Kitchen Konundrum

One of the reasons I’m not a very good cook is I’ve never had somewhere really great to practice. At least that’s what I tell myself. Growing up my mom was always shooing us kids out of smallish kitchens while she cooked since little people underfoot while you chop and boil and bake and heat is a good way to end up in the emergency room. Since I never loved cooking I never focused much on kitchens when I picked out apartments and until recently would have sacrificed everything but a fridge and a microwave for a walk-in closet. When I first saw the house we live in now, I fell in love with the hardwood floors to the incredible mouldings to the front porch…and was THRILLED with the newly remodeled kitchen. Stainless steel appliances! Corian counters! Ceiling height cabinets! A gorgeous stone tile backsplash! It’s so PRETTY and SHINY and FULL OF CHARACTER I knew I would just love baking pies and boiling water (my specialties) while admiring the grape arbor out the window.

Unfortunately, I soon realized “full of character” is the real estate term for “almost no counter space” and “nowhere to put the mail” and “where the **** am I supposed to keep any FOOD?!” Over the years I’ve tried adding tables, carts, baskets, chairs, hooks and bowls in various places but nothing has helped control and organize the overflow of junk. It’s gotten worse since the baby, since my diaper bag and camera have permanent homes on the counter by the back door and when I come in carrying a baby everything else just gets DUMPED. Even when the kitchen is super clean (which, honestly, it almost never is) I only have about three feet of counter top to make dinner on, divided in the middle by the stove. I’ve set more than one pot holder on fire because I was using the stove top as a work surface. Setting things on fire is NOT GOOD when you have a toddler.

Since we won’t be moving in the next couple of years, I finally decided it was time for a permanent solution to my lack of counter space. Lucky for me the guy who did the original kitchen remodel left his name and contact info under the sink. Lucky for HIM the custom cabinets he put in are impossible to get anywhere else so we’re trading him our first born for an island/peninsula/breakfast bar thing. Well, we tried to trade him our first born but with the economy as bad as it is right now he wanted cash instead. Babies just aren’t worth what they used to be. Luckily, we had saved a little of our tax return for home repairs (in case we did have to put the house on the market) and I convinced E it would be best spent on this project. I may have also promised a large number of homemade meals, cookies and pies IF ONLY I HAD THE COUNTER SPACE TO MAKE THEM. I guess it’s time to dust off those cookbooks.

Unfortunately, it’s going to take at least two months before the elves hobbits blind nuns cabinet…eers? make the cabinets and then another week to get a big slab of countertop in so until then I’ll just have to try not to burn the house down with a tea towel. Wish me luck.

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7 Responses to “Kitchen Konundrum”

  1. erniebufflo says:

    Yay kitchen remodel and more cooking! Don’t you wish we could have each other over for dinner?

  2. Brigid Keely says:

    The first apartment we had together, Nesko and I had a galley kitchen so narrow that we couldn’t open either the oven or the fridge all the way. The only counter space was a drain board attached to the sink (which had a dish drying rack on it 24-7), and a lone built in cabinet maybe two feet wide which had a hutch over it so one couldn’t really stand at the counter without hitting one’s head.

    There was a MASSIVE pantry so storage wasn’t an issue, but I went nuts trying to cook anything. I didn’t make one single pie the entire year I lived there, because I had no place to roll out dough. The only biscuits I made were drop biscuits. A travesty!

    If I wanted to make meatloaf, I’d put the mixing bowl inside the sink and work there.

    Anyway. Cooking can be intimidating, but it isn’t hard. If there’s specific stuff you want to learn how to cook, ask me and I might have tips and solutions and recipes for you. The more you cook, the better at it you get, the easier it gets, and the more natural it feels.

  3. Erin says:

    Hey! I have eaten some fabulous Rachael-Ray-esk meals at your house!!!…. But come to think of it I do think you had to serve them on the stove-top. Sounds like it’s gonna be a nice addition. Can’t wait to see it!

  4. bebehblog says:

    Erin – not Rachael-Ray-esque, Rachael Ray. Her cookbooks are my straight up Bible in the kitchen and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Her recipes are simple and delicious and her laid back style appeals to my ill-preparedness. I need to be able to use regular breadcrumbs mixed with Italian seasoning instead of Italian breadcrumbs, you know?

  5. Raincheckmom says:

    Now, now. I remember lots of baking lessons with you kids. As a result you are great at pies and cookies! But when dinner needed to get done, the group cooking time with kids was over…

    I think you do very well, but the kitchen update will be really helpful. I’m not sure there is such a thing as too much counter space in the kitchen…

  6. Erin says:

    I know. I just didn’t want to give away all your secrets on the internet :)

  7. Joe Rusek says:

    You have a new fan! I love your stuff here and will be back again.

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