This old table is an antique baker’s table. I imagine it once stood in a farmhouse kitchen where the lady of the house used it exactly as intended as the center of her baking activities. I found it several years ago at an antique show, and since my kitchen at the time lacked a center island, I purchased it to serve that purpose.
Now it stands in the center of my kitchen where it gets constant use as a way-station for things that are coming or going. Its where I unpack groceries to put away, deposit foods removed from the refrigerator, place hot foods just removed from the oven, pack up Mr. D’s lunch ready for him to carry off to work, etc. But I am also proud to say that I use it also for its intended purpose as the center for my baking.
I love and particularly treasure things that are old, and I have a number of antiques. Especially dear to me are the items that have been in my family for 2-3 generations, because I can associate them with the people who used them. Like my cast-iron frying pans and bean pot that belonged to my paternal grandmother. When I use them I think of her home fries and her baked beans. Likewise when I roll out pastry or cookie dough I use a wooden rolling pin that was once used by my maternal grandmother and I remember her wonderful breads and pastries.
Let me take you on a tour of my baking table/baking center. The table is made from cherry wood except for the top. I don’t know what the wood of the top is, but it has had a lot of use and it shows. It was, after all, a work surface. Viewed from the front (see photo above) you will see two drawers with handles. The upper one is quite shallow, and in it I keep a roll of parchment paper, cookie cutters, tubes of food coloring, muffin cups, bench knife, pizza cutter, anything small related to baking that will fit.
The lower drawer is very large, deep and rounded, with a division in the center that creates two bins. It was meant to hold flour and sugar in large quantities.
As these ingredients were needed, the baker scooped out the required amounts. I use those bins for storage of bags of specialty flours, brown sugar, confectionery sugar, chocolate and other kinds of chips; and also larger baking tools like my rolling pin, sifter, nut grinder, grater, etc.
Centered above the two drawers is a pull-out pastry board (note small white knob) that comes completely out of the table and can be placed on top for kneading, rolling, and cutting dough. I use this board a lot for all my pie making, cookie cutting, shaping of dough, just about anything where I need a large surface. It is as smooth as satin from all the use it has had; that’s why I love it.
In this final picture you can see my beloved rolling pin. It was carved from one piece of wood, I think it’s maple, and it, too, is very smooth; the wood grain of it is beautiful. Along with it is pictured one of two old canisters I own and some vintage cookie cutters that belonged to my mother. I love these old things and when I use them I feel a connection to the people who used them before me.
It has been my pleasure to give you a look into my kitchen, which holds so many things that are special to me. I hope you have enjoyed it.