I’ve been trying to publish this post since early March but I keep getting sidetracked by real life. But maybe today March 24. YES, I finished the writing. Now to publish it on my blog site! So, WELCOME to my new kitchen! Please leave comments and let me know what you think.
Since I now enjoy cooking and spend three days a week cooking Blue Apron meals it made sense to modify it to better fit my needs. Here is a tour of my new kitchen.
I’m beginning to accumulate quite a few pots and pans so I made a hanging rod for them. Unlike most pot racks in other kitchens this one is close to the floor and made so I can get under it to use it.
When I did the original planning, I had supports running straight down to the floor. My contractor (Daniel’s Home Services) has done things for me for me for me for a long time. So, he knows my needs and built it with angled supports to the wall. Now I can get under its full length and to use it.
The oven is both higher and lower than those in standard kitchens. It is too risky to reach over the open oven door.
I thought of getting an oven that opens to the side or up. But I have to wear a wig and one of the risks is the heat from an oven can quickly melt the acrylics that used in them. That is sure something you don’t want to risk happening. So, I chose go use a standard front and down opening oven.
Safety is a big consideration when you try to use an oven from a wheelchair. I don’t have a lot of upper body strength so I can’t carry a hot pan of food across the room. That is why I chose real granite counter tops. I need to be able to set a pan down right away and not worry about melting the counter top. In the past I’ve tried just setting pans on a piece of ceramic tile on a plastic counter. Sadly, that doesn’t work too well the tile is always slipping and a four-hundred-degree pan of food in your lap is not a pleasant happening.
I also added some more counter space and a way under it so I could get closer to the oven. That is another safety consideration so I don’t have to reach too far from my chair.
Since I do a lot of cooking I installed a real hood vented to the outside.
A problem I foresaw was how to reach the hood controls. Daniel (Daniel’s Home Services) contracted the manufacture got another set of controls and installed them on the side of the oven enclosure for me. This helps a lot since I don’t reach above my head as well. I got a pleasant surprise when I started using the hood. One of the buttons is a timer that will turn off the lights or the fan after delaying a minute.
I know, I know most serious cooks use a gas stove top. While I would like the control, gas gives you I am not the neatest person stirring a pot on the cooktop. I didn’t want to spend hours trying to clean pasta sauce out of all the nooks and crannies of a gas cooktop. Cooking is fun but cleaning up isn’t!
I made the counter tops even lower than they are in many adapted kitchens because of safety concerns gained through experience. A few months ago I was sauteing some chicken and hot greese poped on my face. I couldn’t lower the counters much but I learned my lesson. Every little bit helps.
After seventeen years my old white plastic sink was getting rather stained and shabby so I went with a stainless steel under mount. I am sure glad I did. The under mount design gives me enough counter space to to keep things like detergent and sponges in easy reach. Something you can’t see is the new heavy-duty garbage disposer I have. The old one would have worn out soon so I replaced it. I can hardly hear the new one!
I added a shelf next to the sink to keep my water filter on. It is lower than the sink because I need to dump it out once a week so I can use the sink counter as a fulcrum to bear against and not have to pick up the heavy filter when it is full of water.
Most of my time is spent in the preparation area. Here the extra low counters came in very handy. I don’t have a lot of upper body strength but it helps to be able to bear down more.
Hint: Use a pair of clothing scissors instead of kitchen shears. The light weight of much of the plastic used on many ingredients is too fine for many kitchen shears.
My old pantry was just too small so I added a storage area in what was originally intended for the dining area.
Now I even have enough space to put out my wooden carved dog band.
I still store most of my food in boxes along the living room wall. I need a lot of space to get to things and it is just too convenient to spread things out. Plus, I order my stapes food from the Amazon Prime Pantry so I don’t have to move it far when UPS or FedEx delivers it.
Lighting in my old kitchen was so dim at times I could hardly read recipes. So, I added a LOT more light. Now I have enough and even the hood has lights. Yes, that is Santa on the half wall. I like him so he guards my sink all year.
Power Power Power
A modern kitchen really needs many power outlets. I was going to put power strips in several places around the counters. They use a lot of space, didn’t look particularly good, and would have been in the way. My contractor found these popup power strips. If you’ve never seen these before I recommend them.
Simply press on the silver button it pops up then just pull the power strip out of the counter top. Plug your mixer, juicer, or other electrical appliance in. Then when you are finished unplug it and the power strip disappears back into the counter. As a bonus it also includes two USB ports so you can plug your phone in. I’ve found this very useful since I like to listen to podcasts while copping vegetables and I still come away with a fully charged phone.
A kitchen is for cooking so I the first meal prepared was my version of Blue Apron’s Spicy Fettuccini and Beef Bolognese with Zucchini.
Since it took me so long to post this I’ve cooked a lot in my new kitchen. Its wonderful to have a kitchen that finally fits me.