Saturday, November 20, 2010

Bless this mess

     Surprisingly, I have had a couple of questions about what my kitchen looks like, what things I have to cook with and what cook books I use and how I organize my recipes. Good questions all, I just never thought about any of them. I will post answers in three parts to address the different areas

East wall

South wall
West wall

West wall again

      These photos are of my kitchen. For those of you who may have thought I had this ultra glam, sleek, totally outfitted kitchen, sorry to disappoint. Like most people, I have the kitchen that came with the house not the one I designed. It is a good size, but has a poor layout and you never have enough work or storage space. Other than highlighting my less than stellar housekeeping skills, sorry Mom, yes you taught me better, these pictures illustrate that you don't need a kitchen equipped with all the bells and whistles to be able to cook. It's great if you've got it, but not essential. All my appliances are basic models, no time savers but fewer things to break and nothing you need an advanced degree in computer science to operate either.
     Making the most of your kitchen is a challenge, especially if you don't have a lot of usable space. Mine is fairly large, but there are three doors, a window and not a single unbroken wall to run counter space or add cupboards. We all have our crosses to bear. When you are deciding how to set up your space, be realistic. How much do you cook, how many people are using the space and how much can you really afford to spend?

     There are five of us who share my house, myself and four tenants, all with different schedules and levels of cooking expertise so the kitchen is always in a state of disarray. That is the sad truth, no matter that I would wish it otherwise. My kitchen also sees a lot of  hard use, so it is equipped purely to be functional with a minimal level of expertise needed.

At the table again, a few years later

Me and Mom

Me and Dad

     These are pictures of my Mom's kitchen back on the farm. They have lived on the farm over forty years and it is the third, and final my Dad is probably hoping, renovation. Mom picked out exactly what she wanted.  She chose all the materials, appliances and the lay out to get what she wanted to make her space tailored to what she needed. It is gorgeous and I am terrified to cook in it. I am always afraid I'm going to drop something and crack the counter top, ruin the back splash, you name it. I'm clumsy and truth be told just not that conscientious of a house keeper to maintain it properly.  I'm sure my mother is terrified when I cook in her kitchen too. LOL

     Regardless of your kitchen's shortcomings, every cook I know lays claim to their space and we are a very territorial bunch. I actually have things in my kitchen all my housemates are forbidden to use, even Ferd. They either don't use them properly, the top of a double boiler is not a sauce pan, or don't clean them properly after use. I know where everything is and have made the most of what I have at my house. It amazes me what people can do even with tiny spaces. I may not love the kitchen I have, feel free to send obscenely large cheques so I can renovate LOL, but I think it works well and prefer to cook at home rather than anywhere else. I'm sure most of you feel the same.

North wall, because there are times when you need a little divine intervention in the kitchen.




  1. Oh boy! I'm your first follower! LOL. I hope you have more time to post than I do....I have been very bad in the past year. Can't imagine babies are hardly any work at all. I guess I am mostly just afraid of leaving behind a public record that can be used against me if I finally snap due to sleep deprivation and the chaos that comes from chasing 3 kids all day. But this is a wonderful idea because I think you have touched on the heart of the home....the kitchen! It's where we end up most of the time too. And not just for cooking....painting, play-doh, Moon Sand, all happens in the family centre. And often I have 2 chairs pulled up on either side when I am cooking, Colby and Alaina both wanting a turn to stir, blend, taste, or break the egg. Zoey hanging onto both legs wanting to get in there too. And I get a little weepy every time because it reminds me of baking bread with Grandma, or jarring pickles, or rolling dough for pies. What a better tradition to pass on? It's surprising how many families don't sit down together for a meal anymore. And most people look at me in amazement when I talk about our Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter dinners at grandma and grandpas. This is a fantastic legacy to them.

    Oh....but don't hate me because I did get to design my own kitchen! It's not huge, and it doesn't have all the bells and whistles, and I wouldn't say it was luxurious -- very much still a work in progress (well, the whole house is actually.) But it has a big window overlooking the front yard that lets in tons of natural light, and I love my marble back-splash tiles (the one splurge)......but mostly it contains so many of the memories we have already created as a family. One day we might be able to afford our dream kitchen, but without the love and laughter of family and would never be the heart of the home.

  2. mmm, natural light! And Paul, the cheque is in the mail???

  3. I'm still waiting for that cheque LOL


Thanks for your comment, I hope you enjoyed your time in the "Kitchen".