Frivolous Friday: My Kitchen and Garden

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you are aware that we moved relatively recently. Despite the less than pleasant moving in experience, the place has been fantastic. The one sore point for me has been my kitchen.

It is the necessity of apartment kitchens to be somewhat cramped. The fact that a dishwasher was included in our rent as a treat, has not helped matters. Everything would have been fine if the shelves had worked. In our first week, we put up a series of shelves. I had measured everything carefully and gone to the hardware store to pick up all we needed.

The dry wall anchors were rated for 52 pounds each. We were golden, until we actually tried to put things on the shelf. I lost all my summer canning. Hours and hours of hard work spattered across my kitchen. We’re still finding tomato sauce in the weirdest of places.

Over the last few months, I’ve been thinking up ways to make my kitchen easier to navigate for me. Between my increasingly damaged joints, and the weakness from being sick the last several months, having to constantly bend over to get my things and standing for long periods of time, and the darkness from having standing bookshelves, has been making it difficult for me to reliably cook.

My goal is simple: a kitchen with the space to work and have my tools around, while being able to sit and without too much aerobics.

To this end I’ve been working on building corkboards, additional shelves, and even an additional permanent countertop under which we could hide the moveable dishwasher.

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Maple counter top and peg board
maple counter top
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Pegboard with pots and pans
Pegboard with magnetic knife holder, and various kitchen implements.

There’s still a lot of work to do, but once it is done, I will be able to start filming some of my Toking Crohnie’s Twisted Ladle videos, showing off some of the recipes my friends have been begging me to share.

Included in this project, is my kitchen garden.

I worry about money constantly, and with that comes the fear that we won’t be able to afford to buy food. Because of this, I have this constant need to store food all the time. This is one of the reasons I am so seized by a need to can everything in sight during the summer. And why I work so hard to learn new methods of preservation, and of ways to make some of the things we love from home.

As the cost of produce rises, and the amount of money we can expect to have in the coming months drops, my worries have mostly zeroed in on vegetables. I don’t know if I will be able to afford to buy the mountains of local tomatoes necessary to jar my tomato sauces. Or what if I can’t justify the cost of buying pickles to make into my own Polish pickles?

To this end, I’ve bought a bunch of seeds, and two weeks ago, I started planting them.

Our apartment has a great southern exposure, so we get a lot of light during the day which is good. I also managed to get a full spectrum light for the kitchen.

I’ve always had really bad luck with plants, but this time around, I seem to be doing really well. I’ve never really gotten a lot of stuff from seeds, but this time, all of them are sprouting. I have more sprouts then I can reasonably plant around the house and on my balcony!

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I’m really excited by the prospect of growing a significant amount of my own food this summer. Hopefully this translates into some saved money.

Frivolous Friday: My Kitchen and Garden

7 thoughts on “Frivolous Friday: My Kitchen and Garden

  1. 1

    Give the tomatoes enough space
    I don’t know if you have any experience with growing them and I don’t want to tell you things you already know, but I had to learn a few things the hard wAY

    1. 1.1

      I know. I didn’t expect all the seeds to actually grow when I planted them, but this was always just meant as a starter pan.
      I am transplanting many of the pickles this weekend (just waiting until they each have a non-seed leaf).

      My plan is to do 2-3 tomato/pickle plants per large pot, planted in a triangle from each other and with a support thing in the middle.

      That said, I am a newbie when it comes to veggie gardening so I appreciate the advice.

      1. I usually plant about three tomatoes in a 20″ pot
        I started by putting five or six into it an that’s just too much. You also need to cut them off once they’re about a yard tall and remove the shoots that grow in the place where the leaves meet the stem
        “Balconing” is a passion of mine. I mostly want the kids to know how things grow. I also love getting my hands dirty.

          1. Oh, and one last thing: tomatoes must NOT get any rain. If the actual plants get wet they get something called “brown rot” in German. At my place they thrive on the west-faced balcony: lots of sunlight, no rain.

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