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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Backyard farm kitchen





I have to laugh at modern kitchens - granite, exotic woods, stainless steel, ceramic tile, ambient lighting, and always perfectly spotless. “Honey, what are we doing for dinner this evening?” “How about going to the Olive Garden?” Why do people spend so much money, tens of thousands of dollars, on something they never use? It’s silly.


I love our kitchen built in the 70’s and never renovated - faded butcher block Formica counters, off-white commercial grade cabinets, linoleum tile, fluorescent lighting, and always a mess, especially in the summer. “Honey, what are we doing for dinner this evening?” “How about roasting one of our chickens on the rotisserie and grilling vegetables from the garden? Homemade ice cream for dessert?”
We have 26 linear feet of counter space surrounding our kitchen on four sides and usually every bit of it is occupied. Homemade meals compete for space with processing our bountiful harvests. No need for an appliance garage, the appliances are all being used – blenders, mixers, grinders, processors, juicers, peelers, toasters, pressure cookers, canners, dryers, pasta makers, ice cream makers, and our ever present rotisserie which roasts our broilers to perfection. 

If you have a spotless kitchen - I don’t care how much it cost – mess it up! Grind some wheat and make some bread. That will dust everything with flour. Peel apples, cook them down, and process them into applesauce. That will make the floor sticky. Mince garlic for pasta sauce or make dill pickles to smell up the kitchen. Dice onions until your eyes water. Cover your counters with dirty appliances, pots, pans, dishes, utensils, and enough butcher knives to make Norman Bates jealous. The sound of the running dish washer should be ever present. You should go through olive oil by the gallon and flour and sugar by the pound. Bulk ingredients can be stored in 5 gallon buckets under the counter or in the pantry. In a convenient spot right in the middle of the kitchen, you need another 5-gallon bucket for refuse – seeds, stems, leaves, rinds, peels, skins, egg shells, and table scraps. If you throw something at the bucket and miss, don’t worry. With all the other mess, no one will notice. The refuse bucket is emptied onto the compost pile outside or the chicken run, if you are lucky enough to have layers. If your kitchen doesn’t require a large yellow industrial mop bucket and wringer on wheels with a big rag mop, then you aren’t using it enough. If that is the case, take the money that you would use to buy a fancy kitchen and put it into a BMW to drive yourself to the Olive Garden. 

9 comments:

Jamie said...

I agree,our kitchen is nothing fancy it is just plain ol country.It is being used at the moment,our son(9) is cutting up a pumpkin,fresh from our garden,so I can puree it.We have already made 2 loaves of White Bread,4 mini loaves of Pumpkin bread and then I am going to try a Pumpkin doughnut recipe later on.there are scraps being collected for the chickens and eggs usually are on the counter waiting to be cleaned.We share our kitchen with the dogs and it is the center of the home where the heart is.I can't stand a steril kitchen,a messy kitchen is a sign of cooking.
Blessings!

Rachel said...

We have a tiny kitchen in a tiny house so it makes it difficult to leave it a mess, though it usually is. LOL The previous owners put in those stylish cabinets, tile floor and granite counters. I do like the granite because I don't need a cutting board. The rest is meh.

MAYBELLINE said...

I'm glad to find someone that has made the same observation as me regarding those magazine kitchens that no one uses. Ridiculous.

Jennifer said...

This is great! Dale, you've made me laugh.

I've always wondered why the people who don't cook have the best gadgets. Probably because they think they need them, whereas the real cooks, especially the super resourceful ones, have skills instead of gadgets.

Kristi said...

What a beautiful post! The kitchen is the hardest room to keep clean and now instead of guilty I am going to take pride in that, because we use our kitchen so much! Thanks for the pickmeup!

megan said...

I love it, Dale! Messy kitchenites unite!

Becky said...

I could not agree more. These trendy kitchens that are huge with all the fancy gadgets and commercial EVERYTHING... and no one uses them! Ridiculous!

I'll keep my tiny kitchen where everything is at my fingertips (well a bit more cabinet space would be nice).
My husband laughs because everytime I get the kitchen really clean, I pull out my recipes and get to work. Nothing like a newly cleaned kitchen to inspire me to make it messy again! :)

Dale Johnson said...

I have spent several days in the past two weeks helping my son renovate his small kitchen in an older home that he just purchased in Arlington, Virginia. The kitchen really did need renovation. He found some granite remnants at a reasonable price. We spent a lot of time building heavy duty cabinets that would hold up the granite counter. It was a lot of work. We were then ever so careful to cut and shape a large slab of granite for the corner with diamond tip saw and grinder blades. We reinforced the granite with steel rods. The final step was to cut out the hole for the sink. As we made the four cuts and tapped on the cut area to knock it out, the granite counter cracked. I JUST CRIED! I felt so bad for my son after all the work that we had done. It was late at night and I had to get home. I hated to leave him, not knowing how he was going to fix it. My heart just aches for him and I HATE GRANITE!

Pressure Cooker said...

Oh, now this kitchen sounds like home to me. It sounds like my mother's kitchen, both my grandmothers' kitchens, and all my aunts' kitchens. This is a kitchen I can live in!

The first kitchen looks nice. But there's no personality...