Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Kitchen Library Tour

It gives me tremendous pleasure to present to the world, our Kitchen Library.  While Charming Suitor and I both know that it will continue to change and develop as we use it, for the moment, we are really enjoying how it has changed our cooking and organization.  Monday will be the real test, as we are hosting our first Passover together, and will have fourteen family members around our table.  I think it is going to make all the difference.

Let the tour begin!

The view from the door....c'mon in!

Yep, that is our President on my apron.  And just enough wine glasses....

Le Creuset, Emile Henry, and cast iron galore. 
I love how the colors pop against the chocolate wall!

One of Charming Suitor's beautiful hutches. 
And can you see the gorgeous Japanese tea set in the middle on the right? 
Just got it from my five extra moms at my bridal tea that they hosted. 
My extra sisters gave me the amazing tea box that is sitting on top,
full of really special teas. 
My daily afternoon tea break just got REALLY FANCY!!!

Pots and pans and bakeware, oh my!

Can you say small appliances? 
The hole is where the rice cooker goes,
it was in use at the time of this photo.

Cookbooks at the ready for inspiration,
and the now-famous not-yet-patented shoe rack pot lid solution!

Found the perfect unobtrusive stepladder,
folds totally flat and the wood matches Charming Suitor's stools.
I wish there was a different way to say that. 
It sounds wrong.  But you know what I mean.

Charming Suitor's rolling cart zips right out the door if we need a kitchen island,
or serves as a great place for staging equipment. 
And I love this rug like it's my job.
 I think it makes the whole room feel so luxurious.

The final touch!  CS installed a new dimmer switch (he is very handy!) to create mood lighting,
and I surprised him with this Arts and Crafts switchplate, since that is his style. 
Hope the project is inspiring to you...there are a couple more features I will be highlighting in the future, especially a certain very special piece of art that we are very excited about.   But this is pretty much where we are at for now.

Coming soon...are we crazy enough to keep the momentum going and tackle the whole kitchen?  We just might be.

Yours in Good Taste,
The Polymath

Monday, April 4, 2011

Kitchen Library Part 3

One thing that a lot of stuff prompts one to think about is organization.  Because if you have a lot of stuff, you had better manage it well or someone is going to nominate you for the next episode of Hoarders.

The Kitchen Library was born of this necessity, and so far, it is even exceeding our dreams.  We are still filling it carefully, bringing over carloads of treasures from Charming Suitor's house and making appropriate introductions.  His regular Calphalon flirts mercilessly with my nonstick Calphalon.  His Le Creuset and my Emile Henry needed to share shelves, so that they can whisper in French and think themselves superior to the rest of the cookware.  The Thermomix needed to be in the prime-most-central-easiest-to-grab location, since we use it nearly relentlessly. 

Everything was going swimmingly, until the lid issue.

So many lids.  Unwieldy, unstackable, clangy lids.  Before, I stacked them on their sides in a dishrack like this one...

This worked great when the lids were on an open shelf with nothing over them.  They all slotted in and stacked and didn't fall out or roll around, and it was such a good idea that Fine Cooking Magazine published it in the magazine AND the 1001 Best Tips book, AND paid me a whopping $25 for my brilliance. 

But all of our open shelves are 96 inches off the floor requiring a stepladder for 63 inch tall me, and are reserved for the lesser-used items like the cotton candy machine and the fondue pots. 

And if you wonder why I own a cotton candy machine and no fewer than four fondue pots, then you don't know me at all.

The lids for the copper cookware weren't a problem, as we were keeping them all together on the pot rack, and went with the old-school lid-on-the-handle trick.

So. Much. Glorious. Copper.

Just slip the loop of the lid over the handle of the pot and hang.  GENIUS!
But the rest of the lids were out of control.  The dishrack wouldn't fit on any of the shelves, none of our newly acquired shelf-organization geegaws could prevent them from rolling off the shelves, we were at a loss.

I looked at the lids.  I thought about where we had space to store them.  There is a closet in the Kitchen Library with a door.  Nothing happening on the door, but it is a nice antique solid wood door, so I couldn't attach anything permanently.  But how to utilize the space?

I'm a girl.  Specifically a shoe girl.  'Cause shoes?  Don't have to fit over my hips.

Light bulb. 

Yep.  That is your basic $20 18 pair over-the-door shoe rack.  The lids side right over the shoe prongs, even the ones that have a pull-type handle just rest on the rail and lean back, secure as anything.  Have a smaller lid with a thinner loop?  Grab a towel and gently squeeze one of the prongs so that it is narrower.  You can also use a wire cutter to split some of the prongs if your spacing is problematic. 

This rack is currenly holding 15 lids of various sizes, and there is room for more.  In fact, if you don't care about the aesthetics, you can alternate the lids front to back and double the number you can fit.  It can go on the inside of a door if you want to hide it away, or on the outside like we have done it here. 

Lid management, NOT FAIL!

What are some of your best tips and tricks for organizing....extra points for repurposing items!

Tune in next week for the COMPLETED PROJECT with loads of pics!

Yours in Good Taste,
The Polymath