Most of you know that I have been eating gluten free since 2006. But, newcomers to my blog won’t know that when I started eating gluten free I lived in a 32 foot travel trailer with a tiny kitchen.
I had a tiny stove with three burners, a tiny oven that was give or take 50 degrees off from what the dial indicated, and a tiny refrigerator with an even tinier freezer. And did I mention that for the last 5 years that I lived in that travel trailer, I was a park ranger at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, which was 85 miles from the closest town with a grocery store. Whew!
Even though it was small, I could rock the kitchen when cooking!. I made cakes, and pies, and casseroles, and potato salad, and could feed an army out of that kitchen. Ok, well at least a bunch of rangers with a gluten free chocolate fondue.
In 2011, Fabgrandpa and I decided to buy a house so that when we retired, we could settle down and act like normal people again. So, in December of 2011, we bought the little house on 5 acres, that has this big huge kitchen (well, at least in comparison to my old kitchen)
We had planned to work two more years before we retired. I also had a lot of plans for remodeling the kitchen. But, life happens, I got sick, and we hobbled back home to stay the next fall. We have not had the money to make any of the changes I wanted to make, but I am happy with my kitchen for now. We did make two changes though.
First, when we moved in there was an old Jenn-Air stove top that did not work, and they no longer made parts for it. So, we ripped that beast out, and covered the gaping hole it left with an artfully contact paper covered piece of plywood, so that it looks like I have a marble chopping block there instead. It looks so much nicer and it gives me more counter space as well. And it cost all of $17 for the job.
The second change we made was to install a propane tank in the yard and get a gas stove. I have always cooked with gas, and I had no intention of changing in my old age. So, we now have this stove:
This gas stove has a griddle/grill in the middle which I love. I can cook a big ham or turkey in that huge oven, too, which is right on the money temperature wise.
Even though we have only lived here for two years, I already have a ton of memories in this kitchen. My father-in-law, who passed away this summer, gave me that blue pottery pitcher that he made by hand about fifteen years ago. It traveled around with me in my RV for 13 years. The canister set which was made my Michael Crocker, was given to me by my mother-in-law more than 20 years ago. The cut glass butter dish was a birthday gift from my step-daughter.
This little metal key rack is the first thing my husband and bought together when we were dating. I could never part with it. It is on the wall by the back door.
Yeah, that’s all my meds where I can get to them easily. My little piggy salt and pepper shakers are one of my thrift store finds in Flagstaff, Arizona. Aren’t they cute?
I have a stand mixer from Hamilton Beach, because I am an ambassador for the brand. I also have a nifty dual blender/food processor. They are on a little vintage storage cart that we found at a thrift store in Bremen, Ga. Yes, we love to thrift! Now that my house and kitchen are bigger, I can make better cakes:
And better pie type things:
I can even make better casseroles. I perfected my gluten free cornbread dressing in time for Thanksgiving in 2012. Mmmmm, mmmm. It is really good!
One of the things I love to do is re-create recipes for things we have eaten when we go out to a nice restaurant. When we were in Amelia Island, Florida, for example, we had this delicious Crabcake with Cranberry Chutney. I came home and created my version, gluten free of course!
We are almost done with the tour of my gluten free kitchen, but first, you have to see the refrigerator. It is huge, too, compared to the RV one. I keep it full of fresh fruits and veggies, and try to keep us fed with healthy stuff most of the time. With gluten intolerance and type II diabetes, I have to try to stick to that.
On the outside, the front has magnets, coupons, and paper pads to make lists. There is that one gecko magnet that was a gift from a friend years ago. On the side, one dry erase board for phone messages, one for an ongoing grocery list. I add to the list when something runs out so I won’t forget it when I make my shopping list. And, the appointment calendar. On the other side of the room is the dining table and china cabinet, both bought at a thrift shop. The china was thrown in free with the purchase of the cabinet. Whooooo!
And last, the painting on the left was done by my oldest daughter when she was in college. The fruit bowl on the table was the first gift my son gave me when he had his first job. And, the round face glass art on the wall is a souvenir from Flagstaff. I think my kitchen is pretty cozy, and just right for me. I do want to do a little more remodeling, but I can wait for the right time. For now, I’ll be happy knowing I can make my famous Mexican Seafood Soup and have room to move around while I’m doing it.