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Where the magic happens

I think we should call this a "clean your kitchen" meme--or am I the only one who looked at her kitchen and thought, "There is NO WAY I am putting pictures of this mess on the Internet!" and spent an hour or three making it clean enough to get the phots? I suppose I could have gone the Belly-Timber route and embraced my inner too-busy-to-clean person, but I've been needing decent photos of the house so that's my excuse. (I must admit that it's odd to have the place so shiny clean, as I'll demonstrate at the end of the pretty pictures. Kitchenbigpicture2 

Here's the realtor (i.e., boring) shot of my kitchen. The lights are still truly lame, but I still haven't found anything I really like. That's okay because there are many things I do like--lots of counter space, open to most of the house, a convection oven, and did I mention the counter space?

I've had this kitchen for a year now and while I really love it, it's not been a totally smooth journey. Oh sure, it started simply enough: we were house-hunting and when I saw this kitchen I decided we had to buy the house. (Why no, I'm not food-focused, why do you ask?) The fact that it lacked a refrigerator and microwave was no big deal--I wanted to get a really good refrigerator to make up for the last 6 years with this ancient side-by-side beastie that was occasionally leaky, too narrow for many of my dishes, and deep enough that food got lost in the back and died--plus, harvest gold. Enough said. So I was looking forward to a mavelous new refrigerator. Having only 30 inches to slide it into was a bit more of a problem. We moved cabinets before we unpacked.

Luckily for us, the countertops still fit without any significant changes--we had to cut down one small piece, but that was about it. After almost a month of living out of a dorm-room sized refrigerator, we had the cabinets moved and the refrigerator picked out and we knew it was going to take us some time to lay the floor so we had the behemoth delivered. (Note to self: Next time, it's flooring first, huge appliance deliveries second. Lifting a zillion pound metal box an inch without crunching the edge of the flooring is quite the trick, leave it to the professionals.)

And another question, why do the wheels on this beast only roll straight forward and back, with no ability to pivot and thus steer the silly thing? The space between the refrigerator and those cabinets is about an inch deeper than the refrigerator. Moving the refrigerator requires laying down protection for the hardwood floor, sliding it forward so it's almost touching the cabinets, slipping a heavy-duty furniture cart under the side, gently tipping this six-foot tall hunk of metal enough to lift it but not enough to lose control, gingerly maneuvering it into the hall by backing the handtruck into the bathroom and removing it, pushing the refrigerator straight into the living room, repeating the handtruck-tip-slide sideways dance to get it out of the hall. We did this twice.

For all that work, I ended up with a huge stainless refrigerator with filtered water, a couple of kinds of ice, a nightlight, and an alarm. Uh huh. Because you never know when someone is going to sneak in and steal your food while you're sleeping.

That big cabinet holding the microwave used to be on the wall between the stove and refrigerator and the bottom one that's between them now traded places with the one under the end of the peninsula. The last one now got 5 shelves for all my baking pans and is very handy to the baking area--which is just to the right of the photo edge--next to the tall cabinets.


On to one of my favorite places--my little baking niche. The KitchenAId has a place to live where it's instantly avaiilable, yet masked from the view of the living room. The lower cabinets have gallon jars of flours, sugars, and oatmeal, while the (not in photo) upper cabinets are stuffed with jars of things I buy in bulk--more grains, corn meal and the like, some dried fruit and nuts, and all that baking stuff such as soda, salt, flavorings and so on. The spice shelves have baking spices, there's another, larger spice rack opposite the refrigerator for stuff that's mostly used on the stove. That gorgeous chopping block used to belong to someoneElse's parents and when they moved,Kitchenfromchoppingblock it "just didn't fit" at the new house. I got a calll asking me if all that lusting after it was serious. (Uh, yeah!) Lucky me.

Looking back at the kitchen from the baking corner, you can see the kitchen table with its store of handmade pottery. I've been collecting handmade ceramics pretty much my entire life and have a number of really beautiful pieces. More of it, and some blown glass from a local artist, is housed on top of the upper cabinets. Someday I'll have to gather it all up in the sunshine for a photo shoot.

I'm planning on building shelves under the overhang there, but it's one of a huge list of things to-do. Sounds like a winter project. The corner cabinets--two lower and one upper--house big turn-table shelves, another of those things that made me really love the kitchen. Yeah, so I'm easy, you have a problem with that?

Over by the Cuisinart and blender is a shelf with my scale, a calculator, notebook, pens, kitchen twine, scissors, and all the other office-like kitchen stuff. It's also conveniently next to the towel drawer so I can wipe my hands before grabbing any of those things. Because there's nothing that small electronic devices like better than sticky, wet fingers all over them.

I have gizmos, gadgets, and supplies carefully stashed all over the place, generally where I can reach it from there I use it without moving. Or so goes the theory. There are cutting boards in three places, knives in two, chunks of marble in several, and salt in four, or maybe five. Somehow everything has ended up being hidden away--this is literally my first kitchen without a hanging potrack and stuff on every wall. It's kind of nice to have it looking so tidy, but it's also odd...not my usual, more cluttered style.

The view from the stove. More spice shelves, oversized spoons and scrapers, peel, splatter guards, and my favorite frying pan. I worked really hard on efficiency when this room was being assembled, this little corner is one thing that worked out rather well. I use this stuff all the time and it's half-a-step from the stove, which is where I use it. The tall cabinets have slide-out shelves, which I just love.


Spillover from the kitchen proper--the recipe book shelves. As distinguished from the food book shelves, which are in my office. And the two huge "extra food" shelves in the garage. And the hall closet full of bits of home camed food, extra pans, a meat slicer, and cool empty bottles. (The "boring" empty bottles are in the garage. I obviously need a bigger kitchen.) Kitten is a bonus. No extra charge.


The view from the kitchen sink. We have more, flowering trees to go back there, but's it's a nice start. The resident deer wander through here most evenings about dusk--I watched the fawn lose his spots from this vantage point. There are worse things to say about your kitchen window.


This one's for Mrs. D and Chopper Dave. That expanse of formerly pristine counter, just one hour after the last of those spotless pictures. Mise for pasta in a creamy sauce of cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and pine nuts with lemon chicken; garlic cheese bread ready to toss under the broiler, half-made apple muffins, and sourdough starter being refreshed. Still really clean, but getting back towards normal. (okay, okay, for the real homage--go here)

via Technorati and Food Blog S'Cool. Or go direct: Kayln, Kevin, Ed, Anne, Sylvie, Biggles, and Amy (who is using "flog" instead of "food blog" so I like her extra today). 


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