Sixteen pies, two cookie platters, and one cheesecake: Yesterday's dessert table alone reflects not only the cornucopian menu, but also the generous spirit that suffused the Thanksgiving celebration.

If the promise of this 1969 range—an oven that self-cleaned at low temperatures—held true, I'm guessing there would be a lot of spotless appliances today.

Cleaning, Up

Gobble tov! When this year's hybrid holiday known as Thankgivukkah comes to a close, there may be twice the quantity of pots, platters, and plates to clean. Long after the last latke is eaten and the pie pan is empty, the dishwasher will be working far into the night. These bottle wash jets are rather ingenious, I think. Spray nozzles at the tips of the tines aim water into every crevice of tall, narrow vessels.

Dinner Is [Almost!] Served

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. In a premature fit of holiday reverie, I'm thinking back to a Turkey Day we hosted while living in Munich. In lieu of a 20-pound tom, I procured a couple of smaller birds; they were about seven pounds, if memory serves. Veggies and bread were plentiful, pumpkin pie was replaced by apple strudel, and, in the end, a reasonable facsimile of the traditional American dinner was served.

This Combi-Steam oven, with its surprisingly spacious cavity and multiple cooking modes, would be an appliance to be grateful for, then or now.

Untamed Flames

Over the next few days, cooking appliances across America will be put to the test as Thanksgiving meals are broiled, grilled, fried, braised, sous-vided, steamed, sautéed, and possibly even nuked. The fire power—25,000 Btu, to be exact—of the PrimaNova burner will make short work of stove-top dishes. I speak from first-hand experience that the open [versus sealed; note the absence of the flat plate over the flame] burner design really cranks out the heat.

Of A Time

I'd have to have the sensibilities of an extraterrestrial to shun traditional design at this venerated time of year, but try as I might, it's hard to make peace with floor-to-ceiling, cathedral-door, cherry cabinets. Yet unrelentingly contemporary looks seem to violate the spirit of the season. Here is a more than satisfying compromise. Oak paneling, classic artwork, and minimalist cabinetry—the combination is happily timeless.

Slow Cooking, Indeed

It's hard to fathom how this undersized appliance could ever produce dinner for two, let alone a holiday feast. I guess you'd have to prepare one dish at a time—and keep the wine flowing during those prolonged gaps between courses. Despite its claimed cooking proficiencies, the 1940-era Bantam didn't actually live up to the definition of 'range', as it lacked any burners. But far be it from me to nitpick the progenitor of the toaster—or maybe the Easy-Bake?—oven.

Hot Pot

It would be safe to say that a week from today most pots and pans in most American kitchens will be in use, as the national overindulgence that is Thanksgiving is celebrated. I'm getting in the spirit with the cauldron-esque design of the Chef sink. Continuing the culinary motif, a soup-ladle soap dish hooks on to the rim of the aluminum vessel.

Going With the Flow

The lines of this faucet—designed for La Cucina Alessi—are a fairly accurate abstraction of my day. Things started out a little wobbly, then straightened out into a reasonably steady structure. As for the little beastie: he reminds me of a certain misbehaving cat....

Commending the Commode

It's World Toilet Day, dear readers, when the issue of global potty parity comes to the fore. This drawing, a detail from US Patent 2,220,482, shows Buckminster Fuller's 1938 design for a prefabricated bathroom. Bucky wasn't solely interested in architectural efficiency, though; he paid particular attention to the toilet component. His design was waterless, and contrived to shrink-wrap, err, 'deposits', for subsequent composting. Today the cause is carried forward by forces large [American Standard] and small [Loowatt] alike.

Going Grey

There's a couple of things that strike me about this calm-inducing kitchen and make it my pick to ease into the week. One: The cabinets are contained to the interior walls, leaving the windows—or more accurately, the daylight—unbound by cupboards. Two: The subtle mix of door-styles jostles the room out of the ordinary; the plain slab fronts of the base units are pleasingly modern.

Not a Slow Burn

Forget about the range burner—I think that Dad is the one getting 'red-hot' here. If you enlarge this 1950 advertisement [click on it], you'll be able to see that this is not a happy family. Junior's teeth are clenched, and his eyes are glazed and fixed on his father's threatening visage. For her part, Mom looks frankly terrified. As for clock-watching Dad [who bears a striking resemblance to angry-man du jour Alec Baldwin]: I suggest he take a time-out.

Warm Thoughts

Our sudden snap of sub-freezing temps has made me confront a personal truth: I am a weather wimp. To counter the cold, I'm mentally retreating into the Topkapi hammam. Turkish in origin, a hammam differs from the nordic-style sauna, relying on moist steam instead of dry, hot air. The monolith that's home to the water basin, steam generator, and control panels can be faced in a choice of five marbles.

Compact Composition

Shades [and shapes] of Piet Mondrian! The color-block tile treatment in this bath is an eye-catching distraction from the room's all-too-close quarters. The pastiche of Victorian and De Stijil aesthetics is a bit odd, I admit, but there's something about it that works for me, too; the space has a historic quality to it.

Knife Point-of-View

A mortal enemy of those chunky, counter-space consuming knife blocks am I. And the typical wall-mounted magnet bar is not only ugly, but undersized, as well. This slim but sturdy freestanding wedge combines a minimal footprint with ample room for cutlery storage. The Knifeboard is made of solid oak or various veneers.

Art + Life

There is a small clutch of bronze-colored leaves tenaciously clinging to the maple tree outside my window.

And there is this kitchen in Milano.

Propaganda for Peace

This Flashback Friday looks ahead to Monday, which is Veterans Day. During WW2, having put its household appliance production on furlough, Norge focused on fulfilling the needs of the military. But mindful of the eventual return of its peacetime market, the company continued to connect with those on the home front. This 1943 matriarch—and her hard-working range—kept her family fed at all hours as they worked around the clock in support of the fight against fascism.

Blurred Vision

I see these mirrored glass tiles as reflecting time as much as they do visages. Deliberately tarnished, they assume an antiqued look that can bring a hint of history to bath or kitchen walls. Yet the grid of security wire updates the Versailles Mesh collection, resulting in an intriguingly ambiguous design.

Tap to Tap

Reading the latest issue of Appliance Design magazine the other day [yes, my life is like that], I learned a new word: 'haptics'. It refers to the tactile sensation of pushing a button, twisting a knob, flipping a switch, and so forth. While poking at a touchscreen is at best a haptic-neutral experience, I'm nonetheless impressed impressed with the design of this digital-controlled faucet, which delivers filtered and/or carbonated water, chilled or boiling.

Centralized Storage

I'm one who likes to have my cooking tools easily accessible, but with more structured organization than a simple shelf can offer. Solution: This open and well-ordered storage zone. Especially in a room with limited wall area [I speak from experience here, as my own kitchen is punctuated with a couple large windows and no fewer than five doorways], this island-based design is an innovative and practical alternative.

Tipping Point

With clear, sapphire skies and blazing foliage, autumn in these parts has been nothing short of spectacular. As a dear friend put it, 'It's like Nature is apologizing for the last couple years.' But there will come a day when the landscape palette tends toward black and white. This kitchen, with its persimmon cabinets warm against stark walls and cool concrete, seems a harbinger of that transition.

Demonic Design, The Conclusion

Despite their devilish tails, I find these goblins a most likable bunch. They seem fiendishly happy to take a respite from the heat of hellfire, finding the burners of the 1908 range a relatively cool environment. So pleased are the little Lucifers by this temperate shift that they've been moved to dance, their high-kicking, hot-stepping feet burnishing the stove top to a dark lustre.