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e_moon60

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One Woman's Renovation... [Sep. 23rd, 2010|10:33 am]
e_moon60
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[Current Mood |awake]

...is another woman's pot lid rack.   One of my friends has, from time to time, had renovations going on at her house.   A huge one is just finishing up.  Every time this happens, I look at my house, ponder the cost (not just money--time, mess, chaos) and--unless something falls through the floor--slap a coat of paint on a room (or scrub a wall) and leave it alone.   This is why her house is so much better looking than our house, but we're both happy with our individual strategies.  

However,  the acquisition of some new pots this year brought up the matter of the 60 year old kitchen--and not the kind of 60 year old kitchen (now usually in 100 year old kitchens)  that has high ceilings and lots of space.   It's perfectly adequate for "small" cooking (defrosting a frozen something, scrambling a couple of eggs) but less so for cooking that requires (or rewards) larger batches of stuff and thus requires space to store larger pots.   Storage for one frying pan, one saucepan, one cookie sheet?  More than adequate.   The 20 quart stock pot?  Not so much.  Pots for slow cooking of soups and stews made with that stock?  Hmmm.     One form of logic says go back to early-adulthood cooking--the one frying pan, one saucepan, one baking sheet (oh, and a pie pan and a couple of pans for brownies or meat loaf)  arrangement.  It's more than adequate...sort of.

Earlier in the year, when our son moved to an apartment,  I cleared out the hall closet (just across the hall from the kitchen) and declared it to be a pantry.  Needed a pantry.   Had needed a pantry a long time.  Took a storage unit out of his former closet and put it in there, and now have a way to keep potatoes and onions (for instance) in the dark, but dry and ventilated.   This also provided storage for the big stock pots (nested, sitting on top of the storage unit.)    Recently (since the planned shelving wasn't getting built, due to needing to write the book first)  decided to hang the All-Clad frying pan and its larger companion the saute pan in the pantry, above the storage unit on one side.  The wood framing that supported the closet pole is strong enough to hold the long nails.   The saute pan, however, has a lid.   So does the smaller stock pot.  So do the old Revere-Ware saucepans (large, medium, small--ranging in age from 60 to about 40 years old)  which I'm not replacing.  If I hang pans on a wall (there is only one candidate wall) the pot lids can't sit on them.  And for some (the saucepans) the lids aren't always in use, and form a clattering tangle in the drawer under the oven or the narrow cabinet between stove and refrigerator, the best place to store baking sheets, cutting boards, and wire racks.

So, in the kind of backward engineering that drove my engineer mother to a mix of tears and laughter, I decided to start with a rack for pot lids.   Not a purchased rack, because the racks I found online were as unsuitable for this kitchen as a hanging pot rack would be--taking up too much space along the one free wall where the kitchen table has to be.  

Now four pot lids are in their new rack (a length of wood, spaced out from the wall with two smaller pieces of wood, screwed to the wall above and behind the stove.)    More pot lids are still in other less handy places, but it's a start.   Or maybe it's the finish...well, not quite, because the nail to hold the saute pan should actually be hammered into the pantry wall today.

Some will say I have too many pots.   The definition of "not enough/enough/too many" varies with the kind of cooking you do.   I've discarded as many pots as I've bought (though not equal for equal--I had two RevereWare frying pans, one inherited from my mother; their replacements are two quite different items.)   I had been using two RevereWare dutch ovens several times a week; the replacements are heavier, with better heat-distributing and heat-holding, and I've used them every week since I bought them.  Not all cooks cook the same way.  Not all homeowners cook much.   (My friend with the beautiful house doesn't like to cook.) 

We eat a lot of homemade soup...so the possession of more than one soup pot is very handy indeed.  Not necessary--but handy.  This week, for instance, I'm making a big soup, for which the 8 quart stock pot will be used.  Half of it is going to a family that was flooded out week before last.  I'm also making bread, a loaf of which will go with the soup to X's family.  In the history of the soup is the 20 quart stock pot in which the stock was made and  the roasting pan in which the bones for the stock were bakedprior to going into the stock pot.  (And for those who don't make large amounts of stock, which is probably most people,  you don't get 20 quarts of stock out of a 20 quart stock pot.   I get 7-8 quarts, in the end, and it takes days.   Most people, quite sensibly, buy their stock in a store.  But when you have cow bones...make stock.  And since cow bones are big...you need a big stock pot.)

All this returns to the moment of joy....seeing those pot lids tucked behind the strip of wood that holds them.  Not much, in renovation terms, but as with finally buying pots that didn't cost me hours of scrubbing every time they were used, it's still a joy.


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Comments:
[User Picture]From: desperance
2010-09-23 05:25 pm (UTC)
Some will say I have too many pots.

I had thirty-four, last time I counted - but that didn't include the giant stockpots, or the slow cookers, or any of the other specialist equipment. Just the regular pans and pots. Each of which has a function, and is used.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2010-09-23 07:46 pm (UTC)
I counted up the "regular" pots & pans and got 14. Includes saucepans, frying pans, soup pots. That's not counting the 20 quart stock pot or the baking equipment. The ones replaced this year were old and well-used; the new ones are already in regular use.

So I guess I don't have too many pots.

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[User Picture]From: desperance
2010-09-23 08:01 pm (UTC)
Of course you don't. It would be like saying you had too many books...
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2010-09-23 08:17 pm (UTC)
That has been mentioned (she says, looking at stacks of books on the floor, and the ones on the bed that resulted from picking up stacks on the floor in order to get at a wall outlet that was behind a bookcase that had to be unloaded as well.)
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[User Picture]From: Chris Gale
2010-09-29 05:06 am (UTC)

Book piles

Just confirm that you are civilised.
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[User Picture]From: freyaw
2010-09-24 09:21 am (UTC)
I have a couple more than that, not including the baking equipment. If I buy or otherwise acquire any more, it will be a one-egg frypan (preferably dishwasher safe) and more large saucepans (smaller than preserving pan size, it's the pot we use the most).

We re-did our kitchen fairly recently, because we had made the decision to acquire a dishwasher (a good decision; with just me and my partner in the house, we run it two or three times a week and dirty dishes mostly get stacked as soon as they are created, which frees up bench space) and dishwashers were 600mm deep whereas our old benches were 450mm deep. Or something like that (my memory of the measurements may be off and I can't be bothered to get up and measure :P ) By re-doing the kitchen, I mean replacing the ground-level cupboards. It's one of the few things in our house involving cupboards and/or shelves that hasn't involved salvage and recycling.
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[User Picture]From: sophielandon
2010-09-24 02:52 pm (UTC)
I've got fifteen, counting three decades' worth of investment in four Le Creusets or near offer. Those pots each have their lid on them as they sit on the floor of a cabinet. The only real pot lid tangle is for the Revereware saucepans, and I just shove them behind their matching pans, because for some reason I mostly don't use the lids, except when making rice or steaming things.

What I always found to be impossibly irritating were baking sheets, muffin trays, and similarly-shaped objects, all of which seemed to congregate in a couple of piles of indistinguishable and clattery sheet metal, requiring noisy excavations in order to extract the one I wanted. So when we got ourselves a new kitchen a couple of years ago (part of having a new house built) I saw it as the perfect opportunity to not put a shelf in the cabinet below the cooktop, and instead to populate the bottom with racks (in one case, a roasting rack!) that I could stick all the trays, spatter screens, and skillet lids into. Works great.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2010-09-24 06:15 pm (UTC)
My Le Creusets also have their lids on. The RevereWare saucepan lids and skillet lids were/are my difficulty.

And I agree 100% about baking sheets/cutting boards/wire cooling racks, muffin tins. Clatter-clatter-tangle-clatter. I used to have to store my largest pot lids in with them, in the only space available. Even in a narrow cabinet with vertical storage they manage to be a problem, though not as much when I finally gave up on cookie sheets of various ages & sizes, and went to commercial-grade half-sheet baking pans a few years ago. (Bless restaurant supply places!) And I have two small sheets that fit in the narrow side oven for very small (one person) things.

We actually threw away the oldest and least cooperative pot lid (for the big iron skillet.)
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[User Picture]From: groblek
2010-09-23 11:22 pm (UTC)
Hmm, I may have to steal the idea - I'd never thought about a rack for pot lids. A blacksmith friend made us some lovely pot racks, he even managed to custom-fit some on the ends of our cupboards, but I'd never thought about a rack for the lids.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2010-09-24 06:18 pm (UTC)
And...another good idea heard from. Thanks! Though I don't have any spaces in cabinets at present to put a dish drainer, it's a great idea and I might be able to use it in future.
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[User Picture]From: coalboy
2010-09-24 12:36 am (UTC)
I have pegboard in my kitchen for my Revere, and each pot has it lid on the same hook. Aren't your nails long enough to do that, at least for the Revere? Saves -lots- of space.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2010-09-24 06:16 pm (UTC)
I don't have pegboard, or really enough space to hang all the pots.
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[User Picture]From: coalboy
2010-09-24 08:59 pm (UTC)
I was really referring to the lids, as a solution for the Revere section of your pots.
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[User Picture]From: dirtwitch
2010-09-24 02:08 am (UTC)
IMHO, I do not think you have too many pots. Not when they each have the uses and advantages they do have.
I'm thinking, that if the Universe ever does let you come over and look at my weeds, I can show you MY pots and you may be the first person ever to appreciate them. That might be better than the weeds.... or, almost as good.

heh!

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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2010-09-25 01:51 pm (UTC)
20 quart pots are...awkward at best. Mine's now on top of the wire-baskets-in-frame (where a lot of food is stored) in the hall closet pantry. OTOH, in a disaster, I can put on the big pots, throw in things from the freezer before they spoil, and cook for a crowd.

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