artphoto by splunge
artphoto by TheophileEscargot
artphoto by Kronos_to_Earth
artphoto by ethylene





Mecha Wiki

Metachat Eye


IRC Channels



Comment Feed:


29 January 2011

What's on your kitchen counter? What stuff do you keep out/accessible in your kitchen? What do you wish you could but don't have a solution for (and its converse, what did you figure out an awesome solution for so the thing is always at hand?)[More:]

I grew up in a house where practically everything was kept on the counter, but as an adult I've always kept as much as I could out and away; it makes it so much easier to clean down at the end of the night.

Food items: We only keep the stuff we use all the time out, so the pepper mill, the salt bowls, the olive oil. Vinegars and other oils live on a slightly-less accessible shelf, instead.

Appliances: Everything - the coffee mill, scales, FP, etc - lives behind cabinet doors, except for the mixer (too heavy), the blender (too awkward), and the electric kettle and coffee percolator (used too frequently).

We do keep all our pots and pans and baking stuff (half and quarter sized sheets, pie and tart tins, ramekins, etc etc etc, we have a LOT of that stuff) and a lot of dry goods (lentils and beans, dried mushrooms, flours, dried Asian noodles, etc) on a big metro rack across the kitchen, since we use them all frequently. Kitchen stuff (potato brushes, sponge, soap, scouring pad, sink plug) are kept in a ceramic thing by the sink.

What I wish we could figure out a way to keep out and handy: Spices is #1. There's just no good place for one of those magnet boards. I'd like a utensil crock instead of keeping all that stuff in a drawer, too, but can't seem to find one (ridiculous). I go back and forth on the knives - we have only a couple of chef's knives, a big knife for cutting bones, and a paring knife, so we keep them in a drawer with covers. Sometimes I miss having a magnetic strip, though.
For sure, I never leave that much text out in the open.

posted by Doohickie 29 January | 15:31
gahhh! The read more, I fail at it.
posted by peachfuzz 29 January | 15:31
Fixed. ;)
posted by BoringPostcards 29 January | 15:33
Thanks :)

I forgot the other side of our kitchen: We do keep a dish rack, the big cutting boards, and bowls for non-fridge produce out.
posted by peachfuzz 29 January | 15:38
Oh, we're including racks in this? Then, basically, every cooking implement I have is out on a metro rack, on a rolling rack, or in an open cubby over the fridge. Our tiny amount of cabinet space is taken up by dishes (not glasses or plates, which also live in open cubbies) or food. I did stash a few infrequently used items in the least convenient cabinets (the ones I have to crawl over to get to) before I blocked them with a rolling rack full of more useful stuff, but I can't even remember what's in there.

There's just no good place for one of those magnet boards.

I was pretty impressed when I saw this blog post where they attached metal rulers to narrow spaces, then put magnetic spice jars on those. I didn't use it because almost the only place in our kitchen to put it would be over the oven, so the spices would get hot over and over... but the idea is great.
posted by Elsa 29 January | 15:51
Let's see . . . on the counter are bananas, empty beer bottles waiting to be rinsed before going into the bottle bin, TWO radios (okay, one is mounted under a cabinet, but still), a few cds, the rack for drying dishes, a toaster, a very old knife block and knives, a wooden cutting board, a glass cutting board that gets used as a trivet, some cans of cat food, some empty plastic bottles and a thermos (those get used for taking ice tea to work), an old plastic pitcher I should really toss, and three jars that hold coins waiting to be rolled and taken to the bank. Also a pizza crust, a portobello mushroom, half a bottle of wine, and some tomatoes -- guess what's for dinner?

Years ago I bought a paper towel holder that has magnets so it clings to the side of the fridge. This completely solved my previous problem of repeatedly discovering that I had set the paper towel roll down in a wet place.
posted by JanetLand 29 January | 16:14
I hate taking appliances out, I wish we had more room. We have the blender, toaster oven, coffee maker, and panini press out right now (since we have been panini crazy). Spices in a rack that's overflowing, Breadbox, with scale I never use on top of it. Paper towel holder. Cookbook holder with a copy of the Veganomicon.

Sounds like a lot, but the counter is an L shape, cut into 3 sections by the stove and most of it isn't very useful as working counter space anyway.
posted by JoanArkham 29 January | 16:29
Our kitchen is set up so there are several different smallish counters rather than one large one. On one there is the telephone, a little rack for papers that is kind of like a napkin holder and a jar for cough drops. This counter also generally serves as a place for paper clutter to accumulate. I try not to give in to this, but it is difficult.

Between the stove and the sink we have a canister of utensils, the knife block, the butter dish, the sugar bowl, salt/pepper shakers, a stacking set of canisters that hold teabags of different varieties, the teapot (with decorative cozy!), the paper towel holder, and an orchid next to the sink.

On the other side of the sink is another orchid and the compost container.

Across the room is a tiny counter with two fruit bowls and some cookbooks.

On the other side of the fridge is the microwave and a small crate to put the recyclables in. This also is where we stash some of my daughter's art supplies -- a tray of markers, a tray of crayons, a tray of scissors/glue/tape/stickers.
posted by fancyoats 29 January | 17:26
What counter?
posted by gomichild 29 January | 18:11
I think I hear a photo friday theme . . . .
posted by JanetLand 29 January | 18:44
Two cutting boards, KitchenAid mixer, food processor, salt and pepper.

I have a very small, very organized kitchen. I cook a lot, and I can't imagine working in that space if it weren't pretty clear.
posted by punchtothehead 29 January | 18:47
I dislike much of anything on my counter tops: three canisters with white flour, wheat flour, and sugar; three glass jars with spaghetti, white rice, and wild rice; a basket for bread; dish drainer.
posted by rhapsodie 29 January | 21:04
cutting boards, electric kettle (always in use, as I work at home and am never without a cup of tea), knife block, and at the end of the counter there are always the bottles/cans/paper sitting there to be taken out to our recycle bins just down the hallway.

Not much else, I like things clear.
posted by gaspode 29 January | 22:44
gomi = lols

posted by -t 29 January | 22:54
My current apartment has the tiniest counter I've ever had to deal with. It can't be more than maybe three and half feet long. It kind of bites...counter space is not overrated. Not a whole lot of cabinetry either.

So I had to pare down what lives on the counter pretty severely. Got a wire rack which holds most of the pots and pans, some baskets for produce like squash and apples that don't need the fridge, my cookbooks, the breadmaker and waffle maker, and a vintage cooler (which contains the tablecloths).

On the counter are just the coffee maker and the toaster, both in daily use; a bread board and the current loaf of bread and its knife; a peppermill; a small pot of kosher salt; a ceramic airtight coffee container; and a vintage milk-glass spice set my brother got me (looks kinda like this).

There's one laminate undercabinet shelf above that, probably meant to hold mugs. It does hold the mugs, but also a carefully lined-up set of regularly used items. From right to left, it goes: mugs, coffee filters, vitamins, Pyrex measuring cup which also holds a set of dry measures and measuring spoons, a couple ramekins, a pottery cup which holds heads of garlic, and a pottery cup which holds rubber bands and matches and clothespins, all of which I use a lot in the kitchen.

On the stove is a container with some wooden and cooking spoons, kitchen shears, spatulas and the like.

Everything else has to be hauled out just for its own job and put away again. It's like cooking on a boat.
posted by Miko 30 January | 00:03
My kitchen only came with about 18 inches of counter space. There I have 2 jars of utensils, paper towels, salt, and pepper.
I installed a shelf as a counter across the kitchen and on it I keep a basket of fruit and candy, a microwave, and a cutting board. I also have a little cabinet I bought from Target that has on it 2 canisters of sugar, one of flour, and a toaster oven. The pots and pans hang from the wall or go on the stove. The rest is in cabinets or on top of the fridge
posted by rmless2 30 January | 09:55
A cat! Get down! Bad Kitty! *Clap Clap* SHoo! GO AWAY! ah feck it, here's some food.
posted by dabitch 30 January | 10:02
We have a normal kitchen and enormous pantry, and over time have created a set of shelves downstairs which are extension pantry, have moved some appliances into our super enormous storage closet, and bought an extra freezer we keep in the garage. And there are just two of us. But somehow, we never have enough room. We are insane foodies and must have every cool dry good and spice. And I am a gadget queen, so we have at least one of every kind of thing. Result: still not enough room. For example, just went down the giant closet to get the right sized slow cooker for my next Indian dish.

We are good at clutter.
posted by bearwife 30 January | 12:58
Oooh, bearwife, I *so* want a chest freezer so I can buy a share in a cow and pig, but sadly there is no room.

We have a crazy pantry full of all our home-canned stuff and the bulk bags (flours etc) in the laundry room.

This is so interesting! Miko I love milk glass, your spice set must be so pretty.
posted by peachfuzz 30 January | 13:04
planned: Coffeemaker & toaster, crock of utensils, wooden bowl of potatoes, ceramic bowl of theoretically ripening fruit (right now, mangoes that refuse to get ripe), big jars of flour and stuff.

on the stove: salt & peppers

awaiting proper home: bin of dog food.

clutter: plastic weekly meds container, water cup, bowl of sweetener packets, dish of garlic, So Much Mail, catalogs, bits of paper, keys, phone chargers, a branch of dried sage.

posted by theora55 30 January | 19:57
Miko, when I taught intro. computer classes, I described RAM as the computer's counter space. Small counter/low RAM: get something/instruction out then put it away. Plenty of counter space/RAM: keep stuff you're working with/instructions at hand.
posted by theora55 30 January | 19:59
Love the analogy, theora55!
posted by Miko 30 January | 21:18
We used to have almost no counter space. We got a rolling cart for the microwave, coffee pot and cutting boards. Now on the counter we have a basket for bread/bagels, a bowl of fruit, a collection of bottles that are too tall for any of the shelves, and the coffee maker. The sink used to be littered with dish soap, scrubber, etc until I found this fabulous shelf.
posted by toastedbeagle 31 January | 09:59
Thousands of bunnies || The call you don't want to get