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Jan 8, 2011 01:02 PM

What do you HATE about your kitchen?

Last September I moved into a new apartment, and I find cooking a little less pleasurable every day. I live with 4 non-foodies and, despite being awesome people, they only make it worse.

- No oven (!!!)

- Gas burners are super old and uneven, more like four little bonfires. The knobs are also SUPER sensitive at certain regions.

- Only a 2ft X 1ft area of usable counter space. Part of this area is filled with sawdust spices from the roommates (dried parsley flakes, powdered 'bouquet garni', etc), and a large, cheap drip coffee maker.

- Tiny sink. When I wash dishes (3-5 times a day) the water gets everywhere. It spreads all over the strangely angled counter and onto the floor. My kitchen feels disgusting because it is always so wet with dishwater, it feels like a bathroom at a club.

- It is always freezing cold. These old buildings in Spain are designed to maintain the cold to combat the heat during the day. So when it gets kind of cold during winter (10 C / 50 F) it feels ten degrees colder inside than out. There is no heating nor air conditioning. I want to wear a sweater when doing prep work but the sleeves get in the way.

- It never stays clean. With five people living here, and in a country where you have to walk everywhere, the floor is always filthy. The three girls leave hair and cigarette ash on the table. This all normally wouldn't bother me so much but in combination with everything else it's annoying.

- We have to divide up the refrigerator into fifths.

- My roommates have apparently never cleaned a dish before because there is always food left on them.

- We only have a few cheap non-stick pots and pans. I can't hold it against them, but since the other 4 roommates are here as exchange students from other parts of Europe, their money is tight. I can't justify buying a 50 euro pan either because I'll be leaving in July. I can't get a fond on meat to save my life, and sauces never come out right.

What about your kitchen? And what are you going to do / have you done about it?

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  1. Fortunately I love almost everything about my kitchen - it is large, functional, has a huge island, lots of storage, a large pantry and loads of room for my KA stand mixer. However, the one thing I hate is that one of the windows is literally 12 feet from my neighbour's kitchen window! When doing dishes, do you look at each other and wave? Pretend you don't see one another?

    What are we going to do about it? We will be moving to our lovely stone house in Istria where all you see is trees, vineyards and more trees and hear birds chatting. No other person even remotely in sight.

    1. Not enough counter space and the lack of a proper ventilation hood over the stove.
      I dont need much to cook properly, but when the fish hits the pan you know it throughout the house!
      Amd My wife picked these lights that hang too low over the sink. I hit my head every time!

      1 Reply
      1. re: AdamD

        I will agree with you on lack of a proper ventilation hood. My parents moved into their second home 7 years ago, and the new(er) house has a ventilation hood that leads to the outside. It's loud, but sucks up most of the smell to the outside.

        My dream home would have this feature.

      2. The black top on my gas stove.....such a pain to keep clean. Have to wipe it to remove crumbs, splatters, the spray with windex, then wipe again, and finally polish.

        16 Replies
        1. re: SSMDelta

          +1 on the black top! My first time having a black range at home and it is a beast to keep presentable.
          Even after I wipe it down with soapy water it will look smeary. I've had to embrace counter top cleanser and polishing.
          Glad it's a rental. If I ever buy the place and have to replace the range, I will not be getting a black one.

          1. re: rabaja

            I just got a GE Profile ceramic black-top electric range and at first I was horrified at how much grease splatter it showed while cooking. It's been a couple of months now and I've calmed down about it and now it's just part of the evening cleanup: I go over it with a sponge and soapy water and then I use a ceramic cook top cleaner on it. It really doesn't take me that much more time and it always looks bright and shiny.

            1. re: ttoommyy

              I DETEST THE GLASS BLACK COOKTOP HERE; I AM PLANNING ON LAUNCHING IT INTO A FIELD WHEN I DO THE REMODEL NEXT MONTH!!! When I am stiring something in a pot it is all over the place, and the splatter clean up SUCKS! It shows everything, and the black counter tops are just as BAD.

                1. re: weewah

                  I am counting the days to launching, there may be pictures!

                2. re: JEN10

                  How many burners does it have? I may just be there to catch it after tossed....:))
                  I completely know what you mean.
                  Our son has the most gorgeous black diamond countertop area in his monstrous kitchen. When I first saw I thought how lovely. But guess who cooks when I'm there?
                  They have two cats. FenderBender and HobyCat love the countertops. I'm usually doing something on the Island and when I do it always needs to be cleaned of course.
                  The effort of continuing to swipe it down with whatever they use to take water spots off and leave a clean clear coat over it, is too much work for me to have in my home.

                  Another dislike I remembered in my kitchen, and I have the best kitchen so really shouldn't complain, is the stovetop I chose. Kitchen Aid 6 burner. Had a choice of stainless steel, white or black. All appliances in kitchen are white so I chose white, duh. That's fine although I hate cleaning the thing but mostly I hate those really fat heavy grids that are light gray. Who knew that'd be such a problem? The oil/fat/grease sticks on there like glue and just try to get it off. Some of it is so baked on by now, having not caught it in time, I wish there was an appliance spray that would hold up to 6 different levels of burner power and not peel off. I'd paint it black, flat black at that.

                  1. re: iL Divo

                    Have you tried putting the grids in the dishwasher on the I CAN"T GET THIS
                    %#$@ OFF CYCLE? It may loosen things up a bit and help break down some of that cooked on stuff.

                    1. re: JEN10

                      well my thing is if I can't get it off with oven cleaner in the front yard with a pressure washer and brillo pad, the dishwasher prob wouldn't help much

                  2. re: JEN10

                    Finished the kitchen, finally posting pictures. The new range is a blessing compared to the glass cooktop. I am once again enjoying cooking!!!

                        1. re: JEN10

                          I love your island, Jen10. It is beautiful and looks incredibly functional. No wonder you enjoy cooking!

                          1. re: jlhinwa

                            This kitchen went from dysfunctional to WOW! I took out a small walk in pantry and a closet accesed from the hall to make room for a larger island. It really is a blessing to be able to have such a wonderful space. The island is rustic cherry, a great place to do all the prep work.

                      1. re: ttoommyy

                        I found that after cleaning the top of my black stove, I wet a towel, throw it in the microwave to get it warm/hot, and wipe the top down. Leaves it streak free...

                        1. re: VeggieHead

                          This thing is not even worth the effort. Though I do appreciate the tip.

                    1. re: SSMDelta

                      Co-sign! I love the look of my stove, love the functionality of the center burner & cast iron griddle or grate option. But HATE that black & stainless combo.

                    2. Afilador, this is not really "your" kitchen! You are leaving in 6 months! If you bought yourself a good pan you could certainly take it with you. Could you put up a simple sturdy shelf to get the spices off the counter space? If you get a Dutch oven (take it with you in July) you could approximate some oven dishes.

                      I'm in Utah with a decent kitchen, but I want one or two of those solar tubes (to illuminate the decency!)
                      Still researching these, afraid they'll leak, but hope to do this in the spring.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: blue room

                        No, I mean I'm leaving the country in July. I can't sacrifice much more bag space, mailing overseas is pricy, and there is nothing here I couldn't get in the States, so I will just have to wait.

                        1. re: Afilador

                          I've lived abroad a couple times in North Africa, and each time I go I buy proper pots and kitchen utensils, knowing I'll be able to find an incoming expat in need of some. Are there any message boards for foreigners living in your city in Spain? I always find the message boards an excellent place to sell off kitchen utensils (as well as Egyptian appliances, etc) to recoup at least half of my costs.

                      2. I know you're not asking for advice, but could you ask the girls to not comb their hair in the kitchen? That is seriously nasty! Hair in food, or the possibililty of hair in food is one of my peeves.

                        As for my own kitchen, I wish I had a serious vent. I have a dual fuel range/oven with a downdraft. It does a great job cooking, but it just doesn't....suck.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Isolda

                          The vent is my issue too; the fire alarm is always going off. I can't complain too much about my kitchen, besides the lack of counter space. There's not much room, especially with my KitchenAid Mixer and drip coffee maker. But it is cheerful and relatively well equipped.

                          If I could change anything, I'd want a window. I can't grow anything in my kitchen! A dishwasher and garbage disposal would be nice, but I'm fine without them.