Second Kitchens

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  • #36652
    skeptic7
    Participant

    There was an article in New York Times about very rich who want to have a "dirty kitchen" as well as a display kitchen. What do you think of this idea? I have heard of people having meat and dairy kitchens, canning kitchens -- in the basement, outdoor kitchens for summer use, but somehow this annoys me. I think its the idea of having a kitchen to look pretty as opposed to being used.

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    #36653
    Mike Nolan
    Keymaster

    If you think about a kitchen as a gathering place during parties and a place for serving food rather than preparing it and cleaning up afterward, having a working kitchen and a show kitchen makes a little more sense.

    We have a kitchenette in the basement: 2 burner electric range, microwave oven, dishwasher. I've thought about turning it into a canning kitchen more than once by using a standalone induction cooktop, but that might require some rewiring to add a 220 outlet to support an induction unit large enough to handle a 24 quart canning pot. I should have put an exhaust fan there, but that might not be easy to add at this point.

    #36656
    aaronatthedoublef
    Participant

    I also get it. I want a working kitchen and my wife wants a show kitchen. I want everything to hand and she wants everything hidden. We rented a house that had an "appliance garage" which Kate loved. But it made the coffeemaker - something we use multiple times a day - almost unusable. I would have sheet pans out on metal shelving where I could store them immediately after washing (without drying).

    And to Mike's point, we invariably end up entertaining in the kitchen. I remember an outdoor Halloween fire pit pizza party we had early in COVID times. We wanted everyone to stay outside because of COVID. We had a nice fire going with pizza and s'more stuff setup on tables. Everyone still ended up in the kitchen, standing around the island. And fortunately no one became sick...

    #36657
    skeptic7
    Participant

    My dream house would have a pantry with a hatch into the kitchen to keep extra pots and pans and cookie sheets, the sort of equipment that you don't want to get rid of but only use very occasionally like a turkey pan. I don't want a kitchen as a potemkin village where its made to look at but not use. I can see having two kitchens so mundane matters like cooking supper won't get in the way of very interesting projects.

    #36658
    Mike Nolan
    Keymaster

    We have a butler's pantry with lots of cabinets for storing china (we have a very large collection of Fiesta, for example) and some other kitchen items.
    Recently I added a 4 foot high metal shelving unit there to hold flour containers. I can't say it has created significantly more working space in the kitchen, though. Kitchen space is like Parkinson's law, stuff expands to fill the space--and then some.

    #36659
    BakerAunt
    Participant

    Our house came with a separate apartment over the garage that was used as a rental, so it has a small kitchen, and I do mean small. We had to locate our second refrigerator right outside it. It has an older (no digital electronics) electric stove that is on the verge of too large for the space. I would have liked to have gotten rid of the separating peninsula, but that would have required all new cabinets and the loss of some cabinet space. We remodeled the apartment, which we refer to as The Annex, so that it is an extension of our living space and can double as a more private place for guests. At first, my husband did not want to do anything with the kitchen, but we both hated the orange countertops, not to mention the linoleum walls that had absorbed grease from various renters. We settled on red cedar paneling for the kitchen walls and a light Formica countertop, as well as a new single, as opposed to double sink. It is quite nice as a place to do canning and to roast meats when the other oven is occupied. I have my large kitchen table in the dining area right next to it, and I am looking forward to assembling some complicated projects--maybe pasta making--out there.

    For canning, I use a large electric Ball canner, which can set on the counter next to the sink, and then be drained into it from the spigot.

    Our house kitchen was part of the remodeling of three years ago. The biggest issue is that because we have a longer than wider house, people come in the back door (front door of house is on the lake), so they walk through the kitchen. As a result, my husband did not want my flour, sugar, etc. sitting on the counters where I have always kept them. I wanted shelves across the back, across from the nook for the washer and dryer, but again, those would be open to people coming in, so I agreed to utility cabinets, which have turned out to be a not-so-great idea, as they are too deep, and have too few shelves to be useful storage, and I have to dig stuff out by taking stuff out. Because the cabinets are so deep, I am not sure more shelves would help.

    I do have some wire racks in the Annex where I store some of my specialty pans, but I would have liked more cabinet space in the kitchen--and FULL shelves in all the lower cabinets rather than this half-shelf nonsense. My husband did put two nice long shelves in one open area, and I have my beans and pastas in glass jars arrayed on the lower one, along with my small recipe binders, and my various kitchen tins on the upper one.

    We were mostly stuck with this kitchen footprint because we wanted to preserve the downstairs bedroom. We did sacrifice one of the two bedroom closets and the closet that was in the entryway to make space for the washer and dryer, as well as the utility cabinets. We had to keep the footprint of the house, or I would have pushed for a mud room, as there is a lot of stuff piled up next to the door by my husband--yes, he who does not want my flour containers out!

    I agree with Aaron about not putting away appliances that get used frequently. My stand mixer stays out, as do my large, medium, and small food processors and the larger bread machine. (The latter was added after the remodel, but there was a nook too small for anything else that holds it nicely, even though I have to move it to use it.

    #36660
    BakerAunt
    Participant

    I should add that a lot of the fancy houses being built in our area to replace modest cottages here often have two kitchens, particularly if they carve out the hillside for a walk-out basement. The idea is that it makes entertaining on the lake level easier.

    #36661
    Mike Nolan
    Keymaster

    We have roll out shelves in all our lower cabinets and in the full height kitchen pantry. Stuff still gets lost at the back of the shelf, though. We recently threw out several boxes of cereal that expired in 2019. (My wife changed her breakfast pattern after her heart surgery, she used to eat cereal, now she eats cottage cheese with fruit.)

    #36723
    BakerAunt
    Participant

    I'm wondering if the lower cabinets could be retrofitted with pull-out shelves.

    I found a bag of King Arthur high-gluten flour with an expiration date of 9/13/18. I'm thinking it should be tossed.

    #36724
    chocomouse
    Participant

    We added pull out shelves in our kitchen about 40 years after we had the house built. Actually, my husband built them. I remember looking at them in 1985, but we were looking to save some money without cutting corners, and they were quite expensive to buy. When you reach a certain age and can no longer get down on your hands and knees to search for old cereal,
    flour, etc., you'll pay most anything for the convenience.

    #36730
    Mike Nolan
    Keymaster

    I found a bag of KAF bread flour from 2016 in the basement a few months ago, I tossed it.

    I can get down to look at stuff, it's getting back up that's the challenge. 🙂

    #36737
    BakerAunt
    Participant

    I find that the half-shelves are a problem when something heavy is stored on them. Instead of sliding it to the edge of the shelf to pick up, it requires holding the heavier dish without support at an uncomfortable angle.

    I believe that people who design these shelves 1) do not cook or bake, and 2) have the idea that people only have a few kitchen items to store. I laugh when I see ads for kitchen organization because, these people have so very little and waste so much room with their artistic storage ideas.

    #36758
    skeptic7
    Participant

    Its like the people who have one little shelf for their books. Or have a whole book case with a couple of books and then some "decorative objects".
    What I don't like is open storage in kitchen design magazines. Everything that isn't used daily would soon be covered with dust or grease. A commercial kitchen can get away with hanging pots on racks since they use everything all the time.

    #36763
    Mike Nolan
    Keymaster

    I find when reading stories that pop up on my iPhone, if the headline is something like "6 best ways to blah blah" or "7 things you absolutely must not do when blah blah" there's a nearly 100% chance that few or none of the suggestions, good or bad, will be useful.

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