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Planning a preserving kitchen

Posted by gail_ish 5a ON (My Page) on
Tue, Jan 29, 08 at 9:16

Hi all,

I hope this is not too off topic. We are planning a new kitchen and as part of the planning, I wrote a mission statement of what I wanted from my new kitchen, and part of it was "enough space for efficient meal preparation & food preservation". The food preservation part came from reading this forum its very addictive, and my mother preserved quite a bit. Also, we live on 37 acres, and I love gardening, so once the renovations are done, I plan to add a large veggie garden (I already have about 100 ft of flower border).

This old property also came with an underground root cellar (I posted some questions about that, a couple of months ago), so I will have lots of storage space.

So, I was wondering if anyone had any tips about kitchen set up, appliance selection or other ideas about how to make the kitchen a more preserving-friendly place. I want to make sure I plan now for such things. What works for you in your kitchen? What doesnt? What would you change? Or fill in the blank "In my next kitchen, it would be so much better if I had "

All the best,
Gail


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Planning a preserving kitchen

Lucky you! The big thing I would want is a stove with sturdy burners that can stand up to the weight of a full canner. And loads of counter space.


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RE: Planning a preserving kitchen

  • Posted by kayskats 7 (usda) 8 (arbor da (My Page) on
    Tue, Jan 29, 08 at 10:12

water spigot tall enough and near enough so that you can fill processing (or pasta) pots without lifting from sink to stove.


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RE: Planning a preserving kitchen

We recently converted a spare bedroom - next to the kitchen - into a pantry - with oodles and oodles of shelves and storage drawers -I love it!

Bejay


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RE: Planning a preserving kitchen

All the above said it well. Lots of counter space, double sink, lots of storage space and my all time [ can't live without] heavy duty gas stove.


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RE: Planning a preserving kitchen

Good ventilation!!


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RE: Planning a preserving kitchen

For sure, a heavy duty gas stove. I love mine for canning ! I would never go back to electric if given the choice. Since I haven't had the opportunity to use one much, I can't really say for sure, but perhaps six burners would be better, too.
I agree, lots of counter space. Some nice cushiony floor mats would help, too. My Cuisinart is another must have for me. Sharp knives and also lots of large bowls. Nice colanders. I like plenty of good utensils and ingredients to use, too. A stash of lots of canning lids and rings, pectin, citric acid, too. I can't stand trying to do something and run out of an item.
I am happy for you to be able to get a new kitchen like that !


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RE: Planning a preserving kitchen

Lucky you! and I'm totally jealous that you have a real root cellar.

The only thing I would add to all of the above is to make sure those wonderful heavy duty gas burners are BIG ENOUGH to hold the BIG kettles and canners. When I say big enough I mean wide enough, that's always been my biggest problem.


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RE: Planning a preserving kitchen

A large pantry. Two sinks in separate locations. I would prefer a larger farmer sink to a double sink and a separate smaller sink. Definitely with high spouts. Six burners gas or propane for sure with a continuous grill so you can slide large pots around. Room for an extra electric burner. Electric outlets at all counter tops.

Zeuspaul


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RE: Planning a preserving kitchen

Counter tops or a butcher block that you can clamp things to like apple corer, Vitorio strainer, etc.

Definitely a deep sink with high faucet for washing/filling canners.

LOTS of counter space, especially on each side of the stove.

Hired help during canning season?? LOL

Handy "mulch bucket" for scraps.

Large fridge for prepping ahead and storage (I haul mine to the extra fridge in the garage).

Shelves designed for jar storage, both empty and full.

Plenty of light so you're not working in the shadows.

Computer desk so you can come here and play!!!

Deanna (awake from my dream now...darn it)


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RE: Planning a preserving kitchen

I think a dishwasher that takes big pots would be good, or maybe those new "drawer" dishwashers, so that you could do a small load of funnels, etc., separate from the big pots.

And I don't think this would apply to you there in Canada, but here in Sacramento I would also want an outdoor kitchen stove area on the patio that I could can on, because everything here gets ripe when it's over 100 degrees outside, and running the canner totally heats up the house at the time I can least afford it.
Carla in Sac


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RE: Planning a preserving kitchen

I have a Wolf restaurant gas range with six burners - it's overkill for everything but parties and canning. I also yanked out my kitchen sink and replaced it with a deep double stainless steel restaurant sink and I love it. The only thing I wish I had is a spigot by the stove for filling pots.
On my wish list - a hanging scale like the one my grandfather used to have. I have the hopper part but the scale got rusty - I've tried to clean it but it doesn't work anymore. I'm making do with a fish scale from the sporting goods store.


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RE: Planning a preserving kitchen

If the scale is a spring type, they tend to be very innacurate after a short time. Springs do lose their tension. Think about a 10 yer old matteress with springs inside. It will eventually sag. Digital or a weight comparison beam scale may be a better choice. Here, I have a small digital that cost me only about $25 and works well for both pounds, ounces, and grams. I also have a triple beam scale that meaaures down to 10ths of a gram. For a spigot near the stove, consider a hose with a attached valve at the end.


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RE: Planning a preserving kitchen

I have to second everyone's great suggestions for your dream kitchen! I had the chance to create my own dream kitchen 5 yrs ago and I'm loving it! I agree with lamalu about a 6 burner range - I have one and it's a bit of overkill, but I am happy with the performance (it's a Thermador). I also have this wall unit that I need to rave about :) Instead of a double oven, it's a microwave/warming drawer/electric oven. I use that oven the majority of the time since the one on my range is enormous. I LOVE having the warming drawer and really recommend one.

Also, in 2 of my lower kitchen cabinets, I have this pop-up stand thing. I put my Cuisinart in one and my Kitchen Aid mixer in the other. It's really handy. (If you want a picture, send me a message, and I can email you one - I don't know if I'm describing it well enough.)

Another thing I did, that people thought I was a bit strange for, was that I have a large island (4x6 ft) that has nothing on it (no sink, stove or seating). I love it because it means I have lots of open countertop space available for big projects (like baking or canning).

I have a large pantry and if you have space available, definitely include that in your plans. Mine is the size of a walk in closet and it even has kitchen cabinets in it (I keep small appliances that I don't use often and canning jars inside).

I loved doing my kitchen and I hope you will too! Good luck!


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Oh darn - I was really hoping someone would jump on and say my grandfather's scale is salvageable - I just love the way it looks.

I don't see how I could attach a garden hose to my sink faucet or maybe I'm not reading right?


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RE: Planning a preserving kitchen

The garden hose could be plumbed in, with a hose faucet coming off the water line underneath the sink. As to the scale, you might want to do a search on eBay, as thats a place where you can find almost anything. I wish I had my baker grandfathers scale. He used a big one in the bakery that had all the weights.


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RE: Planning a preserving kitchen

Correct height of work surfaces can prevent back aches and generally make the work more pleasant. Think about this when deciding on cutting surfaces, sink heights, etc. Make them correct for you. Standard heights may not be the best. Too bad about the next owner of the house!

How about a long, shallow sink like a photographer's darkroom sink instead of a counter, for cleaning and chopping vegetables and filling containers? It would contain the mess and be easy to keep clean. You can't hose down a counter, but you can hose down a sink.

Speaking of sink height, be sure it's easy to get a large pot under the spigot.

And, as Ken said, VENTILATION!!!

Jim


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RE: Planning a preserving kitchen

Wow,

Thanks all for all the great tips. It won't be a large kitchen - the room is 18x14. The house is a 150-year-old log house, and that room has 3 large windows (2ftx31/2') two in the area where the cabinets are going, which can't be changed to anything smaller since we could never fix the logs to match. This will limit the number of upper cabinets I have & pretty much determine where the appliances go (sink under one window, stove in the corner & fridge on the interior wall). I am planning a 'G' shaped layout, and want to make every inch count. It will also increase my counter space A LOT I currently have about 2 feet on one side of the sink, 3 feet on the other, and I use the freezer next to the stove.

I have been reading everything on the Kitchens Forum at THS, but theres not a lot of talk about how they use their kitchens, so I definitely wanted some real life advice.

We havent gotten around to picking out new appliance, but your advice about stoves will come in handy I never thought about sturdiness before.

Ventilation will a big thing we moved into this house & there was none! No bathroom fans or stove fans!! Mind you, it had the original windows, wavy glass & all, which were not well sealed, so Im sure there was a lot of air passage. But when I boil water for pasta, etc, the windows fog up. And lets not talk about if I burn something!

Were out in the country, so have no gas lines, so gas is out, unless we go propane, but I hate those tanks. However, I need to come up with something to hide the well which is 2 feet from the house, so I maybe could put the tank there & screen it all off

Were planning lots of drawers & every organizing gadget I can to make place for all the paraphernalia toe kick drawers, Rev-a-Shelves, and built in shelves. (If you havent seen Rev-a-Shelves, check out the link below & see what you can do with 3 inches!) Were even putting in pocket doors to the room & to the basement so they wont open into the room

Kgardeninma your microwave/warming drawer/electric oven sounds intriguing Is it one unit that does all 3, or 3 different items all stacked up? What is/are the brand name(s) & where did you get it/them? I know the pop-up thing youre talking about a lot of the Kitchen forum people rave about them. I wont have room for a pantry, but will have shelves built into the top of the basement stairs to take advantage of the wasted space. And on the kitchen side of the stairs, Im planning a recessed shelf or cupboard up by the ceiling where I will house my very own TV facing the counter.

Jimster I will definitely make the counters to my height because there wont be a next owner until Im dead & gone this is our forever house. Some day if funds & energy allow, I have dreams of adding on to this old place, including a large kitchen, breakfast area, dining room, family room, and more bedrooms, all in period style getting a reclaimed old log house & have local stone for the rest. But until that day comes, I want to make what I have as workable as I can.

Well, this has been a rather long post for me, but I was very excited that so many people wanted to be helpful. I really appreciate it. And if anyone else has suggestions, Id love to hear them!

All the best,
Gail

Here is a link that might be useful: Rev-A-Shelf


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RE: Planning a preserving kitchen

  • Posted by gran2 z5 INDIANA (My Page) on
    Fri, Feb 1, 08 at 15:09

It has been so much fun reading everyone's fantasies! I'd like to add one more possibility to the list. Our old house came with a small porch which we incorporated into the kitchen. There as a large, deep sink for hand-washing before the farmers came into the house, and it is totally indespensible. The vegetables all stop there for washing and sorting, and the big pots can be filled or rinsed there too. Keeps the regular sink decent for food prep. I'd love to have a stainless counter top too. I drool over the ones at the restaurant supply store. We have one nearby, and they have scads of used equipment that I'd snap up in a minute if I had a "clean slate" to work with.


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RE: Planning a preserving kitchen

No piped in gas here either. The next door neighbor has a special rider on his insurance policy that covers damages caused by an exploding underground propane tank. Its HUGE and is a time bomb placed between our houses. Maybe he feels secure, but I don't..


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RE: Planning a preserving kitchen

Gail, don't worry about having an electric stove. Just make sure it has enough heat to handle a large canner. They make special larger-diameter, sturdier elements that can be plugged into the same stove outlet as long as there's room in the indentation where it sits. Talk to the appliance seller about that.

When I lived in an apartment with an electric stove, I really wanted gas for canning. But my boyfriend's house had an electric stove with bigger burners and those were fine for canning. Electric burners transfer heat more efficiently, so you are paying less for energy and are heating up your house a little bit less too. Plus gas stoves seem to leave more residue from incompletely burned fuel, vs. just the normal kitchen grease that settles onto things. There are pros and cons to all kinds of stoves. I'm sure your new kitchen will be fantastic!

Melissa


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RE: Planning a preserving kitchen

I love...love...love my 6-burner wolf range. I can keep on canning and prepare dinner at the same time!!! WOW...I never thought I would be able to do that but I can and do!!!

I do have a prep sink near my range which is a great help during canning season. And I do love my copper prep sink. But now that I've been in my new kitchen since July '07, I wish I had installed a single farm sink as my prep sink. I have a double farm sink as my clean up/main sink which is under counter and lower and is so much easier to work at. So a single farm sink as a prep would have been perfect.

Michelle


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RE: Planning a preserving kitchen

I mentioned the pantry above - which has been the "light of my life" especially because I can store the heavy duty appliances - meat grinder, ice cream maker, meat slicer, or heavy duty bread mixer - when not in use.

My pantry shelves were bought at a store called Ikea. These are the shelves that I use for storing my finished canned goods, and were assembled at home at considerable savings. I intend to buy a few more. They come in modules, and can be fitted to a lot of those "out-of-the-way places, where other shelves would be more difficult to install.

In addition, Ikea has a table (also a do-it-yourself) that is similar to a butcher block style and the cost is so very reasonable. I have this across from my regular cabinet counter space where I can set up any of those applicances that I don't use every day - that are otherwise stored in the pantry. It also comes in handy -when things begin to get cluttery elsewhere - as it catches a lot of things that need a place to be out of the way in a hurry.

My small kitchen has turned out to be quite efficient - thanks to the pantry and the butcher block type table. I felt I saved considerable money by assembling the shelves and table myself.

Granted, the pantry is a true luxury - in our location where storage is hardly thought of by the builders of small homes - but we needed a bathroom installed anyway, and a spare bedroom was used to create it - leaving space for my lovely pantry.

Bejay


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RE: Planning a preserving kitchen

Gail, you started this thread hoping it was not off topic. As you can see, it is appropriate as could be.

Jim


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RE: Planning a preserving kitchen

It seems like everyone has chimed in on this post! What a great thread to read - I thought I had everything in my kitchen, but there are still a few ideas that I didn't even think of!

My grandmom had lower height countertops in her kitchen. My grandfather did them for her since she was only 5'1" - it made baking and canning so much easier for her. So if you're on the shorter side, that would be a nice touch.

As for my 3 unit combo - it is actually 3 seperate items but they are sold as 1 unit by Thermador. The top is a microwave, the middle the warming drawer and the bottom, the electric oven. It's nice for me for a few reasons. The micro and warming drawer are too high for my 2 young kids to mess with ;) and the oven is electric as opposed to the one that's on my crazy huge 6 burner gas range. I am in love with the unit - definintely worth checking out. Thermador is a good oven - mine are both convection ovens as well, although I don't use that option much.

I also have the pot-filler faucet that people talk about and it's really handy, especially for canning. Mine looks like an arm with "joints" to extent over the range. My BIL/SIL put their cooktop in their island. They couldn't use the same potfiller because there's no wall - so they just have a Grohe faucet (hand spray is built into the main faucet) right next to their cooktop - works the same way. Just in case your cooktop doesn't have a "back".

This is going to sound strange, but in my "previous" life (aka pre-kids life), I was a chemist, so a lot of my ideas came from my life in the lab. Lots of countertop space, cookbook storage in the kitchen, deep sink with faucet that looks like an upside down hook. I even wanted soapstone counters to mimic a lab, but I got vetoed by DH. We have black granite instead...which by the way is a great option - can put stuff right from the oven or stove onto the counter without a second thought!!

Please let us know what you decide to do, because I'm sure people are living vicariously through you :)

Karen (Garden in MA)


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RE: Planning a preserving kitchen

Silstone is another counter material that is cheaper and lighter weight than granite or soapstone. Wish I had the $$ and space here. Everything I do is stored away when not in use. Even that storage closet his packed full of all kinds of gadgets and stuff to make sausages and cured meats.


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RE: Planning a preserving kitchen

Gail, I know you are working in a small space, but I have to echo Bejay in saying I love my pantry. My apartment has a 4'x8' pantry with lots of shallow shelves that holds all my store-bought food (mostly beans, grains, and beer). I also have a spare bedroom that I use as a craft/ironing/drying-rack room, and the closet in there holds all my canned goods and empty jars as well as all my canning appliances and other infrequently used appliances (and one shelf for crafts and games). In that closet I have a 4-shelf wire rack of the type with four metal rods in the corners and plastic wedges that fit around the rods to hold up the shelves at whatever height you like. I don't know what I would do without this storage space, and it's really nice to have both areas in enclosed closets to limit the amount of dust.

Melissa


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RE: Planning a preserving kitchen

It occurred to me that I forgot another good reason for my pantry.

It's still a bit coolish here - (I can understand all you gardeners out there who are getting a bit fidgity about now), but I just had to start some new Marzano tomato seeds that I just got from Seeds of Change. (Hopefully with high acid in their genetic systems).

But another use for my pantry - I have flourescent lights set up beneath the upper shelves - so that I can start my garden seedlings on the shelves below.

Tho - the pantry is not heated, the flourescent lights shed some heat and I cover the seed cups with a plastic bag (snug as a bug in a rug) at 70 degrees temps.

I can check them every day and not have them in the way otherwise. The same area was great for my fermenting pickles and sauerkraut last summer. I even used my grow lights to warm up the kraut to keep it fermenting. LOL.

Love that pantry!

Bejay


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RE: Planning a preserving kitchen

Hi all,

Wow still taking notes!

Bejay were actually thinking of getting an IKEA kitchen theyre such good quality & reasonable! There are quite a few cabinet makers out here (in the country), so they might be cheaper Im hoping to start a little research on that soon. Otherwise, itll be IKEA! And if you like starting seeds, you should check out the concept of Winter Sowing. Theres a forum right down practically at the end of the list. Basically, you plant seeds in pots with a covering, & put them right outside. The weather mimics Mother Nature, but theyre protected from bugs, birds & bacteria, and it often results it stronger, earlier-blooming plants. The WS forum is as friendly & active as this place, with all topics of growing are discussed.

Melissa Im still hoping for an addition someday (when all the renovations are done to the original house), so I havent given up my dream of a big walk-in pantry someday

Karen I think Im going to have to check out a Thermador ;), and rethink my ideas for a pot-filler. I was thinking no, but you make it sound so handy. Were just finishing setting up the upstairs, so we probably wont be starting til spring, but heres few pictures to show off how hard we worked upstairs:

Drywall stage:
Photobucket

Painted:
Photobucket

Flooring (Reclaimed barnboard from a neighbour that we installed, stained & varnished):

Photobucket

Baseboard trim:
Photobucket

Trim & Tua:
Photobucket

Now to do the same for the next floor - phew!

Talk soon!
Gail


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RE: Planning a preserving kitchen

Sounds like you are having fun. Most people's kitchens are designed by people who don't cook, and certainly not by those that can food. Since you get to design your own, walk around it in your head. Pretend you are canning pickles. Where do you go to get your pans and jars and put them down, prepare the ingredients, heat them, cool them, store the finished ones?

Don't forget hooks to hang towels, aprons, potholders, whatever. A cookbook holder is important as is more than one paper towel holder - 1 movable for counters, 1 attached to wall near hand washing sink. A tall wastebasket and a swing-top or step-on compost collector are important and your floor plan should include them as a piece of floorspace not as a later thought or you'll end up falling over it or have it block a door/drawer/appliance. My wastebasket is built in with a toe press to open forward at the end of a base cabinet but I forgot about the compost bucket.

As for counter tops, I put in laminate (Formica-type), so easy to keep clean, and a 2" high bull nose tile back splash (easy to install right on the drywall). Next to the stove and prep sink I have 12" ceramic tiles that I put felt pads on the bottom corners. These really cheap "trivets" are great for hot pots, however, if you have a big enough stove, then they can be slid over to a cool burner.

Indispensable are drawers for utensils. I also have one just for jar lids and bands. Hopefully you thought about wash ability and used semi-gloss paint. Your ceiling lights should be covered, and under cabinet lighting is a must in the middle of winter.

I am fortunate to have a separate canning kitchen in a detached building/workshop that my DH and I are finishing out. It is a completely enclosed room. I checked with the Dept of Ag on what was required to get it inspected and approved so that I can sell my canned and baked goods at my local farmer's market. A lot of rules that make complete sense if you think about it (like no indoor pets - not even in another part of the structure, covered lighting, hand washing sink separate from the prep sink, a place for mop and a drain outside the kitchen area, a nearby bathroom with a sink, and thermometers in the refrig, fzr, and oven, pH test strips or meter, proper labeling, registration with the FDA, etc.). And, I had to complete the FDA Acidified Foods Better Process Control school to be certified to sell pickles and relishes (no home pressure canned food is ever allowed to be sold according to the FDA). You can make jelly and baked goods without the school, but your kitchen has to be inspected before you can sell them. If you think you may ever want to sell your canned goods, you might want to check it out with your Dept. of Ag. or the County Extension office.

Nancy the nancedar


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I remember years ago, when my siser had bought her brand new house. Three months later, she was boiling something on the electric stove and forgot about. Her husband bemoved teh very hot pot onto the formica top next to the stove and it left a 6 inch deep burn in the formica, even to this day. It looks ugly and will not be easy to repair, as the formica would all have to be replaced. Trivets are fine, but even a metal pad about 12x24 inches, with a padded bottom (used to be asbestos!) would protct teh nearby counter tops. Many of todays counter top materals are not easily damaged by heat, sharp knives, or anything that may hit and chip them. Formica does NOT come under that catagory, however.


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I do have one complaint about the toaster oven that I have. It becomes quite hot on top, especially. I'm always wondering if someday, I'm going to forget and put a potholder on top of it. Usually they are removed when in use, but otherwise, they land there.

Perhaps a piece of asbestos to put on the top would be a "band-aid" but it would be nice if the manufacturers would handle the problem before selling to the public.

Off the soap box now, Fido.

Bejay


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  • Posted by gran2 z5 INDIANA (My Page) on
    Sat, Feb 9, 08 at 16:32

the reclaimed wood flooring looks fantastic!

Someone got off on countertops. We have corian in our rv, but I nearly fainted when I got the price estimate for the kitchen at home. We improvised using extra flooring tilse (they were large 8x8 inch quarry tiles), 3 tiles wide with an oak trim piece to hold in place. It's been over 20 years nd I'm still pleased. The grout has probably stained a bit but it's ALL stained so who'd notice. the tiles haven't cracked in the countertop though they've craced on the floor. they scrub easily and are tough and were relatively cheap. I'd do it again for sure. The oak molding was custommade, but Lowe's sells it -- kind of a u-shape with a trough in the center for the plywood that you use for a base.


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Gail - what a great job - love those floors! It brings back a lot of memories (many of them on-going) about this "old house" we have been renovating (since 1969).

It has a lot of concrete and redwood in it, which I assume is why it is still standing.

My son initiated the idea of putting in cedar board walls -with 6 ft. wide boards - in a "V" shaped pattern on all of the walls - and also cedar boards going up to a peaked ceiling. With lots of southern facing windows, it has become a very warm, friendly home. We left the boards unfinished too.

We never could have afforded to buy a new home in this neighborhood - but we have been fortunate enough to be able to do a lot of the labor ourselves.

bejay


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Hey Gail, where in ON are you? We have family in SW ON and my husband is really itching to move back....I would love to have one of those old brick farmhouses that you see dotted across the countryside. It would mean giving up 4 season gardening, but we'll see..


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RE: Planning a preserving kitchen

Thanks Gran & Bejay for your compliments on the floor. It was a bit of work, but worth it.

Gran - I was actually thinking about using tiles for our countertop as our budget will be tight - the kitchen will be pretty much the last big project. I was thinking some nice floor tiles, so I get granite without the price :)

Hi Dutchgirl - I'm in Eastern Ontario. I work in Ottawa, and live about 45 minutes west, near Perth (voted Ontario's prettiest town). We used to live in the Ottawa suburbs, but I grew up in the country, so I wanted to move back. And then we found this place for a steal because it needed so much work. Eventually, Id like to add another log house as an addition there are lots of log home builders in our area, including ones who do reclaimed log houses.

I love those old red-brick houses too. I grew up in Quebec & that architecture style is very different than Ontario, & I always admired them. Another thing you see quite a bit here are old stone houses, but theyre all WAY expensive even in the middle of nowhere. I never thought Id like a log house, but its grown on me at least the old ones have. I dont like the new log houses that are stained brown.

Heres a picture of ours last summer:

Photobucket
The kitchen will be the left side of the house - so there's that window in the front & at the side (actually, there's also one at the back, but it won't impact where the cupboards go - the other 2 will)

All the best everyone!
Gail


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I prefer the look of quality ceramic tile to granite for counter tops. If you use tile pay attention to the edge. I have tile in the kitchen now. Any liquid spill runs right off the counter and onto the floor through the grout channels. You can avoid this with a specialty tile at the edge that has a rounded edge that rises a bit.

Zeuspaul


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If your needing a cutting surface that will hold up to knives, suggest contacting a local plastic supplier. I bought a few sheets of 24"x36" by 1/2 inch thick pieces of whitish, clear polypropylene, which is food grade. I used my table saw to cut it down to two useful sized sheets, and placed small adhesived backed rubber feet on the underside. It helps keep my knives from going dull, as well as prevents damages to formica. I have had this chunk for over 20 years now and its still in great condition , as I use most every day for cutting something on the counter. The cost of an actual decent cutting board, would be triple the cost of this material. I use a wide metal scraper when doing cleanings after I cut up meats. You would be surprised at how much is missed in the slightly rough (from all the knife cuts) surface of the polyprop plastic.


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One other item that I have found extremely useful - a pot hanger on the wall over my butcher block table. As my kitchen is so small, there isn't room for an island table with a pot hanger, but the wall opposite my working area serves the purpose of the lack of extra storage cupboards.

It has 12 hooks to serve a variety of pots, fry pans, sieves, hand mixer, oft-used utensils, etc. On top - a shelf catches other seldom used utensils. This allows more room in my tiny kitchen cupboards for the rest of my usual baking dishes.

As Linda Lou mentioned in her post, having mats on the floor where most of the work is being done, helps tremendously also. I bought 4 heavy-duty rubber mats decorative - from Home Depot) to lay end-to-end on this area, and it saves a lot of wear and tear on the feet and legs during heavy canning times. Also easy to pick up, clean with the hose, and they are ready to go again.

Just my 2 c's.

Bejay


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My dad attached a 3x4 foot peg board behind a door to our cellar. I hang pots, and most anything else that has a hole in the handle. A counter top that has a clearance under it so a stool can be placed there. You can easily sit while doing some things. Another thing is a counter that has a step with two levels. The higher level step for machines like a Villaware, and a lower step for the larger sized pans that would be placed under the output area next to the machine.


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RE: Planning a preserving kitchen

Hello, All,

Great suggestions. We're also in the midst of planning a preserving kitchen. Just bought an old farmhouse & weren't planning on demolishing the kitchen yet, but decay changed our minds.
One of the things I plan to do is get a slant-front sink. I spend a lot of time at the sink prepping veggies for canning, and I'd like to be able to do it from a stool due to back problems. I've seen a soapstone one, any other sources for something like this?
Thanks,
Kay


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RE: Planning a preserving kitchen

There are also synthetic composite soapstone products, a bit cheaper and lighter in weight. For working at a sink sitting down, you also need clearance for your legs in front of the sink. Sometimes, when I have lots to deal with I will pull a chair up to the sink. Its not lowered or customized, so I have to sit on a side to get close to the faucet and sink. Wish mine had two basins.


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RE: Planning a preserving kitchen

I have a new sink that DH installed for me. It has two sections, one is very large and deep, the other is the size of a standard sink. I can get my large canner into my larger side and fill it with water. We are shopping now for just the right facet. Because the one side is so deep, the facet doesn't have to be so tall. I just love it. We found it at Lowe's.
Donna


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RE: Planning a preserving kitchen

The synthetic stuff similar to soapstone is called 'Sylstone' or similar. Also get hit high enough so a garbage disposal will fit under it.


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RE: Planning a preserving kitchen

bump to save off the last page - lots of good suggestions


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RE: Planning a preserving kitchen

Wow, I am amazed at all the wonderful suggestions, and they are especially appreciated after spending the day making preserves and jellies. There are many of these ideas that I can implement in my own kitchen for very little money, so thank you all!

Gail, your house is wonderful. We live in a 100 year old bungalow in north Florida that we are slowing restoring. It's a lot of work, but we enjoy every minute of it.

My suggestion would be to have a couple of shelves that are softly lit to display your preserving efforts. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing those gleaming jars lined up, waiting to be enjoyed.

Good luck with your kitchen! We need to see the grand finale when it's done.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cowlick Cottage Farm


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RE: Planning a preserving kitchen

The big thing I would want is a stove with sturdy burners that can stand up to the weight of a full canner.

I agree. Exactly what I was going to say. Make sure you buy the 941 canner. I love mine. Had it for 30 years now. Nothing like being able to do 19 jars in one shot.

Nancy Bubel wrote a book on root cellars. I am reading it now. title Root Cellaring. I am sure your library can get it for you.

I would want lots of shelf space to store everything. floor to ceiling. good and strong shelves and wide to hold more.


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RE: Planning a preserving kitchen

Only one advice from me- dont use Corian DuPont for kitchen counter top-I have it and it cracked twice!!!


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