It is almost impossible to give any directions except in a general way regarding the kitchen, as there is an endless variety of plans and arrangement. In no other room in the house are sunlight and fresh, pure air so indispensable as in the room where the most important work must be done. A long, narrow, dark kitchen is an abomination. Always furnish the kitchen well first, and if there is any thing left to spend on the parlor, well; if not the money has been spent wisely. The main point is to systematize every thing, grouping such things as belong to any particular kind of work. For instance, in baking do not go to the china closet for a bowl, across the kitchen for the flour, and to the farther end of the pantry or store-room for an egg, when they may all just as well be within easy reach of each other. Study and contrive to bring order out of the natural chaos of the kitchen, and the head will save the hands and feet much labor.
If kitchen floors are made of hard wood and simply oiled two or three times a year, no grease spot is made when grease drops on them, for it can be easily wiped up - carpet or paint is not advisable. Neither paint nor paper the walls, but once a year apply a coat of the good old-fashioned whitewash, Do not have the wood-work painted; the native wood well oiled and varnished lightly is much the best finish. A wide, roomy dresser is a great convenience; it should have two wide closets below and three narrower ones above, with a row of drawers at top of lower closets. Here should be kept all pots and kettles, sauce-pans, waffle-irons, kitchen crockery, tins, etc., all arranged and grouped together so as to be convenient for use. If possible, have good sliding doors, and at top and bottom of same have a narrow sliding panel for a ventilator, which should be closed when sweeping. By this arrangement every article of kitchen ware can be inclosed from the dust and flies. A well-appointed sink is a necessity in every kitchen, and should be near both window and range, so as to have light, and also be convenient to the hot water. It should be provided with a "grooved" and movable dish-drainer, set so as to drain into the sink. Always have bracket or wall lamps placed at each end, or at the sides, so that the room may be well lighted in the evening. When possible, a long table at the end of the sink, and so close to it that water can not drip between, on which to dress vegetables, poultry, game, etc., saves time and steps; and the good light, which is a necessity in this part of the room, leaves no excuse for slighted or slovenly work. Under this table may be two drawers, with compartments in one for polishing materials, chamois leather, and articles needed for scouring tin and copper; and in the other, articles for keeping the stove or range in order.
Back of the table and sink, the wall should be ceiled with wood for three feet above them, and here may be put up galvanized iron hooks and nails on which to hang basting-spoons, ladles, cooking forks and spoons, the chop-ping-knife, cake-turner, etc. A set of drawers close at hand for salt, pepper, and spices is also convenient. There should never be bevel, beading, or molding on kitchen window or door frames; and the kitchen door, leading to the dining room, should be faced with rubber and closed with a not too strong spring. Not less than three large windows are desirable in every kitchen, which should be cheerful, pleasant, well ventilated, convenient and clean.
In houses of the old style there was either no pantry at all, the kitchen being furnished with a dresser and shelves, or it was merely a small closet to hold the articles in less common use. In modern houses the pantry is next in importance to the kitchen, and it should be so arranged as to accommodate all the appliances used in cookery, as well as the china, glass-ware, cutlery, and other articles for the table, unless a dresser is used as before suggested. In arranging a plan for building, the pantry should receive careful consideration, as next in importance to the kitchen; it should be sufficiently roomy, open into both the dining-room and the kitchen, and, in order to "save steps," should be as convenient to the range or cooking-stove as circumstances will allow. The window should be placed so as to give light without infringing on the shelving; the shelves should be so arranged as to not obstruct the light from it; the lower ones should be two and a half feet from the floor, and two feet or more in width, and project about three inches beyond the closets and drawers below; and the part near the window, where there is no shelving, may be used for molding and preparing pastry, and such other work as may be most conveniently done here. Other shelves, or a china closet, should be provided for the china and other table furniture in every-day use. The pantry should have an abundance of drawers and closets, of which it is hardly possible to have too many - the upper closets for the nicer china and glass, and the lower ones to hold pans and other cooking utensils in less frequent use. The drawers are for table-linen and the many uses the housekeeper will find for them. If possible the window should be on the north side, but in any case it should have blinds for shade, and a wire gauze or other screen to keep out flies.
Use a cloth to wash potatoes. It is no trouble to keep one for this purpose, and it will save hands and time. Some prefer a brush. Tie a strip of muslin on the end of a round stick, and use to grease bread and cake-pans, gem-irons, etc. Have two large pockets in your kitchen apron, and in one of them always keep a holder. A piece of clam or oyster shell is much better than a knife to scrape a kettle, should you be so unfortunate as to burn any thing on it. If you use a copper tea-kettle, keep an old dish with sour milk and a cloth in it, wash the kettle with this every morning, afterward washing off with clear water, and it will always look bright and new. Cut a very ripe tomato and rub over a kitchen table to remove grease. The juice will also remove stains from and whiten the hands.