As I told Nancy Leson in this week's chat, "I just don't have the kind of kitchen where everything is put away nice and neat." Nance keeps her kitchen, though shinier than mine, the same way.
We've both seen beautiful, upscale kitchens with the decks so cleared away it doesn't look like anyone would dare to mess them up by actually cooking something in them.
I don't want to rummage through drawers to find the tool I need, especially if my hands are covered in dough or meat juices. So I keep tools I use often, like strainers, stirrers, whisks, spatulas in containers right out where I can get my hands on them. All my knives are up on magnetic strips within easy reach of the cutting board.
We both love our lazy Susans. I've got three on the counter -- one for oils, one for various soy and fish sauces, wines and other liquid flavors, and a third just for vinegars.
I keep another nine or ten susans inside my cupboard and cabinets for various spices, dried ingredients, flours, pastas, and some other stuff I can't think of right now. They save space and I don't have to reach over stuff to get what's behind.
I love Nancy's open shelving but wondered if it led to all that stuff getting greasy. "Not as bad as you might think," she emailed me.
"They're far enough away from the stove and I try to keep on top of that, though for sure things that don't get much use need to be carefully washed before use thanks to air-schmutz-globules. And I try to do a big clean now and again — removing everything from shelves and giving them a thorough wash — but never as much as I ought to. I have special heavy-duty plastic liners on the dishware shelves that can go into the dishwasher for quick and thorough clean-up. Which makes me think, hmmmmm: today would be a good day to do that! The worst, though, is the cart next to the stove, which gets pretty greasy. That said: the whole idea of that -- thanks, Mac! -- was to NOT have a cabinet/counter that extended to the stove. This way, we can pull the cart out and clean under and next to it."
Good Cookbooks Cheap
Friends of Seattle Library's Cookbook Sale, Saturday, 10/21 9-3 at Tavolata on Capitol Hill.
"Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up."
– A.A. Milne