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Friday, July 2, 2021

My real kitchen, here at Scratch Made Food! & DIY Homemade Household.

I LOVE kitchens, love them! The bigger the better, with as many kitchen gadgets as is possible. So why then do I have a kitchen with no running water and only a single burner hot plate? 

We have been pretty busy here since the arrival of our grandson, but the truth is, we were just as busy before his arrival also. Just a little over two years ago we, by committee, purchased a ranch-style home sitting on a little over an acre in Montana. Our committee includes me, my husband, my daughter, and my son-in-law. 

We had looked and looked for the just perfect house or property that met all our needs. And that folks can be really, really hard to do, especially when you live nine hours away. Oh, and you also have a house that you are selling in order to purchase...we made (if memory serves me well...) four trips to tour different properties in about 45 days. 

One trip was over and back home, on the same day.

Purchasing by committee is a challenge on good days, and possibly, relationship damaging on days that did not go so well. I decided from the start that my daughter (and son-in-law) would have the final say on which house we purchased as it will be theirs when the time comes that we have sailed on to cloudy pastures. And of course, wouldn't you just know it...

The last house, on the last trip over, was the one we made an offer on! None of the homes we had toured prior, were even given a second look because they would not have worked out for our needs. 

This house had been the home of folks that loved it for their whole married lives together. But both had passed, and not only did it need repair and maintenance from their final years in the home, but it also stood empty for three years before the sale. The deer had even reclaimed the yard...

We knew going in, that the garage would need to be remodeled into an "efficiency" apartment for the two of us, with the main house becoming a home for the two of them and their future family.  Which meant that a shop would have to be built to replace the garage for woodworking, vehicle repairs, and all the other things one uses a garage for. 

But first, the apartment, because we knew going in that the house was never meant to be home for all of us. We are close, as well as being quite happy when sharing a meal, sightseeing trips, and the various chores around the place, but each couple needs privacy and a place to call their own. 

We knew that we did not want to spend a fortune to make a full-fledged kitchen in the apartment, it really seemed a financial waste, as anything I cannot cook in the apartment can be cooked in the main house. But I will say this, never cook fish in an apartment, small spaces sure hold cooking smells!

This brings us to my actual kitchen, a kitchen that I love to work in by the way! It is a bit modest, and as far as convenience goes, I have a more complete kitchen in our little 5thwheel only complaint and it is small, I do wish I had better lighting, as all my pictures are dark even after editing.

Let's take a tour, entering the kitchen area and starting on the right:

You can see the single hot plate in the lower right-hand corner of this photo. The refrigerator is snuggled into a corner, saving space. On the appliance shelf, we have a coffee maker, a toaster, and a Ninja combination food processor/blender. And because this is a real picture and not staged, if you look closely you will see that I have a jar of pineapple vinegar started and my basil plant died yesterday in the heatwave that took over our community. 

At the end of the appliance counter, you will find this small cabinet that holds storage containers along with small dishware, and our table condiments such as salt and pepper. The breadbox fits nicely on the small shelf between the upper and lower sections. Next to this cabinet, you will find my spice shelf. 

Everything pretty much happens here! Our private meals, proofing bread dough after it is shaped, cleaning and processing the CSA box each week. The groceries are unloaded here, clothes are mended here, and we even use this table for game night. We have also been known to have a meeting or two around this table! Turning the corner we find...

This big shelf! I love this shelf. It holds a ton of stuff and acts as a room divider between the kitchen area and the living room. The one drawback? Yep, a thin but ever-present layer of dust. Recently I have decided that I will look for a cupboard or hutch for the dishes...

Next to the big shelf is a chopping block and my Berkey water filter system. We have been Berkey fans for a number of years, and this Berkey fits nicely in our little 5thwheel when we do hit the road for a bit of travel. The chopping block table was left behind in the house when we took possession and I didn't have the heart to toss it out...the bottom shelf holds my cast iron cookware.

I have an additional workspace just outside of the kitchen area (basically the hallway to the apartment). 

My two Instant Pots have a separate workstation only because the appliance counter could not possibly hold everything! On bread baking day, I use this area as well. The brown cabinet holds baking pans and accessories for the Instant Pots. And you will notice that I have begun purchasing puzzles for our grandson, there is a little cow puzzle propped up on the shelf next to a storage jar of wire ties for bread bags. 

Our apartment and the main house are divided by the laundry room, which we share. It includes a small counter, with a large stainless steel sink. We carry our breakfast and lunch dishes to this area, and when the little blue tub is full, they get washed. I use an over-the-sink drainer instead of having absolutely no counter space. Dinners are our shared meal of the day, fortunately, there is a dishwasher (yes!) in the main house! 

What you see shared here at Scratch Made Food! & DIY Homemade Household is made in this kitchen. With no stove, I do use the main kitchen oven for baking. When we travel I cook with the same recipes and the by the seat of my pants style. Because if I can make it here, I know I can make it while traveling! 

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  1. As fellow RV'ers, we know cooking in a small space is very doable. We have to be organized, though! I admire your spirit, using this apartment to make up new dishes and recipes, and enjoy what you're doing!

  2. Have you spent a winter in Montana? I've heard that there is a lot of snow and you can get snowbound, so I hope the main kitchen or somewhere in the house has lots of space for storing supplies.

    best... mae at

    1. Hi Mae, yes, we have been here two years now. The first year we tried to make due with a space heater as we did not have time to install our wood stove before winter set in. We are southern Montana and in somewhat of a banana belt for warm weather trends, but we definitely have snow, wind and cold rain in the winter.

  3. I have loved this glimpse into your kitchen! Thanks for sharing!

  4. The room divider/shelf unit is a great life hack! Glad you found the right property and I hope it's smooth sailing from here on.

    1. Thank you, it is very convenient for all my jarred staples to be right there!

  5. Your home is really lovely and cozy! I like how you have the cubby set up - the baskets are great in there! I hear ya on the dust though. We have open shelves for everything but our dishies.


  6. Love your "new" kitchen -- we don't have a dishwasher -- we use a drying mat on the counter for dinner dishes (to dry over night), and wash & the daytime dishes as we go. Sometimes I wish I had a dishwasher, but I don't want to give up any cupboard space.

    1. I don't miss a dishwasher, except during canning season, so I am grateful for the one in the main house! It is funny, having to give up cupboard space in a small kitchen helps you realize that washing dishes is not that bad...

  7. I'm a fan of that style dish drainer. Ours is in a cabinet over the sink and it has a tray to catch the drips. Like yours, there's little counter or cabinet space in our kitchen. However, a dish drain would occupy too much counter space.

    When we return to the US, I'm hoping to find a drain similar to yours to free up the corner that currently houses the dish drain.

    Thanks for sharing with us with Creatively Crafty #ccbg :)

    1. I really hesitated before offering this post, but it has been fun to see that many have a different kitchen than what might be expected of a blogger! Thanks so much for stopping by, I appreciate it.

  8. Looks like you've got it all figured out! I have two Instant Pots (6 and 10 quart) and use them quite often. Thanks so much for linking up with me at the Unlimited Link Party 30. Pinned!

    1. I would have never thought I would be a 2 pot cook, but I agree, I use them often! Thanks for hosting, I appreciate it!

  9. Thanks for the tour. A lot of cooking can be done in a simple kitchen without all the gadgets. We've had our Berkey since 1999.

    1. Yes, it doesn't take a big kitchen to cook well! Thanks so for stopping by, I appreciate it. Have a great week ahead.


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