Sunday, October 25, 2009

Before & After

A few days ago, I posted a vlog about my super messy utensil drawer in my kitchen. I was pretty surprised that a lot of you responded about having the same problem. Really, I thought I was the hugest slob I knew, so it's comforting to know that other people don't know what to do with their tongs either.

So, I simply decided to go to the dollar store and look for some containers. At first, I found some chintzy wicker baskets. I didn't like how they looked, but I figured they would work until I found something better. Then, as I continued to look around, I found some pretty great plastic-coated metal baskets. I put them in my utensil drawer and they fit perfectly. Plus they were only $1 each.

I didn't really organize my utensils by category or anything. I just kinda put short ones in the short baskets and long ones in the long basket. Then I put the very rarely used utensils in the back. I'm shocked how well it worked out. Plus, I did remove a few things that I don't think I'll need anytime soon, if at all. Things like: Candy thermometer, a third pair of tongs, and Christmas dip spreaders.

Now, just so y'all know, I already did have a can with wooden spoons and turners and spatulas on my countertop. Plus, I have a drawer dedicated to just "sharp things" like knives and scissors (and a knife sharpener, and flashlights, and car keys. I don't really think it's the best place to stick my hand and dig around for car keys! But for now, that's the place where the car keys live.)

By the way, I want to take just a sec to recommend my kitchen knives. They are AWESOME and they were VERY INEXPENSIVE and they were RECOMMENDED by a cooking magazine. I subscribe to Cook's Illustrated, which is kinda like a combination of a Gourmet magazine and Scientific American. They test recipes literally hundreds of times with different ingredients (like butter vs. shortening vs. vegetable oil vs. some of each, or cracker crumbs vs. panko vs. crushed cornflakes, etc.) and different cooking methods. They explain why certain methods or ingredients caused failure and why one particular combination resulted in the best outcome. That's awesome for me because I love to know, why can't I just use dried garlic powder instead of fresh minced garlic? Or, can't I just use chopped white onion instead of green onion or scallion? So anyway, my chef knives are from Forschner Victorinox. They were $25 each for the chef's knives and (I think) $10 for the paring knive. They have a wonderful rubbery grip and they aren't too heavy. I've had them for about 4 years now and I sharpen them with a very simple hand-sharpener and they stay awesomely sharp.

So, anyway, thanks for all the input! And here's hoping that I can keep my tools in some kind of order now.
This is what my countertop usually looks like. On a good day. When no kids have been around for a few hours. And I have a bucket of Otis Spunkmeyer pre-portioned cookie dough in the freezer, ready to be baked. And I am trying to avoid laundry and paying bills.


Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

Very cool! I am always amazed at what I can find at the dollar store!

J said...

Sorry this took so long, I was offline for a while - in case you are interested in getting the knives somewhere less accessible to kids, I use a wall mounted magnetic strip with mine, available at Bed Bath & Beyond:
I'm linking you to the more expensive one just because the illustration is better, but the one I use is only $16. It is SUPER strong magnetic, so no danger of the knives falling. And very space efficient! Hope that helps!

Jennifer said...

Your counter is way cleaner and neater than mine. It is always a disaster.

Theta Mom said...

Your counter looks great! BTW, thanks for visiting and I look forward to your time out! ;)

Wendy said...

LOL Gretchen. I'm glad you got it sorted. You have plastic-coated wire baskets? You are so uptown. I have the slotted plastic basket things, which are $1 for several.

My counter would be clean if I would cycle the dishwasher. Speaking of which, I guess I should get off the pooter and go do that. Sigh. And some laundry.

Can you do laundry safely in a thunderstorm? Maybe I shouldn't after all.

No, I'm out of underwear. Safe or not, here I go.

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

I need to get my drawer organized. Yeah... probably not gonna happen.

BUT - thank you SO much for the Cooks Illustrated Link! I'm TOTALLY going to get a subscription to that for Mr. B for Christmas!!!

Emily said...

Sweet. Glad you got organized. And thanks for the knife rec. I was actually just telling my hubby I needed some new knives soon...

stephanie (bad mom) said...

Love the plastic-coated baskets! Nicely done. Though your unsheathed knives are terrifying me.

I am astronomically envious of that tidy countertop, with cookies!!