Kitchen Week

Small Things Blog-7951 Small Things Blog-7957

This week has been devoted to my kitchen.  And I still have a long ways to go, so it looks like it will overflow into next.  Our old refrigerator stopped cooling well a couple of weeks ago, something we only realized after we had several gallons of milk spoil.  I suspected something was up when I was able to get softened butter straight out of the refrigerator.  We bought another one on Craigslist, this one even older, though very big and a fancy brand, so a definite upgrade.  It was an ordeal to get it home and into the house, and we owe a big thanks to our friends for helping.  The only problem outside of it needing a big repair in the next few months is that the new one doesn’t allow for stashing a bunch of crap on top, and if you were paying attention to the photos in this post, you know we have issues with that.  So that stuff spent the week on the kitchen table, and the mess took over the entire room.  Despite my original assessment, I have managed to squeeze a few things on top of the new fridge, and I am making good progress in the rest of the kitchen.  The pantry has been overhauled as well, and Jonny even added another shelf.  I need to be prepared when all the winter squash I planted starts coming in from the garden!

I’m still making pickles, hence needing to clean out the pantry to make room for them all.  I even pulled out my copy of Fermented Vegetables, and started a batch of half sour dills.  My kids hated the results of my last attempt at fermented pickles, so I am hoping that these will turn out better.

And now, back to work with me, though I am thoroughly sick of the kitchen and just want to knit!  I’ve hardly knit at all this week, but if I can get the kitchen finished I know I will be so happy and far more motivated to get in there and make something more interesting for dinner than beans and rice or pizza.


  1. Wow, that fridge! It looks pretty great. We are having fridge woes here too…..
    Summers were made for kitchen overhauls it seems.
    I haven’t read your sidebar about me in a while just looked at it and really love it!

  2. It is looking amazing. Oh I can well imagine that heart sinking part of the over haul when you’re in too deep to turn back but the sheer enormity of the challenge that lies ahead is seriously daunting. You nailed it and I think you deserve to knit for a week!

  3. Just curious — do you have a root cellar for you winter vegetables? I often wondered if things keep better in a dedicated cold place in the basement but I don’t have one. But it would be nice to have a stash of winter squash, onion and potatoes.

  4. Are you coming to Cooperstown, NY??? If so, you could go to Moosewood, in Ithaca, and the actual Aurora Shoe store itself! (I discovered that the shoes are far less expensive bought there, rather than online; we live near Ithaca so the drive wasn’t far for us.)

  5. I love your photo of the bees flying! It is mesmerizing!

    • Me too! I was just about to post to say that I love that photo. It captures summer light and activity so perfectly. Well done, Ginny!

  6. Gwendolyn says:

    Yesterday I took the day off since I had a dentist appt. I was able to go to lunch with my husband, stop at Joann Fabric, Hobby Lobby (for more yarn and some cheap fabric – my daughter is learning to sew from the neighbor), visit the quilt store in our small town, and the best part of all mopping the kitchen floor and dusting all the kitchen furniture, vacuuming the first floor, doing the last of the laundry, etc. We can actually see the table now since I’ve gone through all the papers. My husband came home from working overtime and said, wow, the house looks great! Yep, and I even was able to put my feet up and knit on my Pioneer Girl shawl. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when 3 little ones aren’t running around. I’m sure when I come home tonight, it will be a different story. The troops are back at the house. Have a great weekend Ginny and enjoy your kitchen. I do love your kitchen!

  7. I love your kitchen!!! Love, love, love. It is EXACTLY like a kitchen should be. Warm and cozy and hardworking. It some how reminds me of Walton’s kitchen. Remember that? You managed to make this truly lovely, somehow old-fashioned kitchen that is a wonderful place for your whole family. That is just wonderful!!

  8. Never a dull moment, right? Good luck with the fermented pickles.

  9. I wondering if we all swapped our easy go-to recipes that don’t feel like we are cooking and then… we’d all have something new (and easy!) to eat! Looks like tons of progress has been made in your kitchen. I just did a big grocery run and have to redo our freezer space (hoping in time to have a separate freezer but one thing at a time) as things just fall out of it… We had our last fridge to this past year and it sure is a lot of work to suddenly get a new one! It took us a while to realize what was going on too – I kept thinking, why is my milk warm? but did not clue in until it has really died…. I’ve been on a sewing (quilts, easy, not as much thinking, just cutting and sewing squares) and I feel like you do with knitting right now – so much to do and all I want to do is (knit/sew/read)… I hear you! God bless!!! I do love your kitchen … so much light, such a warm welcoming space.

  10. Ginny, I love your space! The new fridge is wonderful! To have that large of one would just tickle me pink! I am going to spend time in the kitchen this weekend probably making salsa and doing something with my cucumbers. I have plenty of pickles so I can’t make any more.
    Love visiting your kitchen!

  11. Just a suggestion: If you lengthened the shelves to the left of the sink, so they stretched from the wall to the window, you’d have more storage space. Maybe you could add a third shelf too. I’ve been all about re-organizing this summer. I woke up thinking about how I could make a large rolling storage bin for our ridiculous LP collection.

    • Ha! My mom just mentioned those shelves to me as well. They are cheap prefab shelves we brought with us from our college apt. It has been on our agenda to replace them with shelves that run the length of the wall, and to add a third for more than a decade. But, so have tons of other projects. We finally have the wood milled and dried and ready to tackle that shelving project, but as usual, other things are taking priority right now. But in the next year, surely we will get those shelves up. 🙂

      • To me, it seems like a quick and easy fix. My husband is too busy and I’m the handy one, anyway, so when I’m in the middle of organizing and I see something that would make things better, I do it (or get my boys to). My husband says I’m a Woman on a Mission during these times. A few pine boards (from the shed or hardware store), a slap of paint, a few brackets, a level, screws and screwdriver and it’s done. Even if it’s not what I ultimately want in my dream kitchen, at least it’s better than what’s there and will make home life better. I’m all about better, not perfect, just better.

  12. I once stumbled upon an article about different types of counter tops. In the comments section a bunch of people started arguing about the best counter tops for when food gets stuck on and getting the food off without damaging the counters. Then they all started arguing that it’s disgusting that food would ever get left there to get stuck on in the first place and I just started laughing. What kind of kitchen doesn’t have food stuck on somewhere?! (well, my mother’s for one…but she never cooked!). I love your kitchen photos. Your kitchen table is a catch all for all projects and food and whatever, and your sink if full of the remnants. Very lived in and used. Lovely.

    I love the new fridge. A freshly organized kitchen is so wonderful!

  13. Well, that scene look all too familiar to me. Any luck getting your pickles to come out crispy?

    • I don’t think so. The only crispy ones are the refrigerator dills. But, I do think the canned bread and butter slices are very good, crispy or not!

  14. Anne Marie says:

    Now that’s a FRIDGE! Mine died several weeks ago and we brought the spare up from the basement … much smaller. Now this one is dying. UGH. Too bad my doorways into the house are too small for one as fabulous as yours.

  15. I love that fridge. I need to spend a week in my own kitchen. I was just thinking this morning how quickly everything can go to pot–constant upkeep! And it’s just ME!

  16. The new fridge looks fabulous! I was wondering about your pickles… are those grape leaves you lay on top?

  17. Bonnie Schulzetenberg says:

    Love you Ginny

  18. I always love your photos – they help me see beauty in the ordinary in my own life. The second photo in this post is especially stunning. Cleaning out/ re-organizing the kitchen is the worst (in my opinion)…good work, Ginny!

  19. Your fridge looks huge! Hope this one serves you well for years ; )
    Enjoy finishing up the kitchen. It will feel so good

  20. I am trying to get back to knitting this week too. Hopefully, I can carve out some time at night. Enjoy your weekend!

  21. jennyann1126 says:

    have you tried fermented bread & butter pickles? They are delicious without being too sweet. My kids love them.

    4 cucumbers
    1 t mustard powder
    pinch celery seed
    1/2 C honey (I usually use less)
    1/2 C ACV
    1.5T sea salt
    2T whey
    1T pickling spice

    • I haven’t, but I sure will! Thanks for the recipe!

    • Jenny, do you add any water to this recipe?

      • Jenny brown says:

        Sorry, yes you do add water. I want to say this makes about two quarts but I could be wrong. So, I add the pickles and all ingredients then fill the jars with water (leaving room) and let them set out until I like the taste of them. Maybe 5ish days. Btw: if you cut off the end of the cucumber where the stem grows they always stay crispy! And if you haven’t tried fermented radish you must! Just slice thin and add 1T salt and fill quart jar with water. I usually leave those out 6 days maybe more. The taste nothing like radish and are neon pink!

  22. I have spent the weekend in my kitchen freezing soft fruit. Longing to get in the garden for some much needed weeding, and I always need more knitting time.

  23. The top of my refrigerator is one of my worst clutter spots, too… Everything forbidden that I don’t want the kids getting goes there and ends up STAYING there because I can’t actually reach anything on top either… Which is all well and good until I actually NEED one of the many things up there. So I suppose that for me it might be good not to have the possibility of stowing stuff there anymore!

    • Growing up, my mom always had stuff on top of the refrigerator and I hated it because we could never get to the stuff in the cabinet above the refrig without moving tons of stuff. In reaction, I am a nazi about anything being on top of the frig. (Plus, the top of the frig is warm, so it’s not really the best place for storage.) My counter tops may be full of dirty dishes to wash, but, by golly, the top of the frig is clutter-free!

      • My mom never had stuff stashed on top of the fridge. In fact, there weren’t any messy places in our house. So maybe I’ve gone the other direction. It’s actually kind of liberating for me. But, I do hate surface clutter and try to tackle it as I am able.

  24. Do you have a recipe for the beans and rice? Always on the lookout for ways to switch things up. Love your blog.

    • Sounds like a busy week. It’s that canning/pickling time off year again. Beautiful photos 🙂

    • No, I just bake them in the oven in water! And plain old rice. My kids like things plain and then we add basic toppings: salsa, cheese, sour cream. Sometimes guacamole or sauteed peppers and onions.

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