This image is the cover for the book Memories of a Farm Kitchen

Memories of a Farm Kitchen

An illustrated memoir and cookery by an award-winning artist captures country life in America’s Midwest in the early twentieth century.

In the farm home of America’s past, the hearth of the home—the kitchen—represented the warmth and well-being of the family that met daily to enjoy hearty, homemade food. Award-winning artist Bob Artley evokes this ideal in this beautiful homage to the traditional Midwestern farm kitchen. Filled with heirloom family recipes and cozy memories and accompanied by Artley’s signature pen-and-ink drawings and full-color illustrations, this memoir provides a nostalgic and affectionate look at rural life, family, and food from a simpler time.

Peppered with twenty-eight traditional family recipes Dorothy Harchanko gathered from farm wives of the era—including entries for Apple Pie, Carrot Jam, and Ice Box Cookies—the chapters provide a description of the farm kitchen; discuss the family larder, cellar, and attic; and examine the many ways in which the kitchen served as the center of the farm family’s universe. Used as a medical dispensary, nursery, laundry room, scriptorium, and, of course, gathering place to eat, the kitchen of Artley’s past now gives him the space to tell his unique story in words, with food, and through his unforgettable artwork.

Praise for Once Upon a Farm:

“Artley’s illustrations have a homespun feel reminiscent of Norman Rockwell. His writing is conversational and informative, like one neighbor talking to another, or a grandfather sharing history and lost practical skills with his grandchildren.” —Foreword Reviews

“This is a beautiful book, that progresses through the seasons, bringing life to an almost forgotten time.” —School Library Journal

Bob Artley, Harvey Bernard


Bob Artley was born in Hampton, Iowa, on July 1, 1917, on the family farm established by his grandfather in 1877. A graduate of Grinnell College, he is an artist whose drawings, watercolors, and cartoons have captured his memories of the details of farm life for more than sixty years. While he is technically retired, he continues to draw, paint, and write. He is the author and illustrator of Pelican’s Once Upon a Farm, Christmas on the Farm, and Living with Pigs. He lives in Winter Haven, Florida.

Pelican Publishing