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I’ve been having a lot of folks over the past couple of years, friends that follow my antics in the world of cooking and life in social media,  ask me about my kitchen~~what it’s like, how it’s laid out, what works for me, how do I have it organized, and more~~yes, many have seen snippets of it when I photograph dishes or show a big ol’ sink of dirty pots and pans, but I haven’t shared my favorite spot as ‘the’ kitchen~~so, seein’ how I’d just cleaned it, spic n’ span, I decided I’d invite you in and give you a tour because my kitchen is me! But first~~a sidebar~~

Growing up in Southern West Virginia, our kitchen was ’bout the size of a postage stamp~~an old refrigerator, sink, stove, cabinets, and that’s about it~~but, that’s where I learned to cook.  No fancy gadgets or gizmos~~hands and elbow grease.  Mom did have a hand crank grinder that she’d attach to the dining room table, and that ground up some mighty fine meats and even cheese, for homemade pimento, over the years.  It’s good to learn cooking without all the bells and whistles~~I can improvise and make due in about any cooking situation from a campfire to a single electric blaze.   Since those WV days,  I’ve been fortunate enough to see my kitchens grow over the years~~not only in size,  but in style and  functionality~~yep, a dream come true!

I’d venture to say that many devoted food bloggers spend a disproportionate amount of each day in their kitchens.  Kitchens for a passionate foodie are like the Harley guy or gal’s hog, the circus performer’s tightrope, the budding Olympic gymnast’s training gym, the NASCAR driver’s car and pit crew, the trial attorney’s library~~you get the idea~~when you’re passionate about something, it’s important to have what you need to do that job! For me, it’s all about organization and ease of movement in the kitchen~~while I designed this kitchen about five years ago, and it’s fabulous, there are a lot of things I’d do differently in designing another real and working kitchen~~why?  Well, I’ve lived, cooked and navigated through it and know what works, for me, and what doesn’t work as well.  So, if I’m lucky enough to have another go round with designing my kitchen, you’d see some real contrasts.  For now, let me tell you what I just totally love about this kitchen~~it may give you some ideas for your kitchen whether you’re remodeling, starting from scratch, or just making a few little changes!

1. The pantry~~it’s perfect, like walking into my own little grocery store, love the openness…the shelves were designed to be about 8″ deep and hold standard canned foods.  Shelves on the bottom are deeper for storage of other things.  Just regular wood that’s stained, I can see everything!

2.  The spice shelves~~pull out on each side of my stove…really convenient and a great way to use vertical narrow space.

3.  The warming drawer~~when it’s not warming, it doubles as a storage for some skillets.

4.  The refrig/freezer drawers~~overflows and specifically house things I cook with like baking items that can go rancid…also, when there’s company, folks are hovering around the big refrig looking for something to drink because bottled drinks, like water, are in the refrig drawer.

5.  The big center island~~it’s a catchall for everything and that can be a pain, but it can be a great buffet table, plus several cooks can work simultaneously.

6.  My dishes~~love ’em all out and open and handy…when they’re stuck in behind-closed-door cabinets I’d surely forget to use some. a

7.  My stove~~yep, it’s my ‘Big Bad Wolf’ and I use every thing on it!  Love gas, too!

8.  The Coffee Station~~gots to have my java throughout the day, grinding the beans means super fresh, too.

9.  The big pittttchur window~~wow, it’s great for lighting, a stupendous view, and for photography.

10.  The littl’ French chair~~got it at a thrift store…totally LOVE it…shoot lotsa dish photos on it.  It’s the catch place for scarves, dish towels and other things I might be using when I take glamour shots.

11.  The butcher block top second island~~you see I keep my laptop here and cell phone, plus there’s another small sink and dishwasher~~yep, all this is a luxury, but it comes in handy like when I schlep in lotsa groceries and pile ’em on this island.

12.  The BIG farm sing~~a MUST for a fanatical home cook/chef…big pots can easily go in, plus you can let stuff pile up@

13.  The spray faucet~~yep, a monster, by Kohler, their ‘professional’ series…it swivels and is perfect for hurricane speed water spraying out pots, pans, dishes, etc.  Just gotta be careful and not pull too fast or too hard.

14.  The garbage disposal button~~on the counter top, a small button about the size of a 50 cent piece…convenient.

15.  The ‘Pot Filler’ at the back of the stove~~hot water in an instant, and it save having to lift heavy pots filled with water for pasta, etc.

Come sit a spell in my kitchen~~love having you here because so much of what I do is for YOU!!  xox  Peace & Nameste ~~ally

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