a lily-take on kitchen organisation
Now, you must truly take that word “organisation” with a HUGE grain of salt. Me and organisation – we are not on first name terms. You should see the inside of my pantry – it’s horrible. And I always have a reason for why I have so little organisation in my life. It usually goes something like .. “One day, when we have our own home, we’ll be able to arrange everything just as we like … we’ll be able to refit the kitchen so that it’s just right, and build in bookshelves etc. etc.” I think I’m a step ahead now that I recognise the silliness of the above justification! Maybe there’s hope for me.
Julian, on the other hand, longs for organisation and finds the Bootville chaos a little exasperating at times. One thing he hates is the top drawer in the kitchen. You know the sort – there’s one of those plastic dividers for your spoons and forks and knives. Except that we seem to have more than just one of each type. We have soup spoons and regular spoons, long handled and short handled teaspoons, steak knives, regular knives and Julian’s “favourite”, the butter knives. And then there’s the measuring spoons and chopsticks. Our top drawer’s a mess. It’s just potluck what you’ll pull out when all you really want is the right tool for the job.
I must add a note here on the existence of “butter knives”. A butter knife – in our family – is a bone handled knife (well, really some kind of bakelite from the pre-war era) with a beautifully fine, flat stainless steel blade, made by someone in Sheffield, and used to butter the bread, add honey to your crumpet, eat pancakes, slice a banana … My paternal grandparents used them this way and they provided my mum with her own set when she set up house, and of course, when I set up house, I didn’t shop for my cutlery at the department store or Ikea. Nope, I needed butter knives so had to hunt and gather from antique stores. Mum lost hers a few years ago – one of those unavoidable life changing moments – so I’ve collected her some “new” ones too. Thinking about it, Abby will need some in the years ahead … better start on her collection too. And looking at them here, it would seem most of mine have been through the dishwasher – this is badness – butter knives hate dishwashers. Hmmm .. it wasn’t me.
So … can’t build any more drawers. But I can save some tin cans and turn them into pretty cutlery cannisters – I saw it in the English Country Living. Very nice. I have done this before – but only ever used them on desks for pens and knitting needles – don’t know why I didn’t think of the usefulness of a tin can in the kitchen. And there are so many different sizes in tin cans – this has me choosing tinned food based on its appeal and usefulness as a cutlery cannister – someone will have to eat that little tin of baked beans ’cause it’s going to make the perfect measuring spoon cannister!
My first two are peach tins – we just love tinned peaches, must be a hangover from Famous Five – they always took tinned peaches with them when they went camping – slabs of Joan’s fruit cake, tinned peaches and fresh spring water, the perfect dessert. They also had tinned tongue – we’ve never had tinned tongue and I’ll just assure you now, it wouldn’t matter how original that tin shape and size is, I will not buy it. Phew!
I have to confess, instead of using existing scraps, I visited Amite on my way home from university this morning and picked up some of their fat 16ths in reds and blues (to match my kitchen appliances and saucepans). I love their fat 16ths. One day, I shall have the courage to simply tip their huge galvanised bucket of wee rolls into my shopping basket, without umming and ahhhing my way through them, and just bring them home, and sew them up. Utter higgledy-piggledy-ness. Until that bravery strikes, I shall carefully match up the ones I like, putting back those for whom I just cannot find a dance partner.
[ this navy stripe makes me think of a french butcher's apron - sigh!]
I ironed the wee tops onto iron on pellon. Added some very basic quilting. A strip of white linen, embroidered with perle cotton and tacked on. Slip stitch the join at the back and done. I do hope Julian notices and approves :-) As for Abby and I – completely won over. And so easy when we’re emptying the dishwasher and washing up rack (that’s right dear, you need to wash the butter knives by hand in the sink). Now, if only I could add a magnetic shelf to the side of the fridge to sit them on – that would be cool!