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January 04, 2011

DIY Kitchen Organization with Shoe Shelves


One of my 2011 goals is finishing up the organizational sweep of the house that started last year. (Last decade? Hmmm. There was that whole 2000 v 2001 debate, can we do that every ten years? Watching the brain melt was fun...) I thought about being less tangential as a goal for 2011 but who the hell am I kidding here? It it wasn't for tangents, I'd have no 'gents at all.

Anyway... Do you need more space for dishes? Don't we all? Well, I have two words for you: shoe racks. These babies hold an amazing array of stuff, even most of my faux Le Crueset. Inexpensive and stackable, you can find a shelf style that matches your decor, just make sure they have FLAT shelves, not the slanty ones.

I have more of these in the studio for the scads of dishes and photo props that accumulate while I sleep. Actually, I have different ones in here now, and have a total of 16 of them in the house. Yes, you read that right: sixteen. I need more. (Dear Costco, please keep the cute bamboo shelves in stock for another week.)

What's that I hear? "But kitchenMage, what about small stuff? Can you help with that?"

Why yes, yes I can...

Continue reading "DIY Kitchen Organization with Shoe Shelves" »

October 13, 2005

While the magic happens

Let's call this the meme, part two.

Time for the truth in advertising--and the actual homage to Belly-Timber and their messy kitchen. This is what my kitchen usually looks like. I snapped these one day just before we had out-of-town company 6 out of 8 days. It was, needless to say, crash time and a much more realistic example of what things look like when the mage starts casting multiple spells.


Let's take a quick tour starting on the left. Sourdough starter, broom because I was cleaning "between other things," canaloupe to be sliced and munched while I worked (or maybe it was for lunch), ice water for cold fermented bread, high-gluten flour for the sourdough, the blue pitcher had some tea thing steeping, and I think the mason jar has chocolate to be grated. The baking corner is mostly covered with an accumulation of flotsam (or is that jetsam?) from every time I needed space on some other surface, with the exception of the chopping block, which has habeneros to be chopped. In the distance, the two stockpots hold blueberry chutney that has not yet been habeneroed and something else I can't remember--maybe it was a second strength of chutney--we made warm and hot.

So what does that add up to? Two kinds of bread, something with chocolate, chutney to be cooked and canned, and whatever's in that other stockpot because, come to think of it, this wasn't that batch of chutney. Sounds pretty exhausting, huh?

On to the other side of the counter. Again, from the left. The cookbook is neither the Herbfarm nor Crust and Crumb, although it might be Breadbaker's Apprentice (which would be the pain la ancienne, the cold fermentation bread), and there is already bread rising in the basket under that blue patterned cloth, which I suppose explains the floured countertop...and brings me to three kinds of bread. That might help explain the three empty gallon containers strewn about.

The springform pan is buttered and wrapped for the water bath that is used to bake a mint truffle torte from the Herbfarm cookbook, and that pyrex bowl with the spoon on top has a butter and fresh chocolate mint infusion steeping--also destined for the torte--along with that bowlful of eggs. And the dishes are the clean half with a corresponding dirty pile on the other side of the sink. I believe that both of those cups had tea in them--one hot, one lukewarm and mostly undrunk--and the yogurt was probably lunch.

Three kinds of bread, one torte, one batch of chutney, one unknown pot of something, a messy kitchen, and I remember that clean 9x13 pan had brownies. And you know what? This is a moderate day, it seems to be mostly about baking, and I know there was another day when I did other prep work. There have been times that made this look like those oh-so-Sunset magazine shots in the last post. Those are fun.

Between the last post and this one, I feel so schizophrenic. Dr. Jekyll and Chef Hyde, perhaps?

Oh, one more thing while I have your attention. I failed to point out one of the best kitchen accessories a cook can have. Look at this picture and see if you can pick it out.


See it? Way back there in the background. Okay, so it's not exactly an accessory, but that's live music, boys and girls. Isn't that the best? I'm quite sure it makes me a better cook. I know it makes me a happier one.

October 12, 2005

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?

Continue reading "Where the magic happens" »

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