Saturday, March 25, 2023

Galley Slave

Back to kitchen madness, it's what's on my mind lately, I, being a small apartment dweller, have a small kitchen.  Just a tad larger than 10x6, or maybe smaller. Too lazy to measure, it is what it is.  ***BREAKING NEWS*** Beans got off his fundament and measured and it's actually 5x8, the size or smaller than a normal non-master bathroom ***BREAKING NEWS***

The layout is... like a galley.  On one long wall there is the sink and dishwasher, with some undercounter storage and some overhead storage.  The other wall has a hole (32" wide by 66" tall) and a standard sized range with cabinet space above and below the counter.  The far wall is literally a wall.  No window, no fancy cabinets, just a wall.  (If there was a window, I'd have to share it with the next-door neighbor, no thanks.)  The upper cabinets do not connect to the ceiling, so there's storage space above them, at least.

Cons are that it is a small kitchen. You can literally stand between the oven and the sink and reach most places in the kitchen.  Small.  No window. Old apartment, so the power to the kitchen isn't up to modern standards so can't run too many things at the same time.  There is no pantry to speak of, just extra room in the hall closet/laundry area across from the kitchen.

Pros of the small kitchen are... that you can literally stand between the oven and the sink and reach most places in the kitchen.  Like a galley (not the ship that is rowed by ranks of galley slaves but the kitchen of a boat/ship (probably not on a galley, that would be weird, a galley's galley.)) Seriously, the apartment kitchen is about half the size of the old house kitchen, but that had a drop ceiling which lost a lot of space from the dropped portion.

And... the wall.  The wall of nothing.  The wall that has no cabinets, storage, usefulness at all other than being a wall separating me from Mr. Smokes 2 Packs-A-Day.  Which is a good thing. (Seriously, after living next to me for 3 years and me saying pleasant greetings about 4 times a month in passing he finally replied to one of my greetings last week.  About passed out.  I thought he was a deaf-mute.  Seriously.)

So, from Day 1 of moving in, the lack of serious storage for the tools of my cooking trade forced me to store the various implements in jars and baskets that took up precious counter space better used for storing other things.  Lack of happiness towards that led me to think of possible solutions, including killing the next-door neighbor and taking over his space (this was 2 apartment-dwellers before Mr. Not-Deaf-Mute whose Indian name is 'Smokes Too Much' but then I'd have double the rent and that's a No Bueno moment there.)

Then a brilliant idea struck me.  After waking up in the hospital from being struck (just kidding) I realized that I could put peg-board on the wall-of-blankness.  But normal peg-board like one would use in one's garage, well, in a kitchen with water and water vapor and oil frying and such things, again, a No Bueno moment there. I saw these plastic pegboard squares, 16"x16", but they were black and plastic and rather expensive.  

I did buy two starter peg sets and a set of peg-board baskets from Lowes, but... no pegboard.  And stashed said pegboard pieces in that stupid asinine little cabinet that they always love putting above the hole where the refrigerator goes.  (Seriously, top of refrigerator is useful space.  The cabinet?  Useless, unless the cabinet extends as far from the wall as the refrigerator under it.  Stupid cabinet.  Should have just busted it out and bought an even larger fridge... maybe not.)

So I pondered.  Lots of pondering.

Then, during the Covidiocracy, I was meandering through the 'Zon (Amazon, that is) and searched pegboards and came across metal pegboards.  Powdercoated and sealed metal pegboards.  Perfect for a kitchen or other high-dirt and smutz environment.  Hmmm.  Ponder.

Just so you know, Beans is a ponderer.  I'll get an idea and can't move forward without thinking a lot about it.  Sometimes the pondering takes only a few moments. But that's rare. More likely days, weeks, months, and, yes, years...  Spontaneity is not one of my strong suits.  So much so that the few times when I've been spontaneous, it's shocked the living life out of Mrs. Andrew.  

So, after weeks of pondering, and having the cash at hand via electronic funds, I... purchased two 16"x32" white powder-coated metal pegboards. 

Like this
From Amazon
On Sale!

And then, I pondered.  Okay, procrastinated, sloughed off, been lazy, but mostly because I couldn't get my head into actually mounting the boards.  Seriously, it's a long-standing issue.  I'll start planning on doing something but it takes time to think about and get the old brain in line to do something (this post has been bouncing around inside my head since, well, I bought the boards mid-2021...)

So... Pondering time.

Finally, last... October, in the Year of Our Lord 2022 (no, not kidding about having to think about things...) I finally mounted said boards upon the wall.  And then immediately began populating it with pegs, pegboard baskets and all the kitchen implements I could hang on said pegboard and in said pegboard baskets.   

And, it's a good thing.  Lots of space to hang, which immediately became cluttered within 3 weeks, but there's a place for everything, everything in its place and I have recovered some counterspace.

And here's proof.

It's a little more cluttered, now.

So... music.

Mrs. Andrew was perusing YouTube last night and found this nice piece.

"Here's to Our Heroes" - The Ten Tenors
Really good piece, from a bunch of Australians

I know, Aussies, but, dang it, makes the room misty it does.

And another piece, this from Opera.  Puccini's Tosca.  Death, doom and destruction.  Man knew how to write and orchestrate.

Puccini's Tosca, Act 3, "E Iucevan le stelle." - Andrea Bocceli

From Wiki:  "E lucevan le stelle" ("And the stars were shining") is a  romantic aria from the third act of Giacomo Puccini's opera "Tosca" from 1900. It is sung in act 3 by Mario Cavaradossi, a painter in love with the singer Tosca, while he waits for his execution on the roof of Castel Sant'Angelo.

The aria is introduced by a somber clarinet solo. The incipit of the melody (heard in outline earlier in the act, as the sky lightens and the gaoler prepares for the execution) is repeated on the lines "O dolci baci, o languide carezze" ("Oh, sweet kisses and languorous caresses"), and also restated in in the closing bars of the opera, as Tosca jumps from the ramparts of the Castel.

If this doesn't strike your heart emotionally, even if you can't understand the words, you may have no soul.  Brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it.  Sad.  Powerful. 


  1. Ah, a man who does projects like me. Here's Eiver Palsdotter doing Nordic old style music

    Also should you like show tunes, here's Phantom of the Opera with a couple of outstanding vocalists This band has a version from 17 years ago with a different but still talented lead singer.

    1. Excellent, even moorrreeee music. Muhahahahaha..

      Yeah, it's not so much procrastination, it's really I have to get my head around it and then said project usually takes almost no time to do because I've pondered and wondered for so long. Now, if things go sideways, well, that's another post...

  2. Good thinking there Beans, looks good too. The Ten to the InterNets again, thanks.

    1. Yes, it does look good. Rather proud of myself and so glad I didn't strike any power cables or water lines or evil wall dwellers.

      As to the tenors, I normally prefer baritones, but for some reason most music writers and composers prefer tenors. Kind of like I like a mezzo-soprano (lower soprano) or an alto female singer but most people write and compose for high sopranos, especially in opera. Takes a really good soprano to make most soprano pieces work. And that will come up on another post...

  3. Crusty Old TV Tech here. Ten tenors? My word, one is more than enough for me. Pavarotti singing "Ave Maria" is more my tenor speed.

    That is a good idea Beans on the metal pegboard. That will require some pondering as to utility and location in Chez Crusty...I am a ponderer, too.

    It appears, on the above-fridge-cabinets, someone had a supply of gnomes to toss atop the fridge when wanting to retrieve objects from one of those cabinets. Must have been, since only a gnome can fit up there and get into the cabinet!

    And back to the music, and speaking of gnomes and trolls...Skol!

    A little Grieg to enlighten the morning!

    1. The Ten do a good job. Funny, though, is the group has had over 50 past member tenors, so it's like Menudo (a somewhat Hispanic teeny-bopper music group that kept on replacing members as they aged out) for, well, tenors.

      I do confess that I got the idea from my friend Ron from his house a long time ago. Of course, he used that garage-crappy pegboard and didn't have nearly the number of kitchen implements that I do. And, yes, at least once a year every tool up there gets used. More than once for many, daily for many too.

  4. Great post. Also, thanks for covering for this elderly slacker. I have ideas brewing, ideas ...

    1. Well, you're also a galley slave. Galley being the pre-publishing editing of manuscripts, of course. I'm sure your muse is going crazy with editing and re-editing and continuity checking and grammar checking and punctuation checking and all the other checking that you and she are going through.

      Though, whew, I appreciated the proliferate mind of yours, being able to knock out even 'simple' posts pretty quickly and on a daily basis for the most part. Kind of fun right now as I catch up on some of my many ideas for posting.

  5. I have, um, shall we say, several projects that I have been pondering over. And, then I have others that I just plan to do once I retire full time. Cause I need to have stuff to do, otherwise I will sit on my butt and just read all day. Every projects. And I figure I am saving money cause I am buying the parts and pieces at lower rates then the stuff will cost in a couple of years...especially the way costs have been increasing.
    But I really like that pegboard!! Plus, it is made from an easily washable material, cause stuff in kitchens do get icky for sure.
    I hate the cupboard over the fridge!! I'm short, so I always either needed a tall loved one to get me stuff down, or I needed to pull out the step stool. My current house didn't come with a cupboard over the fridge...but there is one over the microwave/stove with the exhaust fan going through it. Meh...not quite so bad as over the fridge, but not really a great use of space. At least I can reach most of the contents without needing stilts, or the step stool. Not a fan of the microwave being right over the stove either. However, it all came with the house, and it all works, so until it doesn't, that's what I have...I can deal, I just whine about it sometimes is

    And that is wonderful music!! Like you said, listening to those makes my eyes leak...


    1. Part of my problem is when I start accumulating, my obsessive addictive tendencies set in and I have to have EVERYTHING needed/wanted/might work for said project before I can start, you know, the project. And then I don't want to do the project because everything is nice and neat and in it's accumulated place and I'd have to go dig it out and check just one (lie - more like 10 times) more time to make sure I've gotten everything. That's part of the pondering process that I have to do before I can actually start moving fingers and toes and pieces and parts.

      Like I've got this design for a bedside dog stair made of heavy plywood that will also be for storage of dog toys and my shoes and stuff. Right now it's just stacked cinderblocks, which is great for storing shoes and catching parts of my legs and toes and ripping off skin and meat on the rough cement texture and reaching out and grabbing the little toes on the feets and breaking them and such, only been planning the steps for 10 years now and have had the plywood for 7... One of these days...

      At the house before we moved to the apartment, the cabinet over the stove was a wine rack. Great, heat is the enemy of wine and what do refrigerators make? Heat. Brilliant idea.

      And that cabinet over the stove? Because I actually cook, boil, fry and make lots of moisture and oily airborne particles, the cabinet over the stove tends to collect moisture even with the vent hood running, and mildews. So at the house I took the doors off, which stopped said accumulation of moisture. But...

      Here at the apartment the vent on the roof has a leak that management won't fix, which means water comes into the vent stack to the vent hood that is vented into the apartment anyways (seriously, vent back into the apartment? crazy world) so that cabinet is rotting and falling apart. I've got plans to just yank everything out... been planning for 4 years now waiting on management... and I may have come up with a solution using some discarded wire shelving, some discarded nice plywood, a small can of Kilz (in white) and a can of Flex-Seal. Hmmm... got the wire shelving and the plywood, need the paint and flexseal... hmmmm... (insert sounds of pondering.)

      I weirded out my public education fellows and fellowettes even more by being a fan of Opera early on. Something about music that can tell you the story without you needing to understand the language. Which Puccini was/is very good at doing. Same with Verdi and Wagner and others.

    2. RE: last paragraph. Me too. The math of music in your head mixes all up and soothes this beastly boy. No projects in the condo. Have to have other do them now. Too much $$$.

  6. Good post, Beans. Good ideas to share.
    John Blackshoe

    1. Thanks, John. Admittedly, not as interesting as multi-articles on military 'Constellation,' which were very good and added a lot to my knowledge base, but I try.

  7. I could listen to Bocceli sing a grocery list and I'd be happy. Goggle Julia Child Kitchen. She used pegboards everywhere. Her kitchen is now in the Smithsonian. I use Command small wire toggle hooks that you can peel off for my measuring cups. Put them on wood or painted wall and no matter how long you've had it on there it really just peels right off.

    1. I've tried those peel-n-stick hangers and I can't ever make them last longer than a week. It's due to me, of course. Some weird field vibes that I emit or something, or greasy fingers or something.

      Wife loves Bocceli. He's good, I admit. Josh Groban, to me, is someone who could sing a grocery list. Baritone, of course.

      I knew about pegboard kitchen applications, just didn't know about metal pegboards, which are, of course, so much better than old-school.

  8. Beans, I am another member of the "long ponderer" list. But, like you, the ones I seem to ponder over the most tend to be the most fully developed (and functional) ideas.

  9. We had a "one bottom" kitchen. Probably responsible for conception of at least first 2 of our kids


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