s out there, one of the one’s offered in my dashboard, but right now, I’m not sure of the name and running off to my dad’s shortly. Ask me again when I have a little more time and I’ll look it up for you!

      • Janet in Rochester says:

        If I can chime in here, I believe this font is called “Comic Sans” – it’s a very popular font – and commonly available. You can also download many free fonts directly to your computer. Just google “free fonts” and see what comes up! Good luck.

  55. Lynn McMahon says:

    ~ Good Morning~ What a heart warming post!~ It’s so nice to have a place to escape the realities of ~” The Real World”~ To me your blog is like “The Hallmarki Channel” of the internet!~ I just noticed something in your kitchen that reminds me of mine….you don’t have granite countertops!~ my countertops are the old boomerang pattern~ remember those? ~ we bought and live in my husband’s grandparents house~ talk about ~heart ~ of~ the~ home!~ Speaking of heart ~ of~ the home ~ nothing like a new furry baby over the holidays to warm a house up! ~ unfortunately we had to our dear little beagle to sleep after a very ~ long~ love filled life~ our new beagle/hound mix puppy ~ Buddy~ fills the empty spot only another puppy dog could fill! ~£ove and Blessings dear girlfriends~ it feels good to back after my little hiatus~ Happy Thanksgiving and Happy SNOWvember!!~
    ~ Lynn~

    • sbranch says:

      I’m happy for you Lynn! A new puppy! Yes, our countertops are that old blue linoleum, wouldn’t trade them for the world!

      • Cathy McCann says:

        Lucy called me last night to tell me there was a “new Susan” and she said I’d love it. Well, she was so right! Amazing the memories your blogs evoke in all of the Girlfriends. I hadn’t thought about our boomerang countertop in years, but now it’s a clear vision in front of my eyes. I can remember when we got it — replacing the linoleum in our old farmhouse. I thought we were living pretty ritzy at that point, for sure! Thoroughly loved seeing all the dishtowels that hang from your stove, too. Anyway, this year I decided to pre-make my gravy and I’m off to look up the recipe in my Autumn book. Thank you so much for sharing the warmth and love you carry in your heart. (We in the mid-west can use all the extra warmth we can get right now!!) Enjoy your Thanksgiving feasts as you travel from home to home. Special prayers for your dad. Blessings — Ethel

      • margot in Virginia Beach says:

        I love the boomerang pattern! LOL

        So Susan, did you paint your walls blue because of the blue countertops??

        I was watching a show about some famous peoples’ genealogy, and Sally Field is related to William Bradford too. Did you know that he was at the head of the First Thanksgiving table in 1621???

        • sbranch says:

          Not because of the counters, but because it sort of goes with everything. I do know that about Wm Bradford! He was the only one who kept a diary on the Mayflower. Sally Field went to Birmingham High School, I went to their football rival, Reseda! Cousins, so close, and yet, so far!

          • margot in Virginia Beach says:

            Sorry that I repeated my question, but when I wrote this on a different part of the blog it disappeared for days.
            Isn’t that too funny about Sally Field, that you both ended up on the exact opposite end of the country??

          • sbranch says:

            Yes, all our parallel lives!

  56. Debbie Wick says:

    I love your stove and all your products.

  57. Betsy Maddox says:

    Awww….I loved this! Personification at its best! 🙂 I feel like your oven is really a person now! And a sweet one at that. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

  58. Susan Mixon says:

    It is grateful I am that we have such a wonderful site to turn to to bring our hearts home, not just at Thanksgiving, but throughout the year. My prayers and wishes for you and your family are to have the most wonderful times of year gathered together. Safe journeys to you and Joe, blessings to Blogdaddy and his wife and to your mom and the whole entire family. Loved the writing about your stove, rather your family member that happens to be a stove! I still have a lot of warm, heartfelt and literally, memories wrapped around a stove that stood in my mom’s kitchen for 50 years, a Frigidaire it was and looked like a distant cousin to your mom’s. It was still standing and waiting for the new owners of my parents’ home to make some happy times. I hope the new owners kept it. Wish now (was younger then) I had thought to take her home with me. Thank you for evoking all sorts of wonderful memories and for creating new ones for us to think and dream on, leading us to make new memories for ourselves and our loved ones. Blessings!

  59. Winnie Nielsen says:

    What a wonderful and heart felt post for thanksgiving. Thank-you Susan! I do love your incredible stove and all of the family and personal memories that go with it. We had a similar stove in the early 1950s when I was growing up and I still have the match holder( it was a gas stove) and little 4 jar spice rack that Mother had on it. While I was not able to find a stove just like the one we had, I found a smaller gas stove, from the 1930s, that fits in my kitchen where I can keep my mom’s stove things and enjoy them. Plus, it has a little shelf that gets seasonal decorating all the time. I wish I could cook on this stove but the oven feature rusted out pretty badly as the stove sat on someone’s porch for decades.

    Enjoy the Thanksgiving dinners with your Mom and Dad! What a blessing you still have them to enjoy. And YES, we need touch hands of loved one ALWAYS!

    Happy Thanksgiving!!

  60. Dinahsoar says:

    I LOVE your stove. It’s a beauty. Right up there with a fabulous classic car. And you cranberry sauce is to die for. I make it often as does my daughter. The canned stuff can’t hold a candle to it. Loved this post, as I do love all your posts. Your home is so welcoming, and comforting. Just like the people and critters that dwell there. God bless you all and Happy Thanksgiving!!….from the hills of TN.

  61. Jo Ann Pollick says:

    That wonderful stove is just waiting for your return and all the goodies you’re making notes to remember to bake this winter. You don’t have to deal with an electronic lighter on your oven!! Happy Thanksgiving Sue. I’m giving thanks for your “Heart of the Home” inspiration.

  62. Linda R says:

    Loved the Post, the stove, the recipes, too wonderful. I have a question. What is your countertop in your kitchen? I have to replace mine. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • sbranch says:

      It came with the house . . . it’s linoleum!

      • Linda R says:

        Oh, My, you are a soul sister. All these years and you kept the countertop! It’s vintage and too wonderful. I’m having a giggle. Mine is laminate, perhaps it better stay put.

        You never fail to please.

  63. Robyn Genau says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and Joe. Thank you for your latest blog. Be safe coming home from Arizona. Robyn

  64. Tammie C. says:

    You’re a magical storyteller…how you can tell the story of your stove and have me all blubbery and in tears… and the wonderful musica playing in the background…oh, I just love your stove too! She’s a real beauty. I,m a stay-at-home-mom who loves baking and I can honestly say that I will never look at my stove the same way again…from now on, she’s going to be a part of the family…she always has been, I just never realized it! Happy Thanksgiving!

  65. Jen from Sebastopol says:

    This post is a fine appreciative tribute to your stove, I truly enjoyed your comments.

  66. Patty in Michigan says:

    Susan, I don’t know why, but this has to be one of my favorite posts you have done. I love your stove and it was just so cute the way you wrote about her. I love that little shelf. So sweet the way you can decorate it. It just didn’t look right all closed up when you were painting the kitchen. It has too much personality. Hoping that blogdaddy is doing good these days. Happy Thanksgiving to you and Joe!! So THANKFUL for you!

  67. Patty says:

    Susan, thank you for the wonderful post. I really needed it to ground me and help me focus today on what is important, whether it is the past or the future – family, tradition, memories, and hope. I think I am ready for the holidays now, thanks again!
    By the way your cranberry sauce has become a new tradition at our house. I am going to make a double batch so that we can have Christmas jam.

  68. Shirley Graham says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! I love to bake and my daughter and I always have “little” things like your houses etc. sitting around – although our family will be smaller this year it will still be cozy & my husband will be “doing” the turkey! May everyone have a full tummy!

  69. Jane says:

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Susan. This was a lovely entry, unearthing some beautiful childhood memories today.

  70. Rosemary says:

    Susan, I LOVE your vintage kitchen. The new granite countertops, etc. are so boring to me.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m always afraid if I dropped one of my Beatrix Potter people, it would shatter on a granite countertop . . . but they pretty much bounce off the linoleum counter!

  71. sbranch says:

    Still lots of comments I need to “approve” — must do this to avoid spam, but I have to run now . . . off to my Dad’s, will get to them asap — thank you all for your understanding . . . Love reading your wonderful words! xoxo

    • Shannon (Pennsylvania) says:

      First things first, dear heart! Love and hugs to Blogdaddy and Jeannie. Adore your stove blog…oh, the stories she could tell! Right this minute I’m simmering a big pot of your split pea and ham soup on top of mine, and I’ll put a pan of apple cranberry crisp in the oven an hour or so before dinner so it’ll be nice and warm when we eat it. Perfect for a very chilly late autumn day. 🙂 We will be traveling to WV in a couple of days to spend Thanksgiving with my 89 year old Mom…can’t wait! Love and hugs to your Mom, too!

  72. Melissa says:

    Oh I love your kitchen! It’s so cozy and warm and inviting. That stove is a great centerpiece, and to be honest, I’ve always been a little jealous of that shelf, it is something all stoves should have on my opinion. It’s practical AND can be used for adorable decorating, need I say more?
    I am curious how big the oven(s) is/are. How big of a turkey can you get in there?

    I’m am enjoying your tweets from the train, and the California trip! I use to live in SLO and Morro Bay too, enjoy the sunshine!

    • sbranch says:

      We can get a 22 lb turkey in there! Surprisingly, while something else is cooking in the other oven at a different temperature. The ovens are so heavy, they hold their own temps without bothering the other.

  73. Gina D. says:

    My grandparents had the same stove in So. California. Really the coziest, and my Grandpa would leave surprises…. packs of gum wrapped in scratch paper, on that top shelf, for me to find.
    I think you might be homesick!
    Gina in Virginia

  74. Hello Lovelies!

    Your stove is such a good, practical and CUTE member of the family! I love her and I wish I had one like her- made to last and with no electronic gizmos to conk out and cost you $400 to replace each part. I even kind of miss the wood/coal burner my Gran cooked on for years. When she got a new one (much like yours) the old green cast iron beauty was relegated to the garden where it became my first mud pie baker. 🙂
    My Gran’s stuffing was just like yours. Now I make two batches- one for tradition and one where I add sausage, pine nuts and other goodies.
    Getting ready for Thanksgiving here too- lots to do. Thinking of you and giving thanks for all you give, are, and do. Travel safely and soak up the glow of your family’s love. <3

  75. Barbara (WA) says:

    Please wish Jack, BlogDad a Happy Thanksgiving – I am happy you get to spend time with your loved ones this year. I will be at my big sis’s house and I am not cooking a thing due to breaking my wrist a couple of weeks ago, oy! It happened the day after our house was broken into & all my jewelry (and my iPad) were stolen. But it has been a wonderful year despite all that so I will be very thankful despite. Wishing all the girlfriends a special day of thanks!

  76. Carol J., Santa Maria, CA says:

    Hi Susan!
    As always, I enjoyed your blog. I like to look at what is residing on the stove shelf each time there is a kitchen photo. Today, however, I wish to comment on your baking pans and cooking pots, because they look just like mine — well used, well loved, and nowhere near pristine! Those TV cooking/baking folks seem to use only new items (talking about you, Ina!) which have no history. Thanks for posting pictures of a real kitchen, full of memories and great food!

    • sbranch says:

      I got those pans when I found Julia Child’s book, they have been through it all, the ups and downs, the triumphs and the agonies! 🙂

  77. Asha says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you Susan and Joe and Blog Daddy and your entire family! We are so blessed to have you in our lives! Hugs for Blog Daddy’s speedy recovery.
    Of course, THE STOVE, is the center of attention at Thanksgiving! And yours is “vintage” as everyone calls them now! Of course it is still going strong. They were made to last back then. Different story now! Thank you for the wonderful blog! It is a keeper! Love ya! Safe travels back to the Vineyard! 🙂

  78. Anne in Maine says:

    Thank you so much for that beautiful post Susan! It was so warm and comforting. I must say I was a bit worried about you. It had been awhile since you posted and I was hoping you were having a good time and that something was not wrong. (I may be a bit of a worrier!) Love, love, love that stove of yours. She is a real personality. Must also say she looks a bit “naked” when her shelf is down. I am always watching for glimpses of her in your posts to see her ever changing shelf “jewelry”. I wish you, Joe and your family a blessed Thanksgiving.

    • sbranch says:

      Both of my parents need a bit of home-life adjusting due to health considerations, so we’re trying to be of help. It’s allowing for longer visits and that’s a good thing! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, Anne!

  79. Vicki says:

    I believe you are missing really severe weather in the northeast – I’d read that the similar warm temps to ours in SoCal the past days are about on par with Arizona’s. Cold everywhere else!

    Loved seeing your kitchen as usual; you have such a fab one. I wish I remembered more about stoves. Unlike you, I had no interest with cooking as a kid, unfortunately. I used to love listening to my dad talk about his mom’s big wood-burning one on the farm back in the 1920s; it seemed to serve multi purposes. I wish I’d written down some of the musings. That stove was some kind of big deal to him, maybe because I think one of his kiddie chores was that he had to stoke it with wood before the household woke up…not to mention also, in deep snow, having to find the cow or some such thing (it wasn’t a cushy childhood…and, yeah, it was also a long walk to school in the snow…but he sure loved to wax nostalgic about it, with never anything but love and the best memories).

    An observation; I so heart the little rounded three(?)-shelf unit you have at the side of your stove. My beloved aunt had that same unit at the end of a kitchen counter in her late 1940s-era house. They had a tuxedo cat who had lost his tail somewhere along the way; I think he got hit by a car and they adopted him when no one else would. Anyway, he loved the warm kitchen and would perch somehow on one of those rounded tiers but would sometimes just fall out because his balance was so affected without his rudder, poor guy. Funny, the things we do (and don’t!) remember from our childhoods!

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, Susan!

    • sbranch says:

      Ours has a little story too . . . the man that raised his family in our house for 40 years before we moved there was quite a wonderful carpenter. If you noticed the scalloped border over my sink, he made that, also he made those shelves and all of our adirondak chairs. We are the caretakers of his wonderfully simple creations.

      • Vicki says:

        Oh, I’m so glad you brought the scalloped border over the sink to my attention! I had the exact border, also over my own kitchen sink, in my last house (which I’d inherited from my great-aunt when she died at nearly the age of 100). The border also framed built-in shelves in the tiny breakfast room off the kitchen which was actually a tuckaway place for the live-in maid (or other household helpers in the employ) to have meals apart from the owner (my family was #3 owner; I’m speaking of the original owners from 1923 who, yes, were wealthy, although they purposely had downsized in retirement and it is not a large place but rather a small, charming bungalow/cottage). When we renovated the home ten years ago, we turned the tuckaway ‘dinette’ into a laundry room but required the contractor to save every piece of that scalloping so that we could re-mount it underneath original cupboards overhead…oh, and our architect for the renovation said that he felt the decorative scalloping/borders could likely have been part of a 1930s update but he couldn’t know for sure.

        How lucky that you happened on to such a great house with a previous owner’s careful hands at work on it. I’m sure that as much as it was fun to live right on the sand…although maybe not as fun in the wildness of a snowy winter and gales at water’s edge with high surf…you cherish the graciousness of this beautiful vintage home closer to town which you’ve enhanced with so much warmth and love.

  80. JoAnne Daniels says:

    Thank you for sharing your childhood memories. How wonderful to still have a stove that is so like the one you grew up with. I’ve had many stoves in my life and right now I have a new stove — but I’ll look at it with new eyes as well.
    Something to be appreciated as truly the heart of the kitchen, if not the home.
    A Happy Thanksgiving to you and Joe and your families!
    JoAnne in chilly N.J.

  81. Melanie K. says:

    Wonderful post. Last weekend, I went thru your November posts in the archives to re-read some Thanksgiving posts. It’s my favorite holiday. 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  82. Christine says:

    I just love your stove “shelf”. so handy as I too like my tools close. We had a water leak above our kitchen last spring and so re did our kitchen.. We have a house over 100, so i wanted to stay in the “farmhouse” kitchen theme. Yours is a reminder of how cute a traditional kitchen can be. We are red and white with lots of strawberries! I have always cooked electric, so I have a new white electric stove with a tiny upper shelf! holds salt and pepper! Yours was an inspiration to me! Thanks!!!

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving wherever you are!!

  83. Juanita Williams says:

    Wonderful kitchen to cook & bake with love. I love you kitchen the stove is a dream love all you serving bowls I rather have the older items rather then all the new shiny stuff Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family

  84. Patty in Michigan says:

    Susan, I forgot to mention that I have your cute magnet of your stove on my frig. So sweet.

  85. Jackie P says:

    Susan, your stove came alive for me — I could feel her soul! It was like reading a children’s book — wouldn’t it make a great story? She is a nurturing one, feeding you, providing warmth and light. So comforting. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Eat lots of turkey and safe travels!
    P.S. My mother-in-law had a stove like yours and I marveled at how practical it was: there was a space for everything: baking, broiling, keeping things warm and it was relatively easy to clean. Like you, she was a prolific and fabulous cook (her nickname was Mopsy!). It was naturally the place where everyone wanted to gather, but she was very protective of her “space” in the kitchen when she was cooking. I was “allowed” to stay but the “men-folk” were banished to the other room until the cooking was done! Thanksgiving there was heaven on earth!

  86. Yvette says:

    What a wonderful post – I loved every word and every picture. I read often, but seldom comment, but I couldn’t resist today telling you how this post touched me so. The biggest compliment that I can give you is to tell you that I wish I could walk right through my computer screen into your home so that I could enjoy it as much as you do. You are truly gifted in so many ways – thank you for sharing that with us. The “touch hands” made me weep, because it is oh, so true. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. <3

  87. sondra fox says:

    Ahhhhhhh, Susan, dear Susan, how is it that each of your comments are so magical? You just have the happiest of happy hearts. We all love you for your happy heart, as well as the way in which you revere antiques, things that others may not cherish, but you cherish so much. I recently remodeled my kitchen. I have two brand new wall ovens that I love, but they don’t have the magic of your stove. How marvelous that your stove bakes so well. You talk about your stove as though it were alive, living well in your kitchen. Just such a wonderful comment on a stove that you grew up with, well not exactly, but the stove you have in your kitchen “looks” the same as the one you grew up with. Your parents must enjoy knowing that they did something right for all of you children. Once again, thanks for the glimpse into your wonderful childhood.

    I talked with a ninety year old woman this week, who when asked what she was going to do on Thanksgiving, said that every day was Thanksgiving for her. She lives alone, drives at ninety years old, doesn’t have family, but she knows our Lord. She always wears a smile. Have “Happy Thanksgivings” with both of your families, dear Susan. And to all of you GF’s out there, joy to all of you as you thank God for all the blessings that have been bestowed upon all of us. (Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

  88. Glenda says:

    Susan, Just love this post! So touching, personal, cozy and comforting. ….I am so hungry right now – the food all looks so yummy! 🙂 Really like you sharing your family photos too! I have gauked (not sure that is a real word) over your stove for years…..Special! So neat too that you grew up with one like it. 🙂 I wanted it for my last house but did have a beautiful antique tile (blue and white with cherries) we purchased in Germany. Used it like a buffet…lots of fun. I would really have liked yours! Just curious did you hear me ? I was in Goodwill yesterday and created a scene when I discovered a box of your Home Sweet Home cards! (1999 with green and white pattern on the box). I owned them in 1999 but sent them
    all to friends. So fun to have the same ones again. Just enjoy your creative talents so
    much….:) Thank you and thanks for this post too. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  89. jademichele says:

    when i was growing up we lived in a home with an old Chambers stove for a few years -it was great 🙂

  90. Amy Marie says:

    Oh my!! I love this post!!! And I ADORE your stove!!! <3

  91. Jamie from Kentucky says:

    Oh Susan..you know just how to make me smile. This was probably one of my favorite blog posts ever. My husband laughs at the way I talk about inanimate objects in the house as if they were old friends, even calling them by name. This time of year we think of comfort and familiar and you were spot on with this story.. Happy Thanksgiving from the bluegrass.

  92. AngieTink says:

    Hello Sweet Sue….Oh How I’ve Missed You on This Blog! 🙂 ♥ I Have Your Calendar & I’m Going To Make Your Cranberry Sauce This Thanksgiving Along With Your Scrumptious Corn~Pudding! Yummy! 🙂 I Adore Your Stove! It’s Art! I’ve Been Decking My Halls For Christmas for The Last Three Days The “Cold~Weather” Inspired Me! You Can Feel The Magic Of Christmas In The Air….Already! Yay! 🙂 ♥ (I’ve Got A Few Paper~Turkeys & Pilgrims & a Pumpkin or Two to Honor Thanksgiving of Course!) Wishing You & Joe & Our BlogDaddy & Jeanie A Very Blessed & Yummy Thanksgiving Feast! Enjoy! Eat Drink & Be Merry Sweetest Sue….To Be Continued….xoxo Poof! ♥ ♥ ♥ P.S. Gobble~Gobble! 🙂 ♥

  93. deb h says:

    I’d think I’d love to have that said about me……”she is a giver, quietly motherly, and elegantly low-key, passionately nurturing”. Warm Thanksgiving Blessings to you and your family!
    Deb from the White Mountains of AZ

  94. Carlene says:

    Beautiful love song about your stove!!

  95. Pat W. says:

    Thank you Susan for taking time to post such wonderful photos of your stove & warm greetings for us all. Happy Thanksgiving to you & yours & special ones for “daddy”.

  96. Carol says:

    Hi. Just love your stove! Is your counter-top original/vintage or can that still be found/purchased with the metal trim?

    • sbranch says:

      I couldn’t tell you that, I think ours was put there in the 1940’s by the previous owner . . . you might call a counter top store and see what they say.

  97. Patty from Ohio says:

    Hi Susan~
    Love your owls, I’m an “owler” too. Mercy, but your kitchen is spotless. Makes me want to scrub mine (almost! *wink*). BTW, do you have Heart Healthy recipes to share? Recent illness has required me to limit fat & salt, etc. I have been researching The National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute site, it is fantastic, but, oh where are the fat-free scones *sigh*.

  98. Janet Conn says:

    Thanks for such a wonderful Thanksgiving post. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with all of your family. Safe travels to you and Joe. Blessings.

  99. debbie says:

    Hi Susan!
    The tribute to your wonderful stove was so much fun!! Just wanted to let you know I made your cranberry sauce last Thanksgiving, and my daughter now loves cranberry sauce. She thought she hated it, but turns out she just hates the canned stuff 🙂
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and Joe and your cute parents!!

  100. Andrea Vlahakis had a link to your blog and I had to pop over. Oh, my how I loved these pictures. I felt like a welcome guest in your home!

Comments are closed.