Saturday, April 30, 2011

A kitchen tour..........

After about a dozen years of running lights, first halogen, then becoming somewhat green and switching to florescent, we decided to let the sun do some more of the work, for several reasons. So this last week we had two skylights installed. Now we have pretty decent light during the sunshine days. And hopefully a smaller utility bill.

A couple of people asked to see the layout of the kitchen, I don't think we have devoted much time to a tour, so here is some pictures and miscellaneous information.

In the front of the kitchen, coming in from the courtyard we have an overhang, so light is somewhat stunted, the back door faces North, so although the view is great of the lawn and canyon behind us, it does little for light.

The older I get the more I need light to do the trimming, cutting, julienneing and dicing.

A couple of people asked about a kitchen tour.

Well here goes.

This is my workshop. Because my last kitchen in the states was the size of a large postage stamp, I was lucky to use an outside kitchen most of the year. I promised that if I ever had the chance to build a home I would design the kitchen to accommodate my whims and decadence factors. The layout is about 24 ft by 16 feet. The door you see is on the canyon side of the property.

This is the view from the stove side , above the breakfront is the sole important item in the kitchen. It is a neon coyote. When it is illuminated it signifies that the bar is open for operation. Your popular libations are contained under the bar sink and behind one door of the break front. It has been know that the coyote has kept operational on many days starting a little before lunch to past midnight.

This usually only happens when we have visitors and they are still in halfway decent shape to wake up before lunch. It also usually only happens on weekend and holidays.

Lately we have only had the coyote on once a month or so, seems that he is getting tired of advertising such foolishness.

Here is a better portrait of him. I only plugged him in to snap the picture. Especially since it is still a weekday and the workers are still working on the roof.

And for all of you stoveaphobes, here is the picture of the stove.

You notice that directly under the griddle is a rack which sort of acts like a salamander. It is acceptable, but not as good as a standalone unit that would be mounted on the wall. If there was one thing that I would change would be the efficiency of the burners, or rather the reflected heat take a little too long as compared with a normal salamander. Other than than, it’s a great stove, and it would be hard to whip up some of my dishes without it.

And one last item,

As you know, no kitchen would be authentic without the guardian of cooks and kitchens in Mexico……… Friar Pasqual is known as the patron saints of cooks, a saint in the bowels of the kitchen, the pots, the pans, the spices and smells that make up the flavors and meals of Mexico. He stands on the counter as a reminder to keep the balance between one’s effort to feed invited guests with the bounty of what is offered to us from nature without trying to change something that is grown with man’s hands and honor of the land.



Calypso said...

WOW! REALLY A GREAT KITCHEN. Functional, interesting and lovely. A job well done - sort of takes the edge off you being a struggling hombre living on a fixed income - must be pretty well fixed ;-)

Steve Cotton said...

Thanks for the tour. My kitchen could fit under your island.

Nancy said...

Wowee! I love it! And I have serious envy over your chopping block! Did you get that here? I have been looking for one!

Don Cuevas said...

"He stands on the counter as a reminder to keep the balance between one’s effort to feed invited guests with the bounty of what is offered to us from nature without trying to change something that is grown with man’s hands and honor of the land."

A very nice thought. Keep up the good work.

Don Cuevas has approved this message.

Don Cuevas

Tancho said...

Calypso, thanks it serves me well, keep in mind that we built the house 12+ years ago, when it was affordable, and we still are on a fixed income that wouldn't allow this kind of extravagance....
Steve, you are welcome to come use it anytime you want to try some new Michoacan recipes.
Nancy, the chopping block was schlepped down from California as was about 50 % of the house hardware etc. It would never be able to happen nowadays. 15 years ago, airlines didn't charge for 2 or 3 extra bags or huge boxes loaded with stuff.
Sr Cuevas, like my philosophical shtick? You have to agree, as a master of the culinary arts that we can only do with what we are provided....and you are one of the few that has been invited of the few that would appreciate the effort.

jerryL said...

But your refrigerator is so small and plain. I figured you would have a massive SubZero standing in that corner!

Tancho said...

Jerry, sorry to tell you SubZero is not a great refrigerator based on several friends having them. First of all they are very expensive, they are power hogs, and worst, break down a lot. We got this beast at PriceClub in Morelia before it became Costco years ago, it is probably time to update it for a more efficient model. If I had my way I would simply by a True T23 reach-in which I had in some of the kitchens I worked it. You could stick a whole hog in the thing and there would be still room, no fancy plastic just good dependable fast chilling. But, they are too expensive down here. Maybe someone will bring one down one for me.

Don Cuevas said...

I would like a bigger capacity fridge, so I didn't have to shuffle stuff to make space, but there are two obstacles:

1. Where would we put it?
2. Doña Cuevas is not at all keen on it.

I already bought a 15 cu. foot chest freezer last year, and we had to put it in the guest bedroom/office. That did give some space relief. I have to admit that the chest freezer has never even attained the half full mark.

Don Cuevas

Don Cuevas said...

I think I spotted a small, supplementary undercounter fridge in the kitchen island. Tha's a good idea. I might have space for one in our kitchen.

Don Cuevas

Tancho said...

Sr Cuevas, I hate the fridge that we have because it is has poor inside layout, things fall into an abyss in the rear and start growing occasionally. The shelves are wire which causes tall things to tip over also. We are also shuffling things around, and I don't like having to get on my knees to retrieve things on the bottom shelf. One of those bottom freezer units would fix that, but we don't need that much freezer because I hate putting things into the freezer, they seem to also become lost and forgotten, making a awful waste of food....
Sorry, that white thing is a dishwasher...we thought of an undercounter refer unit, but simply couldn't justify the need. I long for a commercial reach-in, but that would make me have to get a stand alone freezer, which for how little it would be used, too much of a waste of energy.

Anonymous said...

Quite nice, señor. Especially the coyote.

-- Felipe

Dan in NC said...

Fab kitchen Tancho! My wife would kill to get a Welsh dresser like yours! (not to mention having the space to put it in) I LOVE the oven/range/grill/griddle! Now enough chit-chat about the gear - When will you update "Canyon" with another fine lamb recipe?
Dan in NC

Calypso said...

I will add that we had a SubZero refrig and that is the rating I will give it - TOTALLY bad move buying that.

Refrigerators do not end at the buying - BIG ones have BIG power consumption - why do that for two people - me thinks Tancho is a wise bird.

Tancho said...

Dan, Ok you got me! I have a nice rack of lamb in the freezer which I will unthaw, should be ready by Tuesday or Wednesday... How about a chile and herb crusted rack? I'll try and remember to take some photos for you!
Calypso...Right On!, You would be surpised on how many friends we had that opted for SubZero's. It was kind of a status symbol, to have one, little did they know that they were power hogs and broke down all the time. Meanwhile we had a Frigidaire Refrigerator Only, unit that had more room and cost 1/8 of what they all spent. Last time I looked they were running about 6K for a basic unit....6K???? man you have to have a lot of throw away money to spend that kind of cash on a box to keep your beer cold......

Chrissy y Keith said...

If you are using propane rather than natural gas, it would account for the lackluster heat element. Those big rigs crave high octain.

Dan in NC said...

I'm waiiiiiiting..... Please ignore the drool on my chin! As to the rack? bit pricey NOB, but I'm in the process of defrosting a boneless leg, and look forward to WHATEVER you choose. I have NOT ever been disaapointed by your choices...THANKS!
Dan in NC

Tancho said...

Chrissy & Keith, yep we have propane, but the stove was built in Mexico for propane, it is just that the design is not as good as a Salamander, it is acceptable but just not sufficient radiant heat to do a good job.
Dan, if you know how to butterfly the leg, I will provide you with a decent recipe, hand on a day or so, I promise.