Thursday, February 5, 2015

Reclaiming the Kitchen

It was a wild year, 2014. We steamrolled through it, getting done what we could as far as housekeeping and kept promising ourselves that we’d take a few days and clean house. Really, we would. Just as soon as we had some free time. Which, of course, never materialized.

So now in early 2015 we are playing catch-up. The kitchen, that hub of the house, suffered most from the neglect. The cabinets were a mess, inside and out. A sharp drop in temperature to near zero brought an unwelcome invasion into the nether regions of those cabinets—mice! We waged war and drove back the enemy, but the field of battle needed a thorough cleaning after that. Add in the work on the roof last month and the debris that fell from above to the tops of everything (because with no attic, that dust and grit ended up inside. Yuck.).

And I was tired of my cabinets. They have been the same color since the early 1990’s, I guess, whenever forest green was the “in” color. The color still looked fine in my kitchen but I was ready for a change.

Then there was the big pantry cabinet. It’s a beast of a thing, holding a huge amount of food, utensils, bowls, etc. But it was a disaster area. Fortunately the mice could not get in there, but we’d been just piling stuff in willy-nilly (I like that word—I wonder what its origins are?) and the result was a threat to life and limb every time the doors were opened. In frustration the other day I threw everything out. Not literally of course! But shelf by shelf I sorted, rearranged and downsized the contents of that big cupboard.

Earlier on I had done the same with my china cabinet (I should call it my glass cabinet!),

and then moved on to the sifter cabinet.

Today I tackled the refrigerator and solved, I think, the mystery of the water that kept appearing on the bottom shelf. A gas refrigerator operates a bit differently than electric ones, and this one is not self-defrosting. After looking deep inside, I found a little catch cup full of ice, and from it was dripping a steady drip-drip-drip of water. I called the manufacturer, talked to a nice young man named Eric and together we  figured out a solution to the problem. Fingers crossed that it’s really fixed! It’s nice to be able to call a company and have a human answer the phone—and be the same person who can fix the problem. Since I was head first in there anyway I went ahead and cleaned out the fridge, a fairly scary place.

There is, however, one change still coming (after the cabinet doors are back on, the one thing left to do to the cabinets).The wood cookstove left today and we have another pantry cupboard to move in, which will mean more rearranging of stuff.

Right now everything that was stored on and in the old stove is all over the kitchen so I’m still dealing with that clutter until this last step is finished. But the end is in sight.

I am loving my kitchen again. I can actually find things! And get things out without worrying about something else falling on me. Cooking is so much easier that I find myself doing more of these days.

It’s a good feeling to reclaim my kitchen; and when spring and all its additional work comes along, I’ll enjoy the work even more.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.



Loved the story Susanna!! We all find ourselves bogged under in all the crevices lol. my friend are ahead of the game! Most don't do stuff like this at least till the spring. I know from experience that when the kitchen is all thoroughly cleaned and organized it's such a joy to be in it! So I'll give you a air five on your accomplishments. Happy Cooking and don't forget to post a pic or two whenever you have time enjoy seeing pictures of your collections and etc. Theresa Bell

JJM said...

Willy-nilly -- will ye, nill ye: roughly, if you want to or not. And I envy you your kitchen, mice or not. (I'm battling some of my own, alas. Cute to look at, but accursed nuisances to have around.) Looks like a wonderful place to work in!

Mario R.

Quinn said...

Oh, I admire your energy - and what a lovely, homey kitchen you have! My kitchen is the size of a kitchen on a boat. Not a big boat, either! So it's always a challenge to figure a way to put things within reach but still have a spot to actually work. I built a little floor-to-ceiling shelf a few years ago, for my "pantry," which I thought would solve everything...believe it or not, once it was filled with cans and canning jars and such, which took 5 minutes, there was no difference at all in the rest of the kitchen. Soon I'll be doing a full-scale clean out and reorganize, but not til I can move some furniture out onto the porch. Right now, just trying to walk through the house is like an acrobatic routine!

lostinthewoods said...

When I changed the straw bale studio into a functioning cabin, complete with kitchen I knew just how I wanted everything organized. Since I am the cook and the carpenter, mission accomplished. In a smaller space, with the added knowledge of years of experience, the cabin kitchen is even better organized than my already well organized kitchen at the earth shelter. Thanks for all your blog posts. Much appreciated.

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