One of the good things about starting from nothing is you don’t get stuck with something you hate. I hate electric stoves. I grew up with a gas (propane) stove, and that is what I prefer. Every apartment I’ve lived in has had electric, and I never got used to it. This house didn’t have a hookup, so I checked out various sources and chose one. It was a snowy February day when they came, and I had to shovel a path from the driveway around the back of the house to the kitchen. There were feet of snow two years ago. But I would have shoveled a path from one end of the house to the next if I had to.
I was so excited when they hooked up my stove that I turned on all four burners. It works! We have fire! The first thing I made to eat was scrambled eggs and toast. And coffee of course. Because I didn’t have any cabinets, I bought a curio shelf. Over the past two years, I filled it with some of my small teapots, birds nests that I found in the yard, an old bottle that the frost pushed up out of the ground beneath the yew, and other treasures. It hung between the windows over the rolling kitchen island. That gave me some counter space … when it wasn’t buried beneath stacks of books, mail, and other ephemera.
These photos were from two years ago. It’s a bright room, about ten feet by 14 feet. There are three doorways. As you face the stove, the door behind you leads outside. On your left is the living room. Straight ahead, to the left of the stove, is a room I’ve used as a pantry. I had a set of industrial metal shelving that I stacked all my dishes on as well as my pots and pans.
Here, it looks nice and organized, but I hadn’t finished unpacking when I took this photograph. I added more dishes, and over time, things got jumbled together. I am not the most organized person. As you can see, I started with the pots and pans on one shelf, the glassware on another, the bowls and plates on a third. Now, things are balanced here and there atop one another.
It’s not convenient to store the dishes in another room. It’s not convenient when the pots aren’t in the kitchen. But the worst thing is the dishes get dusty when they are stacked on open shelving. I do not like to grab a pan or a bowl or three and have to wash them before I can use them when I put them away clean.
But now, I have cabinets. February 27, I found these “gems” at the Habitat ReStore in Hudson. (The wine rack wasn’t included.) They’re ugly. They’re missing hardware. They smelled a bit funny. The tops of them were covered with that combination of dust and kitchen grease that seems impossible to remove. I wasn’t sure whether they would even fit in my kitchen. They certainly weren’t going to fit in my car that day. We were on our way to dinner and to see Dar Williams at Club Helsinki, and–knowing the usual state of my vehicle–there probably was too much stuff in the back of my vehicle to put even one cabinet in it. I paid and made arrangements to return in a few days, with two cars, to pick them up.
So now you’ve seen the kitchen, and the cabinets.
How would you put them together?