Saturday, January 30, 2016

Saturday: More Kitchen Tidying

Today is a cloudy, overcast day.  Rain in the forecast for tomorrow.

I am feeling fine after yesterday's chemo session.  No nausea.  The only side effect seems to be a dry mouth.  As side effects go, it's very minor.

Today, I have been continuing with kitchen tidying.  This time, I was brave enough to take some "before" pictures, as well!  LOL!

I took a picture of the upper cabinets on either side of and above the stove:

Cabinets Above the Stove

At just under 5-feet in height, I am vertically challenged!  I can barely reach the cabinet above the stove even on tippy toes.  As a result, I tend to store the less used baking pans, the larger juicer, some empty glass jars (used for chutney and jam making, storing spices, etc.), as well as a jar of tiny, dried shrimp (used as a flavoring condiment in some curries).  The stove hood vent takes up the middle of the cabinet.

The cabinet to the left is where I keep the tea/coffee/sugar, etc., which I tidied the other day.  The cabinet to the right is were I keep my jams, chutneys, cooking sauces, corn meal, rolled oats, instant soup noodles, etc.  I cleaned the shelves and tidied it, today.   The picture above was taken before I tidied it.

Immediately to the right of the single upper cabinet shown above (with the chutneys and cooking sauces, etc.), is a double cabinet which is a sort of storage/pantry cabinet:

Storage/Pantry Cabinet

These cabinets take up one of the shorter walls of my kitchen, which measures 8 feet by 10 1/2 feet.

Back to the upper cabinet to the right of the stove:

Upper Right Cabinet: Before

Again, I took everything off each shelf, washed the shelf and replaced the items.   I was able to fit in all the jars of chutney on one shelf; I left the last jar of jam on the uppermost shelf.  I believe I have 2 jars of lemon marmalade in another cabinet, that can go on that shelf with the jar of jam (will retrieve them when I get to that cabinet).  Then, I washed the cabinet door.

Here is the upper cabinet after being sorted through:

Upper Cabinet: After

I am able to reach the items on the lower two shelves; getting a jar of chutney or jam requires the aid of the two-tier step stool.

To the right of the stove (again, my right when standing facing the stove), below this upper cabinet, is another drawer and lower cabinet:

Drawer and Lower Cabinet

The drawer is where I keep mostly baking utensils - spatulas, mixer beaters, measuring cups and spoons, whisks, pastry brush, plus other less used items such as the pizza cutter, ice cream scoop, a melon baller, nut cracker, bottle openers, cork screw, candle stubs, etc.

Drawer: Before

I removed everything from the drawer, damp wiped the inside, washed the drawer organizers (a cutlery tray and a divided tray from a packet of cookies!  I like to reuse whatever is available and on hand.  It's frugal and environmentally friendly.  Then, placed the trays back.


Clean Drawer and Organizers

Then, I sorted through and replaced all the utensils back.  I didn't find anything to toss, at this time, although the green spout was a close candidate.  I did put back two cookie cutters in the container where I store the cookie cutters (in another cabinet).

Drawer: After

Not much of a difference between the before and after - it's hard to keep the utensils drawers neat and tidy, and I probably have too many items in there.  I have three sets of measuring spoons, for example, which might be too many, but when both daughter and I are both in the kitchen, making different things, we find it convenient to have duplicates and triplicates.

The cabinet underneath is where I keep the majority of my small appliances: the waffle maker, blender, hand mixer, juicer, pastry sheet and rolling pin, an electric frying pan at the very back, an electric grill that was a gift which is still in the box, etc.  This is the before picture, but I decided not to rearrange it at this time.  I know what's in there and there really isn't a better way to organize it, so it is OK as is.

Small Appliances Cabinet: Current

I washed the drawer front and the door of the small appliances cabinet.

Back to the last upper cabinet - just the pantry shelves, only:

The Pantry Shelves - Current

This includes my earthquake/emergency supplies, as well.  So, it includes some ready-to-eat kits and boxed mixes, as well.  I didn't take out the items off and wash these shelves at this time.  I might do that another time, when the kitchen area comes around on my cleaning cycle.  This cabinet is tidy enough for my needs, at this time.  Again, I can reach the items on the two lower shelves, but the upper shelves require the use of the two-tier step stool (the top most shelf means climbing on the counter!)

Just below this pantry cabinet, and to the right of the small appliances cabinet, is the corner cabinet:

The Corner Cabinet

There is a two tiered turn-table installed in this corner cabinet to make things more accessible.  I store my cooking pots and pans on the upper tier and my baking supplies and kitchen scales, etc. in the bottom tier.  This cabinet is in dire need of being sorted and the shelves relined, but here is the before picture:

Two-Tiered Turn Table

I washed the corner cabinet doors, today, but I didn't sort through and clean the inside of it.  That will be left for another day - maybe next week, or maybe when the kitchen comes up on my cleaning cycle.  This will be a big deep cleaning job.  Best left for another day when it will be my first job of the day to tackle, when I have more energy, etc.

In other kitchen news, my old 4-slice toaster died on me, yesterday, when I tried to toast my last bagel.  I unplugged it and wiped out the crumbs, etc., and tried it again, but it wasn't working.  Oh, well, I've had it for over 20 years, so it gave me good service.  I had daughter get me a new, 2-slice toaster to replace it.  This new one has adjustable slots to accommodate bagels, unlike my old toaster.

Daughter also bought herself a coffee maker as she has got accustomed to brewed coffee and no longer likes instant coffee.  So, she's been missing her morning coffee when she visits me.   It was OK when she visited less than once a month, but now, she's coming home more often and has been dragging in the mornings!  I need to clear up my counter space to accommodate the coffee maker. 

In the morning, my daughter ran some errands for me and I picked some lemons and curry leaves for her to give to one of my friends when she was out and about.

So that was my productivity for today.  The rest of the evening will be spent reading and/or knitting.

Today, I am grateful for:

- Feeling fine after yesterday's chemo treatment
- Minimal side effects
- Getting more kitchen cleaning and organizing done
- Daughter running more errands for me
- Being able to bless a friend with lemons and curry leaves from my garden

How was your Saturday? 


  1. That's really neat with the cookie tray! I've never even thought about using those, but it actually does seem like it would make a great little organizer!

    My Saturday was good. Did some shopping. Weather was nice so was able to play outside a bit.

    1. Glad you had a good day, Jess. The cookie tray isn't very sturdy, but it serves the purpose and it was free! :) A cardboard box would work, as well, and one could cover it with some paper to keep it looking nice.

  2. I've sometimes used things like cookie trays for organizing. I think my best find was a fairly sturdy tray that once held frozen eclairs. It ended up in a drawer in the office. It's good to know that you are finding enough energy now to tackle your kitchen. Every little baby step helps and encourages the bigger steps! Hugs!

    1. Thanks, Bushlady. I'm doing baby steps - one drawer, one cabinet, etc., at a time. I anticipate that the fatigue from the last chemo session will settle in this week, so, I haven't planned any major cleaning for this week. But if I can get something done, then, that will be a bonus.

  3. Everything looks so clean..Great job.. You have really encouraged me to keep up with my organizing/cleaning kitchen cabinets [I really dislike that chore.ha].
    SO happy you are doing so well, after the chemo.
    Have a great week.

    1. Thanks, Judy. I didn't feel up to doing any cleaning today, so just rested, instead.

  4. Ha! I spotted the recently-identified citrus juicer thingy and the spiralizer in your drawer! As to the lemon marmalade: did you make it yourself? Don't think I have ever heard of this.

    1. Yes, I've no idea how long I've had them before finding out what they were! Yes, I made the lemon marmalade with lemons from my trees. I don't think I followed a specific recipe - just a regular marmalade recipe, substituting lemons for the oranges.


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