Saturday, August 13, 2011

Kitchen Reorg: Cooking in a New York City Apartment #3

Dude - we are being plucked off one by one!

Making the best of an NYC kitchen without spending much money takes a bit of practice. I don't think I really hit my stride until 2007, when H and I moved in together and we suddenly had to combine a lot property.

I am of the mind that a body should purge as many of their belongings as possible before they move. I say this after moving 11 apartments in a 4 year period between 2003 and 2007. H having moved 3 times in that same period, did not feel the same way. Our apartment was doomed to be pretty crowded, at least initially - so I was particularly determined to get this last kitchen reorganization right.

In my previous kitchen reorg posts, I was really trying to point out really simple solutions to some pretty big structural problems. The 2007 kitchen had a small oven with four gas elements, a slimline fridge and walking room, but not a whole lot in the way of storage for cookware. Here I present my last kitchen reorg - which I consider my best reorg.

We needed three things 1) the pots to be accessible - no digging around 2) expanded dry food storage 3) more food prep space

Our pot accessibility solution? I stole an idea from my grandmother and Julia Child and painted a piece of pegboard a pretty blue, and hug some of the pots and utensils on it. I even cut a little door for the fuse box. Pegboard, wall kit, pegs and paper towel dispenser = $20.

$20 and now I can reach everything

I hung that same Ikea pot strip I used in 2004 near the 2007 stove. Ikea carries several variations on this set under the name of Fintorp and a super cute one under the name of Asker. Purchased new, this set costs about $20.

Pot accessibility, resolved

It seemed to me that we could resolve our food storage and chopping space problems at the same time by buying a kitchen rack. I actually really dislike kitchen racks. Most of the time, they are a repository for people's dusty pots and pans, and bunch of dustier kitchen towels. I was determined that our kitchen rack would serve two purposes 1) hold dried goods 2) provide counter space.

The kitchen rack: food prep space and storage

I store all of my food in glass. NYC is filled with mice, roaches and other food munching critters. It is really easy to bring these guests home from the grocery store. When we get home with groceries, I immediately transfer all dried goods to glass jars.

For the rack, we picked up Ikea Burken glass jars ($4) for items that we needed access quickly, 32 oz mason jars ($1 each) for items that needed to be sealed airtight and glass penny candy jars ($9 a piece) goods that we needed to scoop out with a measuring cup. I actually prefer the mason jars to the Ikea jars, so we will be gradually shifting the Ikea jars out.

All kitchen racks look more or less the same, so I very quickly settled on this one for $102. I favoured this one for its low cost and the inclusion of hooks for the bar below the highest shelf.

In NYC, glass food storage = critters walk past my apartments

Dry erase marker tells me what is inside the jar (though oatmeal is pretty easy to identify)

The hooks hold my mixer attachments, a thai vegetable grater and french press

That was that. Everything is neat and tidy and easy to find.

I am now developing a little gadget to allow me to store and pour drinks from this rack when we hold parties....but that is a matter for another post.

Cost of Kitchen reorg

Pegboard rack = $20

Pot strip + accesories = free (but originally $20)

Kitchen rack and jars = $102 + 36 + 13 + 25 = $176

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