Ann Kaiser’s Country Kitchen

Traveling editor Ann Kaiser shares a peek at her updated family-friendly country kitchen.

Ann Kaiser and mom in the country kitchen

Ann Kaiser and Mom Nettie

Mom-versation. Ann's kitchen island is a favorite spot for her and mom, Nettie, to chat. Photography by Jim Wieland.

Glass block base in country kitchen peninsula

Glass Block Peninsula

A touch of glass in the peninsula Ann and husband Louie built reflects the kitchen's sunny atmosphere.

Ann Kaiser at country kitchen desk

Ann Kaiser at Desk

Writer's nook. At an antique desk in her kitchen, Ann composes a future workday adventure to share with CW readers. Photography by Jim Wieland.

Granite countertop on country kitchen peninsula

Granite Countertop

Sturdy surface. Granite is a pretty and practical way to top off counters.

Birch Kitchen Cabinets around Range

Kitchen Cabinetry

Ample cabinets were refinished to brighten up durable birch wood.

Sailboat-themed china

Sailboat Plate

Lunch ahoy. A sailing motif flows throughout the Kaiser home, including the pattern on Ann's dishes. Photography by Jim Wieland.

Glass Bowl with rainbow swirl

Glass Bowl

Swell swirls inside a decorative glass bowl hold the kitchen's accent colors.

Kitchen counter, cabinets, range and door

Kitchen Work Space

Clear sailing. A side door leads from the kitchen's workspace to steps descending to the family's boat dock.

Open flow between kitchen and great room

Kitchen View into Great Room

Open access. A wall separating the kitchen and great room was removed to enhance space and conversation.

Deck off kitchen overlooking lake

Lakefront Deck

A perfect spot for coffee, Ann's deck adjoins her kitchen. Photography by Jim Wieland.

Ann and Louie Kaiser on deck

Ann and Louie Kaiser

Lake lovers Ann and husband Louie met as kids taking sailing lessons. Photography by Jim Wieland.

Porthole-shaped clock

Porthole Clock

Shipshape. A porthole clock synchronizes with Ann's nautical decorating theme. Photography by Jim Wieland.

Sail boat racing trophy


Winning skipper. A trophy shows Ann knows the ropes when it comes to sailboat racing.

Ann Kaiser and granddaughter in sailboat

Ann Kaiser and Granddaughter Sailing

On a clear day…Ann is likely to be out on her 16-foot MC Scow. Granddaughter Audrey acts as crew. Photography by Jim Wieland.


By Ann Kaiser

Welcome to my country kitchen! Usually, in my Editor in the Country pieces, I’m away visiting a CW reader for a workday at her farm, ranch or country business. But today CW has asked me to be the hostess, show you my country kitchen and introduce you to some special people.

I live about 30 miles west of Milwaukee, on the shore of Beaver Lake. One of my favorite things about our home is the view. On a calm day, I can look out my country kitchen windows and see fish swimming by.

Originally a summer cottage built around 1900, it was later expanded by other owners before husband Louie and I bought the house, in 1985. We’d dreamed of living on the lake we’d loved as kids—and of raising our own family here.

Opening Up the Country Kitchen

Our home isn’t large, but there’s a good flow, since the country kitchen adjoins a great room and deck. And our family and guests always gravitate to the kitchen. You should have seen the hubbub recently when we did make-your-own pizzas with our sons, Rich and Mike, their wives and our six grandchildren!

Some years back, we removed the wall separating the country kitchen from the living-dining room, took down hanging cabinets over the sink to open up the room and added a window for an eastern view. Recently we updated putting in granite countertops and refinishing the birch cabinets. We have a peninsula instead of an island–and Louie and I built its glass block base ourselves.

That peninsula doubles as a buffet table when we entertain. Louie and I like to host parties, from casual gatherings to sit-down dinners. He’s the grill master; I enjoy cooking and baking. The peninsula is also a favorite coffee spot for me and my favorite neighbor—my mom, Annette Gohlke. Longtime CW readers will remember “Nettie” as the first food editor for our magazine back when it was called Farm Wife News.

Room for Work and Play

Since I retired from full-time work at Country Woman and Taste of Home, I write in an “office” in a corner of the country kitchen. I’m working now on some future features to share with you in CW, as well as some compilations of local history. Glancing up from my laptop, I might see a great blue heron soar or sailboats go by.

Sailing has been a hobby of mine since I was a teenager. Now, my 6-year-old granddaughter Audrey is carrying on the tradition. She takes junior sailing lessons, and serves as crew on Grannie Annie’s 16-foot sailboat. We sail together in weekly races—and even win a few. It’s fun to share sailing tips with her. Usually I’ll grab a pitcher of iced tea from the kitchen, and we chat away on the deck.

Now that I’m retired, I can take a break like this on a summer afternoon. As I’ve learned over the years, you always seem to appreciate your home even more after being away from it. And it’s even sweeter when you can share good times here with family and friends. Thanks for stopping by!

As CW’s traveling editor, Ann has signed on for workdays across the U.S. and Canada. Enjoy a look back at some of her most memorable ones.

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