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BS: kitchen re-do. also spices

GUEST,leeneia 14 Mar 12 - 04:00 PM
gnu 14 Mar 12 - 04:15 PM
GUEST,grumpy 14 Mar 12 - 04:50 PM
Bill D 14 Mar 12 - 05:12 PM
Stilly River Sage 14 Mar 12 - 07:30 PM
Bill D 14 Mar 12 - 08:45 PM
Jeri 14 Mar 12 - 08:51 PM
Bert 14 Mar 12 - 09:03 PM
Janie 14 Mar 12 - 09:18 PM
Bobert 14 Mar 12 - 09:37 PM
GUEST,leeneia 14 Mar 12 - 09:37 PM
Stilly River Sage 14 Mar 12 - 09:46 PM
Janie 14 Mar 12 - 09:47 PM
Stilly River Sage 15 Mar 12 - 12:19 AM
Richard Bridge 15 Mar 12 - 04:33 AM
GUEST,leeneia 15 Mar 12 - 10:45 AM
Stilly River Sage 16 Mar 12 - 01:27 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Mar 12 - 02:17 PM
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Subject: BS: kitchen re-do. also spices
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 14 Mar 12 - 04:00 PM

The Dear Husband and I have been looking at books about kitchen remodeling. Did you know there's a "Volvo principle" which says that at any time a first-class kitchen re-do will cost about as much as a loaded Volvo station wagon? (I do not intend to get sucked into that.)

Anyhow, we've been looking at all the granite counters and fancy cabinets, and I've been noticing certain discrepancies. Such as the impressive kitchen that holds only four dinner plates and five cereal bowls. Or the granite snack bar with a box of Froot Loops on it. Froot Loops!?!

Many times an author suggests that I keep the spices handy - right near the stove. And sure enough, there they are in the picture - the salt, the pepper and two orangish bottles, probably cinnamon and chili powder. If you've decided to go beyond Froot Loops, what more do you need?
=============
Maybe it's a generational thing, but I just counted my spices. (I include seeds such as dill and caraway in my spices.) I have about 54 spices, and I keep them in the refrigerator. I believe that heat is bad for them, so I would never keep them near the stove.

Today I needed Herbes de Provence and discovered to my dismay that we were almost out. So I looked up the ingredients and mixed my own. I had everything needed except summer savory. (Not bragging, just reporting.)

I remember with fondness my mother's collection of herbs. She had them in matching bottles and had painted flowers and labels on them herself. She was quietly proud of her little work of art. How I wish I could go back to that yellow kitchen and watch her sprinkle basil on something!

Well, that's it - I just wanted to share some thoughts.


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Subject: RE: BS: kitchen re-do. also spices
From: gnu
Date: 14 Mar 12 - 04:15 PM

No summer savory? WHAT?! In Kent County, New Brunswick, Canada that is illegal.


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Subject: RE: BS: kitchen re-do. also spices
From: GUEST,grumpy
Date: 14 Mar 12 - 04:50 PM

'I keep them in the refrigerator'

Absolutely bad tactics. Some spices need to age to gain their full flavour.


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Subject: RE: BS: kitchen re-do. also spices
From: Bill D
Date: 14 Mar 12 - 05:12 PM

Advice on storing spices

(short answer... refrigerator or freezer is 'ok', but air-tight is the essential thing.)


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Subject: RE: BS: kitchen re-do. also spices
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Mar 12 - 07:30 PM

I keep the various jars on revolving trays in the cupboard next to (but not above) the stove. Or in sealed plastic bags. And much of the herb I use now comes from the yard. Rosemary, basil, oregano, coriander, thyme, bay leaf. Every time I brush past the rosemary I want to head into the kitchen to roast a chicken. ;)

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: kitchen re-do. also spices
From: Bill D
Date: 14 Mar 12 - 08:45 PM

Oh, I can't cook chicken without Rosemary! I am not a serious, regular cook, but I have my moments, and they usually involve good spices.


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Subject: RE: BS: kitchen re-do. also spices
From: Jeri
Date: 14 Mar 12 - 08:51 PM

I have to say that I keep a couple things in the fridge, but most of them are in the freezer. I have, on occasion, had moth webs inside. I know the eggs are already in there and I don't use things fast, so the freezer works for me, and it keeps them fresher.


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Subject: RE: BS: kitchen re-do. also spices
From: Bert
Date: 14 Mar 12 - 09:03 PM

Sage and onion also works well with chicken.

Also we keep Indian spices for chicken such as Curry, Biryani and Tandoori. We used to mix our own but now we just buy packets or paste.

The best thing to do with spices is use them up fast;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: kitchen re-do. also spices
From: Janie
Date: 14 Mar 12 - 09:18 PM

I'm in the slow and gradual process of doing a low-end kitchen redo, leenia. I'm not going to love it when I've done what I can, but at least I won't hate it anymore and it will be significantly more functional than it is now.

Whoever designed this kitchen should be shot.


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Subject: RE: BS: kitchen re-do. also spices
From: Bobert
Date: 14 Mar 12 - 09:37 PM

Well, here's another thought...

Seein' as you are in the design stage, there a base cabinets that have shallow drawrers... Perfect for layin' spice jars on their sides with labels up... Very efficient and next to the range??? One or two is all you should need... The bees knees...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: kitchen re-do. also spices
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 14 Mar 12 - 09:37 PM

Poor bunny! Do people helping out cross your work triangle? I learned that that is a problem in my kitchen. People setting the table have to cross the path between fridge, stove and sink to get to the dishes. Bad idea.

Don't forget to put in something pretty. I love tile. I have 1-inch tiles near my stove which look gray until light moves across them, they have show soft rainbow colors.

I saw an article in the paper which said that most professional people between 20 and 40 regard the kitchen as mere decor. That's a lot of money for decor. I would rather buy the Volvo. (see first post)

SRS, those herbs in the yard sound really great. I've tried growing herbs, but our summers soon get so hot that they turn strong or bitter. Still, they are nice in May and June.


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Subject: RE: BS: kitchen re-do. also spices
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Mar 12 - 09:46 PM

Are you someplace hotter than Texas? We had something like 70 days over 100 last summer, many of those between 105 - 111. My herbs were just fine. They are on the north side of the house so they don't get fried in the afternoon, that may be why they're edible all year (except basil and coriander, which are gone with the first frost).

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: kitchen re-do. also spices
From: Janie
Date: 14 Mar 12 - 09:47 PM

Boy, do I hear you, Bert. I don't cook like I once did but struggle to tell myself that and always keep way many more herbs on hand than I can use before they lose their life. Was looking tonight at a half-full container of bay leaves that are now a pale tan.

My sis is coming down next week to paint (with a little help from me) my kitchen cabinets. I wish I could afford to have them resurfaced and to add cabinets, but I can't, so am also combing used furniture stores and consignment shops for free-standing pieces that might work and also add some charm to increase functional storage.

It would require ripping out the entire kitchen, however, to make the design truly functional.

In the fwiw department, I don't mind small as long as it is efficiently designed. The most pragmatic, efficient kitchens I ever had were in a 27' Airstream I lived in for 6 years, a "park" model 10x50 trailer I rented for a couple of years, and a 12x60 mobile home I owned in my 20's. In the little 1960's ranch I own now I have more floor space in the kitchen than in any of those abodes, but it is so poorly designed the space has less than half the functionality of any of them. The trouble is, the poor design is all built-in. I have recently replaced the ancient drop-in stove, but had to replace it with another (used but in great condition) drop-in stove in the exact same, wrong, place. It would require completely gutting the kitchen and moving all of the plumbing and and most of the wiring to do anything other than increase storage and improve the aesthetics.

But if I can make it easier on the eyes, that is worth a lot.


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Subject: RE: BS: kitchen re-do. also spices
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 Mar 12 - 12:19 AM

Janie, take those old bay leaves and grind them up a bit (not powder, chunks will do) and sprinkle it in your garden around your veggies in and under the mulch. It is supposed to repel squash bugs and such. And it can't hurt, even if it doesn't. :-)

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: kitchen re-do. also spices
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 15 Mar 12 - 04:33 AM

I seem to have slightly over 50 herbs/spices/similar sorts of things in my seasoning cupboard but only grow basil parsley chili mint and lemon balm fresh. Kitchen is large but illogically laid out with an un-needed breakfast bar which cuts down the space that should contain a big American style fridge-freezer.

Range style cooker (gas) is about 20 years old, the small built-in fridge and freezer probably about the same although the larger fridge-freezer is only about 5 years old. Most of the kitchen units are also about 20 years old and although I like the shaker-style doors the work surfaces and kick panels are getting somewhat marginal.

However, all three of my Volvos are about 20 years old, so I suppose the balance is preserved. I'd rather have another old Volvo than a re-done kitchen! I could enjoy a new caravan, though.


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Subject: RE: BS: kitchen re-do. also spices
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 15 Mar 12 - 10:45 AM

HI, SRS, North side? I'll keep that in mind. To answer your question, Missouri really gets hot, but not as hot as Texas last year.

Did they ever get any rain in Austin? When I was there last summer, everybody was worried about the drought.

Good luck with your project, Janie. New paint does a lot.

This morning I was winding the cuckoo clock and realized that not one of those books had a tip on where to put the cuckoo clock. They are so out of touch with the real world. Sigh.


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Subject: RE: BS: kitchen re-do. also spices
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 16 Mar 12 - 01:27 AM

Morning sun is best for a garden, if you have to choose a time of day to get the sun. So the afternoon in the shade is just fine for my herbs next to the back door. I love that when I'm cooking I can pick up a pair of kitchen sissors and go cut herbs, give them a quick rinse under the faucet then drop them into whatever dish I'm cooking.

I'm going to plant some tomatoes this weekend. It seems awfully early, but I am assured by other gardeners that the plants they have already put in are doing well. Means I'm getting a late start on early planting. :-D

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: kitchen re-do. also spices
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Mar 12 - 02:17 PM

A good idea to date those dry spices that you get in jars.
My spice shelves were getting overloaded so I had a cleanup. I found some jars from a store that went out of business some 10 years ago.

I keep cloves, ginger (powdered, I use fresh also) and nutmeg in the fridge, also cinnamon because I buy pint containers.

In our cold climate, it is difficult to raise some common spices. Oregano is one we grow, it needs little care since it seeds before frost, also lovage.

Kitchen re-do- Tile and stone lovers can get bargains, often cheaper than vinyl, etc., because builders buy more than needed, and the extra is available from the suppliers.


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