Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Happiness in My Kitchen

We started a little science project this weekend. courtesy of 60+ bulbs that I had ordered from our fall fundraiser at school but never planted. When you are co-running the fundraiser, working, and being an actual parent at the same time, guess what? There's not much time left over for bulb planting. Thought we would try forcing the bulbs to see what happened. Some of them already had little shoots. They may not bloom, they may give us franken-flowers, but it should at least be interesting.

Recipe: bulbs, shallow-ish dish, pebbles, water not quite to the bottom of the bulbs.

Here we have 20 crocuses in the white wavy dish, 3 hyacinths in the footed glass dish, 30 tulips in the cream pie plate, and another 10 tulips in the glass bowl. If nothing else, this will make me smile.

This made me think about the other touches I've added to the kitchen over the past few months to make it better, more workable, and a happier place for me.
#1 - Fruit/veggie basket. Ok, it's technically called a plate rack, but at $16.99 from Target, whatever, I love it. It's just what I had been looking for...for several years. You see, the problem with most multi-level racks like this is that they are too tall to fit under the upper cabinets. And I really wanted it in this exact spot. This one just fits underneath (although you can't pull it directly out because of the lip under the bottom, you have to tilt it a bit). And it has 2 levels - so you can put smaller produce up top and bigger produce in the bottom, with plenty of room to reach in a grab something, like when your 8-year-old wants a banana. Note the open grid to let your produce get some air! But you can clearly see that I need to go to the grocery store because all that's left is tomatoes. Other fruit/veggies are in the fridge, I swear!

#2 - Baker on island. (from Sur La Table) This was a gift from my mom for my birthday. I love it, and want to keep it out instead of baking with it and storing it somewhere. So...voila, the perfect place to keep the "caca" papers as my friend, Claudia, calls them. School stuff, random to do lists, whatever. It's the perfect size to contain all the papers (10 x 14), and it's easy to shift onto another counter if you need to use the whole island. A definite improvement both aesthetically and organizationally. The papers were getting lost over by my laptop.

#3 - Utensils & seasonings. The flower pot is from an earlier purchased-from-Target bulb experiment. (Calla liliy bulbs with soil, it was even a Smith& Hawken product, total failure) But the pot is fantastic for all the spatulas, ladles, etc - a perfect size, just broad enough at the top. And I love the color. The tray keeps all the frequently used seasonings in 1 spot, right next to the stove - veggie & olive oils, salt in the lovely olivewood salt keeper I got Chef Hubby for his bday, and both pepper grinders (auto & manual) It's all nicely contained. Very handy and helpful! (A tip from Tyler Florence's latest book, which I highly recommend - great all-around resource on kitchens, cooking, techniques, tools, etc.)

#4 - Electric tea kettle. (from Macy's, and yeah, it's always on sale for $69.99 there) I love my tea. I'm not much of a coffee person - I love the smell of it, but need to add so much milk and sugar to drink it that I may as well just have a milkshake. I start every day with tea, and usually have several cups in the afternoon. It's a total comfort thing. So a healthy choice for me. Hubby got me this tea kettle for Christmas a few years ago and it just rocks. Super quick and the kettle detaches from the corded base to pour. How cool is that?

Humble Pie had a great posting about the kitchen earlier today. It really is the heart of the home. We all spend so much time there. It should be a happy place. So find something in your kitchen to make you smile...


Lissa said...

cute post! What a fun read!

sparrowsandsparkles said...

I really love the idea of the baker to hold papers! I have a little spot of counter between my kitchen desk and the ovens that just gets cluttered and overflowing with papers! Then every now and then I panic about a spotless kitchen and shove it all in a cabinet and that's how I go about nearly missing bills and letters from school ,etc. So this is a great idea, thanks!