Soooo…. I had to come back to this one now that I actually have the new kitchen. You’ll laugh - I ended up hanging most my cooking tools because my drawers are too far from my stove… But it’s very practical, and I hung them from the ceiling rather than on the side of the cabinet. And since I managed to get everything off the countertops into my storage I think a little non-orderly is ok The good thing is that I can also hang salumi and prosciutto off the hooks, and the cats can’t get to it!
And I got flour drawers (which, perplexingly most of you seemed to hate), though a bit different from the Pioneer Woman’s. They are really just custom made space-saving boxes that are in their little boxes in the drawer (I’m an expert in building anything from acrylic now…). They all have lids, they can come out, and they are just the right size, the big ones in the front hold a standard flour bag, and the smaller ones are half that size. I know, everybody has different opinions, but for me they are great, making bread dough is now cut down from 5 minutes to two minutes as I don’t have to crawl into my cupboard anymore to find all the jars with different flours and seeds and nuts. I just pull open the drawer and scoop out what I need.
I absolutely LOVE your kitchen and what you did with it.
Oh, I love The Pioneer Woman’s photos. I think she has her own personal sun in her kitchen to light them. A woman at my work has made many of her recipes and loves them. I’ve been wanting to make her prune cake—which is supposed to be amazing—but I can’t think of a way to work it in without ticking someone off. I can see it now….
“I made you a cake!”
“How wonderful! What is it?”
“It’s a PRUNE CAKE!”
“Oh, really, I…uh…that’s great!”
“It’s supposed to be just amazing!”
“Oh, yes, I’m sure it is. You see, the problem is, I’m having to count my calories, and my mother-in-law ais making liver tonight, and I want to be able to have LOTS of it, so I’ll have to pass.”
You know how it is…I’m dying for that cake, though, and if I ever run out of cake in my freezer, I’m making it for ME!
Silke, I LOVE your kitchen, it looks so pleasant to be in with the doors opening out to the garden. Your flour drawers are a great idea, reminds me of a super shop in Devon where my daughter lives, it has drawers similar to yours for self-serving dry goods such as flour and dried fruits, etc. As you say it must save time when searching for the right type of flour, we seem to collect so many types these days, it used to be just plain and self-raising in the old days!!! Now I think I must have at least 6 or 7 different ones. Enjoy your new kitchen, I’m enjoying mine!
Thanks everybody for the compliments! And thanks to all the critique of the original flour drawers, that’s how I came up with the fitting lids.
Jeanette - yes, I’m enjoying it every day. It was worth the agony… And taking out that wall was the best idea ever. Our house was built in the 80s, when it was still modern to hide the housewife in the kitchen I think. And that set of doors was unusable because we had a piano standing against the wall to the kitchen which blocked the doors… It’s so much better now!
Gene - how funny. My Spaetzle maker is hidden in a drawer Hubby prefers them handmade so he makes them with a cutting board and a knife.
Oh Silke - I think your custom flour drawer is one of the most wonderful things I’ve ever seen!!!!!! I want, no, I NEED to know more about them. Where did you learn how to make them? Where do you buy your supplies? How do you glue them together? You should do a tutorial on your blog about them. I can’t wait to know more!!
Yep, after both the cabinet maker and the general contractor gave us a blank stared when we described what we wanted to have we made them ourselves.
There is a store on the West Coast called Tap Plastics, and they have everything plastic. And they cut you plastic sheets to the sizes you need. Then we got a fast setting acrylic cement that they also sell, which is thin as water, and doesn’t stick to anything except two pieces of acrylic. You also get a little bottle with a needle on it to apply it. All you need to do then is find something where you can build it up in, we used our old drawers. Put the bottom sheet in, put the first side wall in, apply the cement (it’s really like magic, it fills all the little gaps and the previously ragged looking edge all of a sudden becomes clear). And then you continue on. I think it was about $1.50 per plastic sheet, so about $10 per custom box - not so bad. The first 6 boxes were a bit high, so the lids were sliding around on them, that’s why they have little stoppers. The next ones are shorter, so the lids are held in place by the wood. All that’s left to do now is to put litte grips on them so lifting the lids off is a bit easier.
Don’t know (and don’t want to know) how much the cabinet maker charged me extra to put the dividers into the drawer. And the front boxes have windows in them so I can quickly check whether I am low on any of the main items before I run off to the grocery store.
My kitchen is ridiculously small (only people in NYC can say I’m not being fair!) and so I’ve gotten pretty creative. I use a bookshelf in the hallway for my cake pans, rolling pins, and my best cookie sheets and mixing bowls. Then, I have an extra white cabinet I bought from Target for my special flours and sugars, Baker’s Joy, baking powder and soda and cornstarch, cupcake wrappers, sprinkles, etc, which is perched somewhat precariously on top of an existing shelf unit. This is supplemented by a glass-fronted cabinet where I display my cake stands, which is in the dining room, and then some stairs on an dark, cool, unused stairway, where I store my glass canisters of my “everyday” flour and sugar. And finally, extra cake stands are scattered around the apartment as “tables” for the books I’m using for my day job as a teacher/researcher. My husband thought I was serious when I jokingly suggested putting my stack of baking cookbooks in the bedroom….
Shawna and Matthew (and Bill): I know what a small kitchen looks and feels like, I’ve had a few of them in Germany… This is the first time in my life that I actually have enough room in my kitchen! Before we took the wall out the kitchen was small and non-functional, with a lot of wasted space. Everything was stacked three deep and five high. My plates have always been in the dining room (and they still are), my espresso cups are in a cupboard in the living room - you get the picture. Now I even still have an empty drawer, and I’m totally indulging that I now have space to work! I made macarons the other day and used the Kitchen Aid, the food processor, a handheld mixer, and I still had room for two cookie sheets and extra space for my tools. Unbelievable!
The funniest thing is that I chatted with one of the contractors and he told me how small my kitchen and my house is. How can an 1800 sqft house for 2 people be small?
Cookbooks? I’ve limited myself to 1 or 2 cookbooks a year, and lots of recipes from the internet….
Yeah, I kinda went overboard with the new cookbooks, but I really enjoy reading the “equipment and ingredients” sections of baking cookbooks just to see what everyone’s preferences are for flour protein content, for sifting/not sifting, for frosting a cake (top or sides first?), etc. I always come away with a new idea. I’m reading Baked by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito right now, and they suggest that using a whisk to mix dry and liquid ingredients for a simple cake or quickbread is a bad idea because it can incorporate too much air. Something I haven’t considered.
1800 square feet sounds ample to me too! American homes are so big; the average is now pushing over 3000 sq ft, which is just ridiculous unless you have six kids. We’ll probably have a proportionally big kitchen, though. I’d give up a bedroom to make the kitchen bigger! For now, we’re in an apartment, so we’re making do. But eventually, I want a butler’s pantry to myself just big enough to prep and plate baked goods so I can bake independently of my husband’s cooking schedule, which is erratic and unpredictable because we don’t have regular 9-5 jobs and he gets inspired at random times.