Vintage Farmhouse is all the rage right now and no matter what your own personal style or taste may be I certainly don't see the popularity of Prairie Style and French Chic slowing down anytime soon. Call it what you will...fad or trend...I put the explosion of all things natural, soft white and gently worn it in the same book as that of it's hugely popular predecessor, shabby pink cottage chic! Like it or not I'm sure the look is going to be around for quite a spell...
For me personally, I draw the line a bit when things become too rugged~too industrial. Although I love the look and feel of antique furniture and old laces blended with useable finds from our ever-changing modern world, I'm just not prepared to trade the luxury of my refrigerator for an old ice box in order to snap some amazing Pinterest-Bound-Photos! No matter how fabulously Farmhouse Chic something may be, for me to welcome it into my home I have to not only LOVE IT, but it has to be something fun and potentially functional as well.
Ever heard of a CONSERVO?
A couple of weeks ago one of my Mr. AGPMan's buddies/co-worker, Mr. Randy, asked him he thought I'd be interested in an antique kitchen-thingy he found in the attic of a family member. Knowing ahead of time his wifey never turns away free stuff he responded with an enthusiastic YES and then asked me later if I wanted it!
What is it? What's it do? Is it enormous?
(OF COURSE I WANT IT!)
Well my, my, my....love at first sight!
I found the following article on the Internet about
"THE CONSERVO" - A Housewife's Blessing
By Joy Stevens, Grantsville 2003
If there was anything my mother despised more than dirt it was a hot, steamy kitchen during summer canning season. Her dreams came true when my father, who loved her very much, brought her a "Conservo."
"The Conservo was produced by the Swartzbaugh Manufacturing Company. I do not know when it was patente. It's been said it was a huge blessing over the wash boilers and tubs used for canning vegetables and meats at that time.
For those fortunate enough to own a Conservo, it was loaned to neighbors during busy canning periods for it allowed unbelievable speed-up in canning time.
The steam canner was made of heavy tin and was without a doubt the simplest outfit for home canning, then and now. It was designed to fit over one single burner of any type of range, gas, oil, coal or wood. The copper bottom held several quarts of water to provide steam. It was so well insulated that only the slightest heat escaped into the kitchen.The time for steam canning was the same as that used for wash boiler or cold-pack canning. The steam from the boiling water in the tank permeated and thoroughly cooked, by steam pressure, the food placed on the shelves.
A tube was inserted through the hole in the upper corner ot the Conservo from the outside, and a whistle indicated when water was needed.One commenced counting the canning time when water started to boil. If steam escaped, it meant the cook was firing up more than needed. For cooking meals, potatoes with jackets or corn-on-the-cob, the items were placed directly on the shelves, or on top of canning jars, in case you were doing both at once. Two compartments, one above the other, held sixteen quart jars, or by using the two racks, thirty-two pint jars. Imagine!
The Conservo manufacturer warned users not to use preservatives with this type of canning. They said all "jarred" foods should be cooked a minimum of 10 minutes before serving. My mother never lost a jar to spoilage.Even fish, first browned and then placed in jars with drippings added, could be processed three hours under steam pressure.
The Conservo was well-built, no parts to get lost or broken - and easy to clean, a boom to a housewife in a small kitchen. Every test given the device gave it high claims, and it gained a national reputation.I say God Bless the inventor of the Conservo, and hopefully some alert aluminum company will investigate whether the patent is pending and consider manufacturing the device again.
The savings in the price of gas or electric in being able to can 16 quarts of vegetables or meats over one burner is extraordinary..."
With my hubby's schooling finally coming to a close our attention will soon be returning to our total kitchen remodel. When my guy walked in the door with this CONSERVO my first thought was that it would be a fabulous addition to our new kitchen. Since we are still in the layout stage of the square footage I have no idea just WHERE I will put it...I just know it will be in there somewhere!
Above is how my Conservo looked on Friday when it landed on my make-shift kitchen counter!
Since I have no plans to use it for canning (although I suppose I could!) I decided to paint the outside of it!. First thing I did was hose the thing down in my backyard. Then I washed it up really good, you know, sudsy and foamy, and then sprayed it off again with the hose. I turned it over to drain and a few hours later dried the entire thing out by hand.
Since the bottom portion of the Conservo is copper (LOVE THAT!!!) I didn't want to paint it. So...I coated the entire top portion with a water-based sealer and after it dried (a few hours) LIGHTLY brush painted the outside with a chip brush. The brush was almost DRY and it took about six passes (drying between each coat) before it had the look I wanted!
I didn't paint the inside of the Conservo because I love how it looks. Amazingly, the original racks are still in place AND the original pan as well. I'm not sure what I'm going to store inside of it...but my first thought was that it would be perfect for things I like to keep out of sight...paper plates and napkins, etc.
Here it is again...
How fun, huh?
Now...yesterday I started a GIVEAWAY and I hope you'll check it out! It's for a Snowman Pillow Combo
and you can read about it here:
Today I'm going down to my booth space at
to begin work on one of the
Christmas Display Here We Come!
Hope your day is fab...
Love to you~