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Wednesday, April 29

a vintage stove named Mae...

It's a cloudy Wednesday here on the farm...the kind of day that's good for old movies, favorite books, and an afternoon nap. My son will say this is his favorite kind of day, and I absolutely agree. It just seems like we take things a bit slower and enjoy them more.

So today's post is to introduce you to Mae...a 1950  Hotpoint stove. And I'm guessing you're probably thinking two things:

1- Who names their stove?

2- Sure vintage is cute, but is she practical, can she cook?

So, here's a little story of a stove named Mae.

A month ago, while going through a baking frenzy (who isn't these days?) and right in the middle of the kids' favorite Charlie Brownies, I noticed the heating element in our oven looked like a sparkler and a hot glow was traveling around the element. I turned the oven off. The traveling glow and sparks continued. So off went the breaker and I unplugged the stove. It stopped, and the oven stayed hot enough to finish baking the Charlie Brownies...a high priority. 

Now, I'd be less than honest if I didn't say that a little part of my heart skipped for joy...I've been wanting a double oven for some time now. If I'm going to be baking for my little farm market, two ovens are definitely better than one. So I began researching double ovens: which ones were rated the best and were any of those in stock locally? 

Then I had a brainstorm, being a devoted Susan Branch fan (read her blog...it's LOVELY) I began thinking, what about a vintage double oven?  Hmmm, I remembered she has one she loves, so I went back to her post about it...a 1956 O'Keefe and Merritt, "still going after almost sixty years in service."

And so I hopped online and began searching within a 50 mile radius. In no time at all I came across a 1950 Hotpoint for sale in "working condition" right here in my hometown. Come on, what are the chances?

Yep, she was cute, but that isn't enough...the bottom line would be, did she work?  So I decided to drop Susan Branch a note asking about her vintage oven, and she was kind enough to reply, even suggesting a shop that carried replacement parts if I would ever need them.

Okay...it's less than 15 minutes away, how can I not go? I set up a time to stop by and take a look. The kind family I talked with were the new owners of the house, and so an inspector had just given the oven a once-over...it all worked. At 39-inches wide she would just barely fit in my kitchen, but it didn't matter...she was coming home with me. Before we left, the homeowner asked me if I canned...I had a feeling she was hoping the stove was going to a good home. Yes, I told her...before I know it we'll be making jams, jellies, and canned tomato sauce.

Between the brawn of both my husband and son, she was up the steps, through the mudroom, and in place in no time at all.

I LOVE THIS STOVE. Two ovens, two broilers, and four burners that have in the last month baked endless batches of cookies, brownies, bread, along with Easter dinner and any other meal we could think of.

I LOVE how she's a pushbutton and the buttons change colors depending on the temperature...they're called "Talking Buttons"


Evidently she was quite the rage when these advertisements debuted!

  Amazon.com: Hotpoint Pushbutton Cooking Stove Kitchen 1950 Vintage Antique Advertisement: Prints: Posters & Prints

I LOVE that she has really deep pull out drawers that fit my extra pots, pans, and tea kettles. This is something that new double ovens don't have.

I LOVE that the repairman who just worked on our dryer took a look at her and said, "They don't make 'em like that anymore," and assured me he knew of a source for parts and that he could make repairs if I needed them. 

And her name? Well, my friend Lisa said anything vintage needs a name. And she's right, we named our camper, why not name a stove? I settled in and tried to get creative. Our camper is named Maizy, a name that's special because it's what my grandmother always called me...hmmm, her middle name was Mae. Why not Mae? 

I also needed a name for my little farm market, how about Maizy & Mae?  It felt like the perfect combination of my baking done in our vintage oven.

And so there you are...the story of Mae. A stove that is not only sweet to look at, but yes, so practical. And when I cook with her, I can't help but think that she's been bringing families together for 70 years...a very long time indeed. 


  1. Oh Mary, she is so sweet! Can't wait for your farm market to open.

    1. Thanks...I fell in love with her! I'm still working on the milkhouse, but with things the way they are in the world now, it may not open until fall...I'll definitely do a little roadside stand though!

  2. I love your stove! I have been a fan of Susan Branch and her stove for years <3

    1. Hi Kim! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a note. Yes, Susan Branch is terrific...I love it when she has a new post. And her stove...so cool that it's just like what her mom had!

  3. I absolutely love your Mae! Wow to have two ovens how wonderful is that? Mine would be used daily here. Wish I'd seen this post earlier! Hmmm thoughts for next stove if that time comes and this type is available anywhere!

  4. Thanks for your note Dolly...hope your oven arrived as expected! We use Mae daily, she's a workhorse. The last repairman we had here for the dryer took a look at her and said, "That's gonna last forever!" I hope so!


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