Getting Crafty – Utensil Holder

chef's journal

 

As I described when I launched this blog, I have a small galley kitchen. My condo building was built in the 1970s when there wasn’t as much thought put into gourmet-style kitchens. I have since renovated and got new cabinets that reach the ceiling and better utilize space, but I’m always looking for ways to make the space more attractive and functional.

There is a support beam on one side of the kitchen that is part of the whole building, so I cannot alter it. It is dead wall space and currently I have my magnetic knife racks on there. I decided I want to do more with the vertical space.

Since I cook so much, I have accumulated quite a collection of utensils and gadgets. Nothing too gimmicky, but enough that my current caddy was not doing doing it for me. I was inspired by a grid-style system at The Container Store, but it would have required making sure there were holes or something to latch onto on each piece, and it may have ended up looking more cluttered, as not every piece matches or coordinates with each other. The other factor is that I do not want anything to protrude out too far and be obtrusive.

Overstuffed condiment cadd

Overstuffed condiment caddy

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Getting Crafty – Liquid Hand Soap

chef's journal   Sometimes my kitchen needs to be used for more than just food. Being snowed in so much this winter, I’ve been wanting to do some other experiments. Back when I worked at Whole Foods Market, we often had promotions for this amazing bar soap by Alaffia called Good Soap. It’s all natural and loaded with shea butter goodness. The only problem – I’m not a bar soap kind of gal. I like liquid hand soaps and body washes. Thanks to my Pinterest obsession, I figured out how to convert these lovely bars to creamy liquid-y hand soap. All you really need is a 1:12 ratio of soap to water. If the results are too thick, just add a bit more water. The process is easy, but there is a lot of resting, so this project will take you about 12-36 hours.

I weighed a bar of soap to figure out how much water I would need. I used 3 bars of soap, so approximately 45 ounces of soap. Rather than using 540 ounces of water, I started with a gallon of water and rolled the dice. Actually, my math was bad and I estimated a gallon and a half of water forgetting about the other two bars LOL

I weighed a bar of soap to figure out how much water I would need. I used 3 bars of soap, so approximately 45 ounces of soap. Rather than using 540 ounces of water, I started with a gallon of water and rolled the dice. Actually, my math was bad and I estimated a gallon and a half of water forgetting about the other two bars LOL

You can grate or chop up the soap. I was surprised how easily this crumbled.

You can grate or chop up the soap. I was surprised how easily this crumbled.

Soap crumbles ready to mate with water.

Soap crumbles ready to mate with water.

Simmer the soap with water until soap is fully dissolved in one soapy solution. I am sorry this is not more exciting.

Simmer the soap with water until soap is fully dissolved in one soapy solution. I am sorry this is not more exciting.

Allow mixture to sit for 12 hours. It should NOT be one gelatinous bar of soap like this. I ended up adding another half gallon of water, simmering again, and letting it sit about another 12 hours - a total of 1.5 gallons and a day of work.

Allow mixture to sit for 12 hours. It should NOT be one gelatinous bar of soap like this. I ended up adding another half gallon of water, simmering again, and letting it sit about another 12 hours – a total of 1.5 gallons and a day of work.

This yields a fuckload of soap. And cleaning the dishes is easy!

This yields a fuckload of soap. And cleaning the dishes is easy!