K is for musing about the kitchen

Preheat the oven to 350F, and put some aluminum foil on the bottom shelf.

kitchen
NOT our kitchen

When my wife and I bought our current house in 2000, one of the things she was anxious to do was to remodel the kitchen. Space is laid out poorly with the stove, the silverware drawer, and the sink inconveniently close. The dishwasher pulls out into the room that is hazardous if there’s more than one person in there at a time.

Even I think a redesign is in order, with the dated cabinets. But it hasn’t happened. Everything else – a new roof, getting rid of the remnants of an aboveground pool, a new bathroom, among other things – has always trumped the kitchen redo. I recently came across an expert service in this regard, and you too can
check here to know more about them. I might even get in touch with them in a few days.

I was thinking about the kitchen I grew up in. It was much smaller, yet was laid out better. We had a gas stove; the trick in lighting the burners was using a matchstick. Once I mastered that, I loved that old gas stove.

When I was in college, living off campus, we had an electric stove. What I hated were those burners that remained hot even after you turned them off. I got mildly scorched a couple times. The other thing about that stove is that it wasn’t always clear which burner you were turning on; the labeling is much better now.

Our current stove is gas, but when the electricity goes out, the starter thingy doesn’t work. What?

My wife is a decent cook and a better baker. I was single for a lot of years so I won’t starve if left alone. But I’d rather wash the dishes, which is what I did a lot as a child.

Removing Rust from a Cast-iron Pan
(done for the first time recently)

Preheat the oven to 350F, and put some aluminum foil on the bottom shelf. Scrub the pan thoroughly with steel wool. Rinse and dry completely. Apply cooking oil, including on the handles. Place pan with the open side down in the oven on the top shelf; the aluminum is in there to catch the excess oil. Leave in the oven for one hour, then let it cool.

For more kitchen tips, you should probably go to someone else’s blog.

For ABC Wednesday

The “joys” of home ownership, kitchen edition

There are also the ongoing issues, such as the oven that you have to set higher than you want.

For all the advantages of home ownership, it does have its downside. In December 2017, for instance, we paid our property tax a month early in anticipation of the new US tax bill, which make itemizing our taxes less advantageous in subsequent years. Or so I understand, because of these things, MEGO (my eyes glaze over).

Our hot water boiler died in December. It actually lasted over 14 years, which, I gather, is a good long time, a decade being the usual functionality, or so I’m told. And the furnace ($4000) was also replaced in 2017.

The pipes to our kitchen sink are near an exterior wall of the house. When it gets really cold, as it did for several days in the past month or so. Our contractor discovered: 1) there’s a small hole under the sink that goes directly OUTSIDE, and 2) there is a heating coil on the piping that burned out. And that was a good thing, apparently, because, it could have shorted and BURNED DOWN THE WHOLE HOUSE. Yikes – not MEGO.

The dishwater has ceased to work. Oh, it still turns on and off. But the dishes don’t get clean because the water doesn’t drain properly. Or really, at all. I used a ShopVac to suck out the excess water a couple times, hoping that it would solve the problem; it did not.

Fortunately, my primary job as a child was Washing the Dishes, by hand of course. I didn’t really mind either because we used to get graded at school on “health” or some such. The space under my fingernails was always dirty UNLESS I had recently washed the dishes. Ah, soapy water.

So those are the immediate problems. There are also the ongoing issues, such as the oven that you have to set higher than you want, 350 if you want 325, 450 if you want 400, but if you set it TOO high, it doesn’t make it above 300.

Or our freezer door that hasn’t closed properly since 2007, when one of my relatives (not my wife or daughter), while I was putting away something in the lower refrigerator section, decided to get something in the upper freezer section AT THE SAME TIME. I didn’t notice, so I stood up and my head and shoulders rammed into the freezer door, making the seal less precise.

When we first moved into the house in 2000, redoing the kitchen, especially the ugly and dysfunctional cabinets, was a goal. We got a new floor, and the aforementioned stove, dishwasher, and refrigerator have all been purchased since 2002.

There’s no money to buy them ALL again, let alone the redo because we didn’t win the lottery. (Oh, yeah, we didn’t PLAY the lottery.) The dishwasher will probably be replaced first since it’s most chronic.

So, to you new homeowners – you know who you are – THESE are the joys of being the landed gentry.