O’Keefe & Merritt

An OKeefe & Merritt on Kansas Street

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Mrs. O’Keefe during Saturday morning breakfast.

As a girl I was lucky enough to grow up with an O’Keefe and Merritt range in my home (albeit a 1974 model) and my Dad was also a lover of vintage ranges. Here I am below, circa 1982, with our 1974 O’Keefe & Merritt. Below are some pictures that show what it looked like. I know it’s ugly, but I learned to cook on that stove.

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My Dad passed that love on to me and we would spot cool ranges together frequently.  Our favorites were the red Chambers range in an antique store downtown and his sister’s white Chambers stove in her house in New Orleans.  I tried a few times to get a vintage range but it always fell through.  I briefly owned a vintage Roper and almost had a Chambers but it wasn’t until we moved to Kansas Street and had a horrible time cooking with an ancient electric range that my husband and I began to look for a vintage stove in earnest.

“The domestic man who loves no music so well as his kitchen clock and the airs which the logs sing to him as they burn in the hearth, has solaces which others never dream of.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Our stove the day she moved in.  She won’t be hooked up to the gas line until we can take some cabinets out to make room for her.

We found one several hours away and some very great friends helped us move it.  Mrs. O’Keefe is the stove that brought the life back into our kitchen.  Before it was frustration and burned food from our old electric range.  But as soon as our Mrs. O’Keefe was connected to the gas and busily warming up I remembered the smell.  I guess it’s a gas range smell, but I hadn’t smelled it in years, and Oh, it brought a lovely warm feeling and wonderful memories of baked goods with it.  The first thing we baked was chocolate chip cookies and they were fantastic! We have never regretted our choice since.

 

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Our O’Keefe & Merritt during renovations.  She is in her new spot and finally hooked up to the gas line.  Chaos surrounds her, but she is already the calm, steady heart of our kitchen.

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Making chocolate chip cookies- even during a kitchen reno! Mrs. O’Keefe is on moving wheels.439D74C2-DD59-4AED-A3C6-9AFC00D13004

Cooking even before she was in place. Here she is hooked up to the heater gas line, just bakin’ biscuits!IMG_5608

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My quiet mornings in the summertime and on weekends. IMG_6880IMG_6879IMG_6873A7A9C192-C86F-4ED2-A2D2-5FE33E4535DE

Some Le Creuset beauty on stove. Plus a good close-up of her logo.D826FE24-ECA7-4217-BC33-DCBA3799F4F8

A few years after we brought our vintage O’Keefe and Merritt home we started noticing them everywhere!  They popped up in magazine ads, movies, and TV shows.  One night we were watching an Audrey Hepburn movie and my little boy turned to me and asked, “Mommy, is there a Mrs. O’Keefe in this movie?”  It was so cute!  The kids are always stove spotting and our range shows up in many Hollywood productions since they were manufactured in Los Angeles.  The kids are so funny and sweet and will holler for me if they see our stove on TV so I can see it too.  I love it when they do that! My daughter is especially good.

Where We Have Seen an O’Keefe and Merritt Range
Movies
Harry and the Hendersons
Overboard
Beverly Hills Cop
Baby Boom
Poltergeist II
The Princess Diaries

TV Shows (lots from Disney channel!)
Best Friends Whenever
Good Luck Charlie
iCarly
Rachel Ray
Folgers TV Commercial
Stranger Things 2

And we have even seen one down the street from us in a house in our own neighborhood!

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Here she is hooked up temporarily to the gas line from the kitchen heater.  We had to do some maintenance and repairs before we had the new gas line put in for her on the other side of the kitchen.

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With stove-love and home-made chocolate chip cookies to you always,
-Jaime

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