Sunday, May 2, 2010

Our Country Kitchen

I confess:  I love cooking in a large country kitchen.  Our kitchen has 25 cupboards, 14 drawers, 2 closets, and 9 doors. It also has the original 1880's pantry, providing us with an additional 6 drawers, potato bin, large window, and 7 cupboards--one of which opens on both the pantry side and the dining room side. Very cool.

Both Kevin and I love to cook. He makes most of our meals and breakfast entrees, and I do most of the baking and dish washing. Getting adjusted to this large space was dizzying - literally - and we found ourselves walking in circles and frequently bumping into each other. Sharing the kitchen with your spouse can be pleasingly copacetic, kind of like synchronized swimming, with each having particular specialties, tasks, and timing.  But occasionally the order breaks down and it turns into a scene from Faulty Towers (...Basil!) or Hell's Kitchen (who moved the **bleeping** kitchen shears?). Fortunately, we figured out some things that work well for us, and may also work for you.  

Here's our list:
1) Never walk around the kitchen with a knife pointing outward.  This should seem like a no-brainer, but if your other kitchens were small, then you probably developed some habits that don't transfer into a large space. 
2) Keep all knives sharpened (a sharp knife is a safe knife) and store them in a slotted wooden knife tray in a drawer. Pasquale says "your knifa is lika your besta frienda and no one can hurt you lika your besta frienda."
3) Buy two free-standing paper towel holders so you always have one where and when you need it. 
4) Free yourself:  remove that annoying ring connecting your measuring spoons and cups. Buy a few sets of both and keep them inside the containers of those products you use most often like sugar, flour, popcorn, oatmeal, and pet food. The extras come in handy for multiple ingredient measuring as well.
5)  Keep the counter tops and flat surfaces clear of appliances and decorative items. Anything that does not get used every day does not belong on the counter.
6) Don't store anything in the cupboards above the stove. Ever.  
7) By all means, keep the kitchen shears IN THE KITCHEN and tools in the toolbox!

Another feature of our kitchen is a well-lit corner space next to the laundry room where I do the ironing. I love the feel of a starched napkin or pillowcase and so I toil to provide this small amenity. Last week I discovered I could make my own spray starch by mixing water and cornstarch, and, well, that just about made my day. Ask Kevin. I was giddy.

Of course, improvements can always be made to the current space. So what's on my wish list for our country kitchen?  It is not an automatic dishwasher - I actually enjoy hand-washing dishes. My dream kitchen would have the oven and the cook top as two separate units. Having to share the gas range causes some tense moments. Bing! There goes the timer. Sweetie, please step aside. I need to get into the oven NOW!!!

1 comment:

  1. You should read in our blog about my dish washer install. We felt we needed a dishwasher that did a hot "sterilize" cycle just in case. It is also a lot less work than hand washing and it is the only job I do in the kitchen. Only my wife is the cook at our bed and breakfast so I have to do other things like pick the next episode of Faulty Towers that we should watch. - seriously we'd love to see more pictures of your kitchen and a layout plan!