Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Kitchen that wasn't made for Cooking

About a year ago I realized that I really didn't like to cook anymore.  It was an odd discovery as I always thought that I did.  I like to eat.  I used to watch a lot of Food Network TV.  I enjoyed looking through cooking magazines and websites.  However, I no longer wanted to cook the food I saw.  I began to wonder what happened.  Why did I not like cooking anymore?  Was it because I felt it was something I HAD to do?  Was it because I was tired after putting in a full days work and running a few miles or going to the gym after work?  Then it dawned on me.  It's my kitchen.

The funny thing is, when we saw our house for the very first time I was quite impressed with the kitchen.  Though it's not 'new' it had a few updates and looked way more impressive than the kitchens in some of the other homes we looked at.  However, looks can be deceiving.  In no particular order, here are some things I dislike about my kitchen.

- We have an electric stove top.  At my previous rentals I had gas stove tops.  I can't count how many times I've boiled things over after turning the heat down/off.  It's a real pain in the butt to have to REMOVE the pot completely!  Not to mention that you can't tell if the burners are still hot.  My hot pads have burn marks all over them because someone kept placing them on the hot burners. (that someone was not me)

- The oven is the size of a pan of lasagna.  For the most part, this isn't an issue since I typically just cook for two.  But, forget about baking a crap-ton of Christmas cookies.  It takes forever.  I'm not even sure a Thanksgiving turkey would fit inside.  I actually had to give away a brand new cookie sheet that I purchased because after taking the sticky tags off and putting stuff on it, I found that it didn't fit inside my oven!  Ugh!  Not to mention that it's older than dirt and is a built in so it's not so easy to get a new (bigger) one.

Old built in oven and electric stove top
- Outlets are hard to come by.  Our counter top is in the shape of an L.  The sink is against an outside wall.  The other side is like an island (peninsula) looking into the dining room.  So, there is one set of electrical outlets in the corner.  It's not in a very convenient spot and we often use an extension cord.

See the outlet on the wall in the corner?
 By the toaster and coffee maker and everything else that needs to be plugged in? 
So annoying.

Extension cord to plug in the crock pot away from all the other crap.
I should note, the crock pot is my favorite method of cooking these days.  Just dump it all in and leave!
- We're short on counter space; both horizontally and vertically.  The upper cabinets hang too close to the counter top.  Blenders, stand mixers, food processors, and anything with a lid or flip top don't fit under it.  I've hit my hands so many times when removing lids they should be callused.  My Kitchen Aid mixer has been used once in this house because I realized I can't use it on my counter.  Again, no Christmas cookies here!  The cabinets also have glass doors.  They look pretty, but I always have to keep the insides nice and display worthy. 

Notice that the blender sits just below the upper cabinets.

Notice how close my hand is to the upper cabinets when I try to remove the lid.  No swiftly removing lids while saying 'Voila!' to showcase your latest creation or you'll be screaming in pain because you crushed your knuckles.  Instead, you must use the tilt and remove method...and hope you don't tilt too far and spill the contents all over.

- Though the kitchen looks slightly 'open concept' with the peninsula separating the kitchen and dining room, having conversations between the two rooms is impossible.  Basically, you talk into the cabinets and the person on the other side can't hear anything.  In order to talk to someone on the other side you have to bend over and talk under the cabinets.

- I don't have a dishwasher and some counter space is used for a drying rack.  I really don't mind not having a dishwasher (Well, I have one.  My husband does not!) but it gets really annoying when guests come over and someone says, "You don't have a dishwasher?" like we live in the stone ages.  Our house was built in 1962.  Dishwashers did not exist then.

I could go on about not having cabinet or pantry space, but I think that is a concern for most people.  Plus, we have enough food in our pantry to feed us for months, I'm sure! 

We've discussed what we would do to the kitchen if we ever decided to break down and remodel.  Some ideas are extreme; get rid of the dining room and make one huge kitchen.  Other ideas aren't as much so.  Maybe we'll just start with a new stove top and work our way up to the gourmet kitchen (because then I will cook gourmet food, right?).  Until then, I'm left with what I've got and thoroughly enjoy the nights we can go out to eat!


  1. I always thought your kitchen was very nice, but never realized it was so user unfriendly!

  2. Good thing Mike enjoys grilling.

  3. I wouldn't get rid of the dining room, but rather remove the kitchen table and expand towards the bathroom. Anyways, if you would like to see what could be done Chris's girlfriend, Andie does all sorts of sketches for remodeling their house and basement. I'm sure she could give you an idea of what could be done and possible cost.