Does your kitchen get a lot of use? Mine sure does, especially now that we are retired. (as an aside, it has taken me three years to come to terms with that word, “retired.” I just could not feel retired as I have so much to offer and had hoped to find a third career. Since it didn’t happen, I am giving in to the label, “retired.”) We are usually home for three meals a day, and when the grandchildren are here, the kitchen seems to go non-stop with all their meals and snacks. That’s a lot of wear and tear on that particular room of the house.
Of course, there is all the non-meal cooking that goes on there, too. Like baking, canning, juicing. Now that canning season is over, I’m getting ready to make fruitcakes again. That will create a big mess in the kitchen. And create lots of dishwasher loads.
How often do you run your dishwasher? A friend recently confided to me that they only run their’s every few days and it has developed a mold problem due to inactivity. I cannot imagine only running it a couple of times a week. Our dishwasher usually runs twice a day, and when the grandkids are here, three times. Or, if I’m involved in lots of baking AND cooking, there could be three loads. Of course, I wash nothing by hand. Unless I absolutely must use a certain item and it’s already been used, then I might handwash it if there isn’t a full dishwasher load. Although we have the original oven and stove top in this 40 year old house, we’re on our fourth dishwasher.
Yesterday I was at a neighbor’s house, and her cabinets are just like ours, also 40 years old, yet I noticed how beat up hers look. She likes to cook even more than I do so I shouldn’t be too surprised. I feel sympathetic towards her, too, as she has an old dishwasher that requires the dishes be washed BEFORE they are run through the machine, so she hand washes pretty much everything. In coming home and looking at my cabinets, I realized it had been awhile since I had orange-oiled them. I do this about three times a year, and I believe it has helped keep them looking pretty good, even with all the use and abuse they get. Our bathroom cabinets have the same finish so they get a cleaning with the orange oil, too, at the same time.
I hate to clean ovens, so it’s a good thing that 40-year old oven is self-cleaning. I cannot imagine what it would look like otherwise. Probably like my pan liners on the stovetop. Terry just bought new ones since he could no longer get the old ones clean. I think they had been there about five years so it was definitely time for replacements. Not only do I cook a lot, but I am really messy at it. Fortunately, Terry does the everyday cleanup after meals and such. Poor guy, he spends all day, it seems, in the kitchen when the grandchildren visit. We are just never done with some kind of food prep.
This is the left side of my U-shaped kitchen. The non-harvest gold appliances are on the right side! Sure wish they would again make harvest gold so I would have a matching kitchen. If you are like me, and really enjoy retro kitchens, you might like this site. You can see a whole assortment of time-capsule kitchens.