Sunday, February 26, 2012

What to do with a Range Wall?

I have yellow tile backsplashes over most of the kitchen, but since I will be doing a mini re-model, I don't know what to do with the area where the refrigerator used to be, that I will be placing my range.  The walls there are painted, and I want to protect them from grease and dirt.

I am considering using tin embossed ceiling tile, but since I need to store as much as possible in my tiny kitchen, I don't think that will work. 

I do have another thought though.  I could order this pretty tile mural I saw.  I could get a piece of plywood and mount them to it, adding some solid white colored tiles to make it bigger.  I have an empty large picture frame I could frame it with and then I could hang it over the range.

Then, I could do the same thing with another tile mural.  I have another large empty picture frame and I could hang this tile grouping plus some solid white tiles on the adjoining kitchen wall for grease/dirt protection. 

Then, on the adjoining sliver of wall, I can hang a pair of shelves.  I already have one shelf that matches the pot racks I will mount from the ceiling over my make-shift island.  

On the two shelves, I can put my yellow spice drawers, my spice grinder sets, pot holders, and aprons. 

On the rest of the wall, I can hang my match holder and towel bar. 

The last tile mural can be used on the countertop next to the range to protect the yellow formica.

When Is An Island, Not An Island?

When it consists of a vintage maple butcher block table next to an antique wicker baby changing table!

I need room in my tiny kitchen to hold a lot of things.  On the top of the baby changing table will be my Sabatier knife display case and my three tier vintage paper dispenser, which I will fill with restaurant size plastic, foil, and parchment paper.  On the other shelves will be various other vintage kitchen equipment pieces.

Under the butcher block table is the perfect spot to keep my wastebaskets. 

In the space where the range used to be, there will be two of these yellow rolling carts holding a variety of things, like my makeshift breadbox tool chest.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Garden Decorating Ideas

On my tiny back porch I have a white wicker storage bench seat and two white wicker rockers.  The bench looks a little bit like this -- I will post a photo of the real thing later.  I made yellow vinyl cushions and red tweed upholstered  rocker cushions.

And the two wicker rockers look a little like this one.

A small china floral bird bath pedestal table serves the rockers. 

I put up white plastic trellises to create shade and planted climbing roses on them.

Against the house, near the vegetable garden beds and water hoses, I placed two vintage rustic wood benches.  I keep a couple of large wash basins on top to provide a jerry rigged "outdoor sink".  This is where I wash vegetables from the garden.  Underneath the benches I store the yellow cat litter buckets I use for gardening. 

On the lawn when I am entertaining is two sets of bistro tables and chairs. 

Moving and a Grooving

My Aunt Phyllis is moving to Houston soon.  Her husband of over 30 years recently passed away.  My niece Shaina is moving into her first apartment.  What does this mean?  It means there is a lot of shuffling around going on.

Aunt Phyllis sold me her set of blue Le Creuset cookware.  No........I don't need any more equipment, but Shaina needs cookware, and I gifted her with it.

Shaina's cookware looks like this.

And as I sorted through my things, I found a set of two mixing bowls that will work for Shaina if she wants them.

I am considering loaning Shaina one of my three Kitchenaid model 3B mixers. 

And maybe one of my smaller Cuisinart food processors.

I have lots of Oxo Good Grip utensils from my "gift stash" that she may have if she likes. 

And if she needs knives, Aunt Phyllis has a set of carbon steel Old Hickory knives she may sell. 

As a matter of fact, Auntie may have a Corning baking pan that could double as a roaster for Shaina.

Shaina can have several blankets from my huge stash of linens.

Well, this was my plan anyway.  But it did not account for the vagarities of youth!  Shaina has her heart set on a cheap set of cookware from Walmart.  My lovely little niece has decided she does not want any of this, so I now have another plan. 

My favorite cousin Jeff will get the Le Creuset cookware, a Hobart N-50 mixer, and a set of F. Dick knives in its own carrying case [from the CIA cooking school].

My Aunt Phyllis did a number on me yesterday.  I was minding my own business when she called telling me she missed my Hobart N-50 mixer she had been using.  Auntie was going to bake a dozen pies for a bake sale, and she got to thinking.  Could I sell her one of my mixers, so she could take it to Houston?  I was caught off guard, and before my mind knew what was going on, I said yes.  Now Auntie has my Kitchenaid Commercial mixer for what I paid for it. 

I am going through the grieving process right now.  I hate to give up one of my mixers!

Kitchenaid Attachments I Recommend

If you followed my earlier advice and bought either:

    a.  A new Hobart N-50 mixer
    b.  A used Hobart N-50 mixer
    c.  A used Kitchenaid model G mixer

Then, you are well on your way.  Depending on what foods you make/process at home, take your choice of the following recommended hub and bowl attachments. 

Meat Grinder

Often found on Ebay, these cast aluminum attachments are much sturdier than the plastic ones sold today.  The plastic new ones crack and disintegrate and I hate them.  Here you can buy Five New Replacement Meat Grinding plates for your Original KitchenAid Meat Grinder and Food Chopper attachments. Fits older style metal grinder attachments for Kitchenaid mixers. (ex. K4SS, K5SS, etc)... Hard-To-Find replacement size...

*TWO* New Replacement Meat Grinder knives for older style metal Kitchenaid meat grinders... Fits the classic style metal type grinder attachments... Hard-To-Find replacement knife.

Grain Mill, if you don't have the grain mill for a Champion juicer

It is not the fastest grain mill available, and will not grind as finely as some, but this grain mill will grind your wheat berries for your bread and enable you to make nutrient rich home made doughs.

Water Jacket

There are times when you need to mix something that needs to be in a cold or a hot water recepticle.  This is the tool you need for the job.

Pasta Cutters

"If you have a passion for perfectly prepared pasta, try making your own delectable lasagna noodles, fettuccine, or linguine fini with this pasta roller set that fits all KitchenAid stand mixers. The three attachments include a pasta roller, a fettuccine cutter, and a linguine fini cutter. Just prepare pasta dough and form it into small rectangles which are then fed into one of the attachments. Out come uniform lasagna noodles, fettuccine, linguine, or angel hair pasta.

The pasta can be enjoyed fresh or frozen or dried for later. Complete directions, cooking tips, and recipes are included, though cleaning the attachments can be a bit of a challenge, as they can't be washed in water, and any dried-on pasta particles must be removed with the included cleaning brush and toothpicks."

Ice Cream Maker

This ice cream maker is available in  2 qt and a 4 qt version on Ebay occasionally.  I own two of the 4 qt models, and they make delicious ice cream in about 10 minutes. 

Pea Sheller

It is rare but occasionally found on Ebay.  It sure beats the heck out of hand shelling peas or beans!

Colander and Seive

I have the old-style KitchenAid colander/strainer attachment, which I use continually. Think of it as a motorized Foley. It's pretty much trouble-free compared to the new-style strainer. Unfortunately it's not made any more, but it's a hot seller on ebay.

Pelican slicer/shredder

It can be found on Ebay, but is an expensive but wise investment, if you don't have a good food processor.

Copper Bowl

This rare and no-longer-made “old-school” copper and brass bowl was made in France for The Bridge Company in New York City (now Bridge Kitchenware in New Jersey).   You can clearly see in the second photo the stamping on the side of the bowl “MADE IN FRANCE FOR THE BRIDGE COMPANY”.

"This bowl is the 5-quart size made originally for the KitchenAid Model K5A mixer.  It holds exactly 5 quarts. It stands 7-1/2 inches tall and is 8-1/2 inches in outside diameter at the top. It weighs almost two pounds! The bowl is made of solid copper and the attachments (the handle and the three fixtures that fit into the receptacles on the mixer) are made of brass. This is a very sturdy piece of kitchen equipment for a serious cook.
This bowl fits a variety of models that feature the lifting bowl. It will fit all KitchenAid 5-quart stand mixers including all K5 heavy duty series and even the Hobart N50 series.

You can no longer buy a new one of these bowls; Bridge Kitchenware no longer sells them.   I saw one go on Ebay for $297!  I paid $120 for a discontinued new one a few years ago.
I have used this bowl many times for whipping egg whites and I can attest to the fact that it is unquestionably and absolutely the best for whipping egg whites! The bowl you use to whip egg whites really does make a difference. When air is whisked into egg whites, the mechanical action denatures the proteins in the whites. The denatured proteins coagulate, stiffening the foam and stabilizing the air bubbles.
Copper bowls produce a creamy foam that is harder to overbeat than the foam produced using glass or stainless steel bowls. When you whisk egg whites in a copper bowl, some copper ions migrate from the bowl into the egg whites. The copper ions form a yellow complex with one of the proteins in eggs, conalbumin. The conalbumin-copper complex is more stable than the conalbumin alone, so egg whites whipped in a copper bowl are less likely to denature (unfold).
In a non-copper bowl, if the foam starts to get overbeaten, the proteins become completely denatured and coagulate into clumps. There is no going back from the clumpy mess to nice foamy whites, so overbeaten whites must be discarded."

"French Copper Studio is proud to announce that we have 3 models of copper bowls to fit the specifications of the Professional 600, Commercial 5 Series/Heavy Duty/K5 Series, and the Artisan/Twist Lock mixers!

These copper bowls are specifically designed to take advantage of professional confectioners’ and dessert makers’ secret knowledge from around the world: When you mix sugar-based ingredients in pure copper, a scientifically proven positive reaction occurs at the molecular level of your ingredients.

The result of this natural, positive reaction is thick, luxurious whipped cream, egg whites that peak beautifully, confectioners-grade icing and candy, smoother fudge, and exquisite tasting jam!

Each bowl also includes: Use and Care Instructions and a 1 Year Limited Warranty.
After almost 10 years in the design, engineering and testing phases, we are extremely proud to offer our new and truly unique 2.5mm copper with a stainless steel structural core FCS Brand Copper Bowls made to fit KitchenAid Mixers!"  

Pastry Knife

This is the item that modern KA mixers are missing and SHOULD have!  It was originally sold for the Kitchenaid model G and later the Hobart N-50 mixers.  I recommend it highly for cutting shortening into flour for biscuits, pies, and pastries, rather than doing it with a manual dough cutter.  It is rare but occasionally found on Ebay.

Extra Bowl