Stupid and simple

Let me tell you about my kitchen.

My kitchen is a horror show.

If it was actually a horror show, it would be called “The Kitchen That Time Forgot.” Really. It’s still pretty much 1950s, and I’m being generous in my guesstimation. No dishwasher, no garbage disposal, and old wiring. Cabinets are very basic. Shelf space is limited. No pantry, either.

But one thing my kitchen has going for it? It’s actually pretty big. You could have 2 people cooking in it and not be stumbling over each other. It just needs to be updated, and boy howdy, do I have plans for that … later on … you know, after I get the first floor wiring redone.

But in the meantime, I needed to do something. My girlfriend had already done A LOT of cleaning and some slight rearranging in the kitchen when I was on vacation, and it was so much better. So I felt kinda the need to take what she did 1-step further.

I created a small “prep station” using some old wood that I had in the basement.

This wood was from an old futon frame that I had disassembled and stored. I figured it would be good for something … I had already used it on my baker’s rack to create shelves. But if worse came to worst, I could always throw it in the woodburner. But I’d hate to throw out something that I know would have a use later.

So I grabbed 2 pieces, and cleaned them up. I painted them black, and then created this stupid little shelf.

This isn’t a magical thing. But man, what it lacks in personality and style and finesse, it makes up for in sheer practicality.

Before, I had these utensils randomly thrown in a big drawer, and finding what I needed was a pain in the dupa. This stupid little shelf solved a lot. I actually feel dumb that I didn’t think of this sooner. 2 pieces of leftover wood. Leftover paint. 20 L hooks (cost under $4). Leftover screws and anchors. Done and done.

(Oh, and that picture? That’s my Italian grandma holding me. I learned my basic cooking skills from her, so it was only fitting that she share that space. And that potato peeler on the wall with the ribbon? That was my Slovak great-grandma’s potato peeler. My great-aunt Pauline gave it to my mother, who gave it to me. She probably peeled tons of potatoes with that thing … and I’m honored to have it in retirement on my wall.)

Then I started thinking what else I could do. The baker’s rack! Why don’t I hang some pot and pans on it instead of stacking them there?

I have a million pots. OK, not a million … probably about 8. But they were all leftovers from my mom and grandma, and I never needed that many. So, I weeded some out, and am going with a smaller set for now (not including soup pots and such). And again, I grabbed some hook screws, and created this:

Now, again, this is simple, stupid, and non-stylish at the same time. But it’s a temporary and cheap fix (hooks were less than $2 for 5) fix to what has been a long-standing problem — easy accessibility and space. I just need to get a few more hooks for lids, and wham, done. If I find I don’t need the extra pots, they will go to the VVA.

But all of this will change when I’m ready to tackle the kitchen full on … in a few years … I hope.


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