Thursday, June 30, 2011

Organized Kitchen (cont.)

Yesterday we established our main prep area in the kitchen between the sink and stove top.  We also located our knives nearby in a knife block or drawer.  Let's talk about the knives a little more before we move on to other items in organizing our kitchen.

If we are using a drawer to hold our knives, we need to be smart about the knives and our safety.  We don't just throw the knives in a drawer with other utensils and such.  One could get injured reaching in to get something.  There are drawer organizers that can be used for holding silverware or utensils.  It might be a good idea to use such organizers.  You can find these items at my favorite shopping sites, Kohl'sFood Network and QVC.  If possible, it would be nice if the only items in the knife drawer were just the knives.  Remember to put them in the drawer with the handles near you and the blades pointing away from you.  You always need to be aware of your safety in the kitchen.

The next thing you want to plan in your kitchen is all of your counter space.  You really want to keep the counters as uncluttered as possible.  The only things on your counter should be items you use regularly and some minor decorations to help make it look appealing.  Remember that space is usually an issue in most kitchens and some of you may have lots of counter space while others have absolutely minimal.

For those with little counter space, if you don't use an item several times a week, keep it off the counter.  Items such as coffee makers, blenders and toasters take up space.  However, if you are using them often they need a place on the counter.  The same goes for canister sets that hold flour, sugar, coffee, tea bags, etc.  This calls for you to use your common sense and prioritize the counter top.

The cupboard directly above your established prep area should hold your spices on the bottom shelf so they are handy.  The rest of the cupboards above the counter should be set up with the items you use most.  The bottom of the typical 3 shelf cupboard should have your most used items while the top shelf should hold the least used items.  You also want to consider lighter weight items in higher locations rather than the heavy can type items.  If you are height challenged, you might think about utilizing the cupboards below the counter to better serve you.  It also helps to have a step stool or ladder handy for getting items in and out of those top cupboards.

Most the time the lower cupboards (under the counter) are used to hold pots, pans and other cooking dishes.

Please remember that few kitchens are the same and so you will have to adapt your needs and wants with the reality of your kitchen space.  In doing so, try to make it as efficient as possible for your life style.  I hope this has helped you in considering the function of your kitchen.

Tomorrow we have a recipe for the 4th of July weekend.  It is "Bleu Bacon Burgers" and I hope you enjoy them.

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