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Okay, here's some followup. This is Real Life, unvarnished, so please excuse the daily detritus in various places. It's also an exercise in cramming Far Too Much Stuff into a small space.

First, we have something approximating the above shot. The IP is currently turning the carcass of a Costco chicken into broth for tonight's meal. In the near front left you'll see a whiteboard where I keep my shopping list, and then there are two purely decorative copper pans (a pretty feeble effort, but it was that or storage...). Up top you'll make out some cast iron, a paella, various roasting pans and baking dishes, and my KitchenAid pasta accessories. Below, the aforementioned jumble of stove-side stuff, plus a random phone charger, Motley Assortment o' Knives (TM), and some magnetic spice tins.

 

20210309_171608.thumb.jpg.cedb86ebb1f31ff535b8e8b4c886d534.jpg

 

 

Here we have the small space between sink and microwave, and the microwave itself. Cleaning stuff on a lazy susan atop the microwave, because grandkids. Mason jars, lids and other assorted clutter, because me. Beside the fridge you'll see a standup freezer, and we've put flat-pack cupboards on top of the fridge and freezer to create more storage. Those contain a Food Saver machine, a Zojirushi breadmaker, a Vitamix and a few other odds and ends. In behind, past the random clutter of pet and human meds, spare fuses and such, sharp eyes will spot the Cuisinart toaster oven I scored at Value Village for $9.95 a couple of weeks ago.

 

20210309_171640.thumb.jpg.fc87edae71e3c8ca2c5f913a369f4cce.jpg

 

Continuing our tour, this is actually a flat-pack wardrobe I bought from Walmart a couple of years ago. It has been repurposed, and now contains my KitchenAid, the Cuise, the IP when it's at home, a number of lesser appliances, several plastic totes containing baking supplies/equipment, and hanging mesh bags of garlic and onions. Please note that we will not be looking inside any of these pieces of furniture, because even my candor has a limit. :)

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Next we come to The Awkward Corner. The metal rack you see there was intended to straddle a toilet, but it's an equally good fit over our blue bin. Those tubs mostly contain coffees, teas, and treats for the grandkids, though in the top left you'll note the styrofoam cake forms I used for my stepdaughter's wedding cake back in October. The island you see with the breakfast station on it was built for a retiring high school wood-shop teacher by his students, and it weighs a FREAKIN' TON. Have I mentioned that we live on the third floor of a building with no elevator? The Calphalon-branded toaster works well, but may be giving up its spot to the newly-purchased toaster oven. We'll see.

The cupboards under the island hold grains, pulses and noodles of various kinds (on the left) and an assortment of vinegars, condiments and such (on the right). Yes, that's a bar fridge sitting up on top (we had no other convenient spot for it after the last redistribution of furniture). It contains mostly condiments, pickles and jams. The salmon on the wall behind is an original artwork, purchased from a fellow vendor at the farmer's market. He bought up panel doors from old houses, painted his fish on the actual panel, and then painted the beveled edge in a contrasting colour. Boom! Canvas and frame, all in one. :)

20210309_171721.thumb.jpg.bca1a1c130911da1466e1de679127f5b.jpg

 

 

Now we're looking the opposite direction, away from the wall containing the breakfast station. This is an actual freestanding pantry I bought at Walmart a few years and addresses ago, and it's holding up well (much better than the wardrobe). The upper half contains further baking ingredients, a selection of cereals and crackers, dried fruit and other healthy snacks for the grandkids, and my steel-cut oats. The bottom half contains the remaining spices and seasonings, mostly. Sitting on top you'll discern one of my two waffle makers (the other is a 60s-vintage Sears model), a brown box with some of my Christmas baking paraphernalia, a dehydrator, a (gifted) French fry cutter, and (just visible behind everything else, in the blue box) a big honkin' cabbage shredder for making sauerkraut.

 

Just to the left and out of the frame is a buffet/sideboard sort of affair, holding a large mirror and vase of cut flowers on top and two cupboards of canned and dry goods underneath. Disclosure: I also have an armoire in the spare bedroom filled with home-canned pickles and applesauce, as well as the rest of my empty Mason jars and lids (the ones on the counter in the earlier picture are newly washed and waiting to migrate back to that room). Also several boxes of kitchen stuff still in the basement storage locker(s).

...and that's after donating a pile of stuff, and setting up our respective daughters a few times with enough gear to outfit their kitchens. :P

20210309_171729.thumb.jpg.86ef35adb1c020dc079e4613c9818bb5.jpg

 

 

There you have it. Not the worst kitchen I've ever had in a rental, not by a long shot, and it's actually reasonably functional for what it is. Things are usually within reach! :P

Edited by chromedome (log)
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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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2 hours ago, chromedome said:

don't have any current ones, but I took this before move-in:

I was pushing your buttons! I am hopeless at imagining things that aren’t there. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

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This, among other comments, made me laugh...

 

4 hours ago, chromedome said:

Please note that we will not be looking inside any of these pieces of furniture, because even my candor has a limit. :)

 

...and this is simply amazing:

 

4 hours ago, chromedome said:

The island you see with the breakfast station on it was built for a retiring high school wood-shop teacher by his students, and it weighs a FREAKIN' TON. Have I mentioned that we live on the third floor of a building with no elevator?

 

It's amazing because it's such a lovely gift and a treat that you have it, but also because somehow you had to get it UPSTAIRS and, I presume, will be taking it with you when you move.

 

Thanks for the tour. Like Anna, I have trouble imagining things without the visuals.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Thanks @chromedome  I can see some challenges and I can see where you have tried to meet those challenges. That is a really tight spot where your range is located.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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1 hour ago, Smithy said:

This, among other comments, made me laugh...

 

 

...and this is simply amazing:

 

 

It's amazing because it's such a lovely gift and a treat that you have it, but also because somehow you had to get it UPSTAIRS and, I presume, will be taking it with you when you move.

 

Thanks for the tour. Like Anna, I have trouble imagining things without the visuals.

It was actually built as a bar for the ex-teacher's basement.

Getting it out of said basement was a real challenge, because it went in before the basement was finished. As you can imagine, he installed a lot of decorative woodwork which we needed to navigate around in order to get the piece out. You can't really tell from that photo, but it has an L-shaped upper counter as well as the main counter. It's roughly 5 feet wide, 2 feet deep and 4 1/2 feet high, and it's made mostly of inch-thick plywood. It's a beast.

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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My personal nadir was a little apartment in Regina, upstairs in a 1920s-vintage house. My choice of prep areas consisted of the counter occupied by the two-burner hotplate (settings: Off/Max) or the slanted dish-drainer built into the sink, or alternatively I could just use the top of the (folding) table. I had two cupboards over the sink but none below, because of the plumbing. The entire affair would have fit into a decent half-bath in a modern home.

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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5 hours ago, Kim Shook said:

@chromedome - I have a house.  And, in spite of my kitchen being 10.5'x13', I bet that I have less cabinet and counter top space than you do.  It is truly the most ridiculous and space wasted kitchen I've ever worked in.  

 

We need pictures!!  😄

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@chromedome, you have really created a lot of storage in a small-ish space. You are very organized! Do you plan to cut down on your kitchen stuff at all or will your future home have space for all? How far off is your timeline for your own home? 

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On 3/8/2021 at 9:32 PM, patti said:

The pics were staged right after remodel was complete. It looks more lived in now and has things on the walls, and things on the counters. 😀 Might post some of those later. 

 

Please do! I bet it looks just as lovely! You did so much work but wow, you had such wonderful results. Anything you would have done differently? It helps to have lived in a house for a bit before planning renos, doesn't it? 

 

And obviously you are happy with many other details of your home and location, given that you have stayed there for almost 30 years. Is your plan to stay there as long as possible? 

 

We love our location but we couldn't really make this house exactly what we wanted, so we keep thinking of moving. I suspect any new place we buy will probably need its own kitchen renos, arggghh! 😮 😄

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37 minutes ago, FauxPas said:

 

Please do! I bet it looks just as lovely! You did so much work but wow, you had such wonderful results. Anything you would have done differently? It helps to have lived in a house for a bit before planning renos, doesn't it? 

 

And obviously you are happy with many other details of your home and location, given that you have stayed there for almost 30 years. Is your plan to stay there as long as possible? 

 

We love our location but we couldn't really make this house exactly what we wanted, so we keep thinking of moving. I suspect any new place we buy will probably need its own kitchen renos, arggghh! 😮 😄


 

Thanks for your interest and your kind words! I will post more recent pics, but it might be a few days. When I do, I will answer your other questions. I need time to think if I would do anything differently. We do plan to live here as long as possible.  

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Dear Food: I hate myself for loving you.

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8 hours ago, FauxPas said:

@chromedome, you have really created a lot of storage in a small-ish space. You are very organized! Do you plan to cut down on your kitchen stuff at all or will your future home have space for all? How far off is your timeline for your own home? 

1) It was a "birds, stone" sort of thing...we already had these pieces, and were paying to store a lot of our stuff because we'd downsized from a large house to a small apartment, so shoehorning as much of our existing furniture into this space as possible was a solution to both problems. The situation is similar in the tiny "master" bedroom, where the oversized suite of furniture she and her ex had chosen (he was 6'5") leaves just enough floor space to squeeze through and get to the door.

2) Organized? No, not so much. There's a reason I didn't show the inside of any of those spaces. They're overdue for a sweeping (re)organization, but it hasn't happened yet. The things I use most often are readily discoverable, but finding ingredients I use less often sometimes takes longer than it should.

 

3) As I mentioned above, I've already done several purges. At one point I could have equipped a small restaurant with what I had in my own kitchen. I know this to be true without hyperbole, because it was the stuff I *had* used in my restaurant (including a full-sized deep fryer, rigged for mobile use). There are some things that may yet get weeded out, but others see minimal use by their nature (like the serving trays that only get used at holiday meals, or the fondue pots my GF cherishes which have been used just once in our six years together) and are likely to remain with us. 
 

4) The timeline is pretty nebulous at this point, but probably 2-5 years. My GF leans to the former, I think the latter is more likely. I'll have finally put the financial hangover of my restaurant closure to rest by next year, at which point we can begin saving seriously. Right now we're only two months into having an actual account dedicated to saving for a down payment. Land and housing are cheap here, but unconventional building methods and energy efficiency drive up the cost and make many things harder/more time consuming than they might otherwise be.

 

In the short term, our plan is to budget for periodic purchases of cabinetry (probably from IKEA) which can be used as a coherent, freestanding replacement for the existing, mismatched flat-pack furniture while we're still here in the apartment. Then they can be built into the kitchen, once we construct the house. Remember that buffet/sideboard I'd mentioned, to the left of the standup pantry? We plan to replace that and our current TV stand with a bunch of IKEA stuff that will later become the lowers for much of the kitchen. Basically we're trying to make sure that the short-term choices we make to improve our apartment feed into the longer-term vision.

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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Well, @FauxPas asked for pictures, so here is the entirety of my counter space:

IMG_5274.jpg.1fe4a06007e7b0b9ff06c7075620c17c.jpg

This is 22-inches wide.  

 

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This is my real work space.  Basically whatever I do, I do on top of those two 18-inch long cutting boards.  If I'm doing a big bread/cookie rolling out project, it means removing all the pieces on the back of the countertop and putting them on the dining room table, so they aren't covered with dough/flour/batter.  The last bit:

IMG_5276.thumb.jpg.9b65d26819da5dca3091156182dad92b.jpg

Nine inches wide and utterly useless as a workspace of any sort.  Good for putting things on only.  This is all somewhat mitigated by having the small island/peninsula that @Ted Fairhead made for me years ago.  It normally holds a bread box and bread/snack basket, some jars of candy, a cooky cannister, and a few decorative items.  For really big projects (Xmas cooky decorating, Easter egg dyeing) we clear it off.  But day to day, it doesn't offer much work space beyond holding plates prior to being loaded up for dinner.  

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@Kim Shook  i am amazed at all the good stuff that comes out of your kitchen with such limited counter space.  By the way, that looks like a Cuisinart Grind and Brew coffee maker.  Is it?  We used to have one.

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10 minutes ago, Kim Shook said:

Well, @FauxPas asked for pictures, so here is the entirety of my counter space

 

Oh, I see what you mean! You are quite limited in counterspace. I'll second @ElsieD and say how impressed I am with what you create in that kitchen! You must be pretty organized. In fact, your space does look pretty well organized. 

 

Do you love lots of other things about your house? Do you think about redoing your kitchen and giving yourself a bigger workspace? 

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1 minute ago, ElsieD said:

@Kim Shook  i am amazed at all the good stuff that comes out of your kitchen with such limited counter space.  By the way, that looks like a Cuisinart Grind and Brew coffee maker.  Is it?  We used to have one.

It is.  It's our second one.  I am not a coffee drinker, but Mr. Kim and Jessica are and of course during normal times we have guests who are.  We do not require much of our coffee (we use commercial beans and no home roasting), but we do grind our own and I got tired of doing them separately.  We discovered the two-in-one machine and have used it for years.  

 

And thank you for the sweet compliment!  Having never really had good counterspace anywhere, I've learned to adapt.  I think if I ever won the lottery and got to have my dream kitchen, I'd still end up in the corner using a couple of square feet of counter space!  😁

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5 minutes ago, FauxPas said:

 

Oh, I see what you mean! You are quite limited in counterspace. I'll second @ElsieD and say how impressed I am with what you create in that kitchen! You must be pretty organized. In fact, your space does look pretty well organized. 

 

Do you love lots of other things about your house? Do you think about redoing your kitchen and giving yourself a bigger workspace? 

It's not something that is really in our budget.  Mr. Kim retires in a couple of years and we are planning on this being our last home.  The idea of moving gives me the horrors😉.  And our location is really convenient for us.  

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2 hours ago, Kim Shook said:

And thank you for the sweet compliment!  Having never really had good counterspace anywhere, I've learned to adapt.  I think if I ever won the lottery and got to have my dream kitchen, I'd still end up in the corner using a couple of square feet of counter space!  😁

 

Think of all the steps you save!

 

(But I too am impressed!)

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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