Friday, October 21, 2011

Tools of My Trade

Have you ever noticed how men tend to have tons of tools?  It seems like every new project requires a new tool until they reach 55 yrs. old or so, and by that time they have acquired every possible tool under the sun.  It's really no different for the homemaker.  We need special tools to do our job as well.  Have you ever tried to bake a bundt cake without a bundt pan, or peal an entire bushel of apples with out an Apple Peeler Corer Slicer?  I have and let me tell you it's no fun! 

This is a china cabinet I bought to display my nice dishes several years ago.  It became a display case of special items that I wanted to look at but not really touch or use except for twice a year.  As we began to down size and started cooking most everything we eat from scratch I realized how ill equipped my current set up and supplies were.  I had just enough space in the kitchen to get irritated.  Our knife collection consisted of one lonely knife who you had to strike a deal with before it would cut, and a mis-matched set of flaking non-stick cookware.  So I decided to convert my china cabinet into a working unit.  Out came all the "too nice to use" items and in went the things I used everyday, or at least once a week.

As you can see I have many different types of tools in here now.  On the bottom right, are two bowls with different types of flour for biscuit and bread making.  On the top shelf is the apple peeler I mentioned above and the remaining items ranging from colanders to mixing bowls to canning funnels.  I keep a small open dish of salt for easy measuring, and a ton of little things in the flatware divider in the middle.  This is now a useful piece of furniture that assist me in my daily routines.  Our kitchen is a working kitchen so the contents of this cabinet change as often as they need to.

This was not the only conversion in our kitchen.  We decided to make our kitchen table an island.  This was in the middle of the kitchen and living area so we figured it could be used to prep most everything and since we clean as we go, it would be clean and free for use at mealtime.  I placed a container I found at Goodwill in the center and filled it with hand towels, knives, and other prepping equipment.  When we sit at the table I just move the container and we have a dining room table again.

If your kitchen seems like it's not working for you, take some time to think about what you're missing that would make life easier.  If it's tools or utensils, hunt Goodwill, second hand stores, Craigslist, and especially estate sales.   If it's space, think about how you could extend your working area.   We more than doubled our 'kitchen' space by doing just a little re-arranging and re-thinking.  If you make your space work for you, it makes it much more enjoyable to work in your space!

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