Monday, August 2, 2010

Coppery Potness

I recently cleaned out some of the high inaccessible storage cupboards in our kitchen which need a ladder to look into (thanks Mr Architect!) with the aim of throwing out or giving away those items no longer needed, moving not so much used stuff in, and creating more room in the everyday part of the kitchen.

There were many things up there I had forgotten about, including novelty Y2K champagne glasses (remember Y2K? All the contracts we drafted had to have special Y2K clauses in them just in case everything re-set to Year Zero!  Seems so silly now), a huge lobster pot, old emission globes left by the previous owners and these two copper pots:

Okay, I obviously hadn't forgotten they existed.  They were there, in the deep recesses of my brain, but we had not used them for so long, they had slipped into a limbo area.  I got a nice surprise when I found them but they were almost black (with some green bits) and needed a really really good clean.  I got my husband to do that, and as you can see they are still not perfect.  

I have a very minimalist kitchen.  I don't really have anywhere to display these beauties.  But sometimes open shelving beckons me because I really love copper pots against stainless steel.  Something about the contrast of industrial modernity v an almost Gothic patina of age.  I so love this kitchen. 

This is a bit judgmental I know, but I just feel that someone who colour codes their cookbooks probably does not get much use out of these beautiful hanging pots. 

A lot of US and UK kitchens have a central hanging pot arrangement. It is not very common at all in Australia.   I don't think I could live like this but if you used your pots regularly it would be quite practical.   When I was a little girl I saw a story on Farrah Fawcett Majors in US Vogue.  It must have been about 1978 and she was at the height of her fame.  The story had a picture of her in her 1970's kitchen with a huge set of hanging copper pots.   She spoke of her love of cooking, and it made me look at her in a completely different light

This is a very English kitchen, complete with an Aga stove. 

This is Martha Stewart's kitchen at Turkey Hill.   Many famous chefs have kitchens which are copper pot heaven. Julia Child's, with her pegboard hanging wall, is very well known.  And this is Elizabeth David's:

Every kitchen should have a copper pot.  They are things of beauty not just practicality.  And they last forever. They are a pot to pass down to your children, if you can keep it clean enough! 

Apparently copper bowls are very good for whisking eggs.  But in fact I feel I only need one, the little pot, which can be used for cooking sauces.  These pots distribute heat really well, and can also be brought to the table for serving, just as is done at Vue de Monde as you can see below:

I must get out the copper cleaner again this weekend.  What a pity there is no miracle quick and easy way to clean copper. 

(Images (1) Marie Claire Italia (3) (4) Badgley Mischka's kitchen via Decorpad (5) Coastal Living (6) House to Home (7) Martha Stewart (8) (9) Vue de Monde)


Ann said...

I do so like your coppery potness pictures and think I may have said before how much I agree on the whole book colour coding thing... cook books in particular...

The last line made me laugh - I was hoping you had come over all Shannon Lush and were going to tell me how to clean my much loved copper pot... back to scrubbing!

Tonia Lee Smith said...

My Mother use to be in love with copper and had lots of it. I still love it.

brismod said...

I love this post about copper pots. I am copper potless - so I feel a lack in my life! Copper pots are a thing of beauty. Yours look like they've been well-used, which is a good thing.

Cath @ chunkychooky said...

My husband ( Chef) would kill for some big copper pots- they are to nice to keep in a cupboard

Amanda (Small Acorns) said...

You're right Jane, they're far too lovely to have hidden away in a cupboard, and cleaning them must have kept your husband busy for quite some time! Love that light pendant in the first image.

Mise said...

I think I have those same glasses - do yours say 2000 as a thin glass stem? They are still occasionally in use here (fond memories). And I have NO copper pots at all, and did a double-take lately when I saw the price of them. Hundreds of euros! What, I naively said to myself, what what?

Unknown said...

All of these pics are great. I love the color coordinated cookbooks. I know it isn't practical, but it looks great!

obviouslyanon said...

Elizabeth David's kitchen is perfect. And color coded book shelves are my pet hate. And on the subject of copper pots, this is quite lovely:

MFAMB said...

use ketchup to clean your copper pots.

no, really. squeeze some on one and rub it out. you'll see.

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