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My original kitchen was knocked together for $500 ten years ago, because I couldn't afford anything fancier. It's been great, but since Paula and I have started cooking everything from scratch, and since we're both mostly home so eating three or four fresh cooked meals a day from this kitchen, we're working it really hard. I wanted to change the internal fit out to drawers, including a pullout pantry, so we could make better use of the space. As a result we've been able to fit in the kitchen stuff that was spread through the house - I no longer need to go to the bathroom for ingredients with every loaf of bread that I bake, and we've scored an extra drawer for Jesse's homeschool stuff in our lounge room.
We've also got a new benchtop. The old one was floorboards, and I was warned that they'd warp and they did. I knew that eventually I'd score a real benchtop, and this one is made from recycled messmate. I couldn't help myself from "tattooing" the word SALT to the part of the bench I work on most often. Salt for the salt of the earth, which is how my house feels, and salt for all the tears I shed while I was building. And of course, salt for cooking and eating.
We also came over really extravagent and got a dishwasher - yep, one of those drawers hides the great machine. It's just a single drawer model but more than meets our needs - we run it every second day or so and it has saved us so much time. I get other housework done at night now because I'm not spending that time at the sink. Since we are very bad and often wash our dishes under a running tap, I think the amount of water used by the dishwasher may be more efficient. I can't tell you how much I love this machine.
I've been slowly collecting vintage crockery and containers for a while. I indulged and bought the cannisters from Timolino, telling myself it's good to keep the food in the dark, instead of my old glass jars. Truly though, I am in love with anything enamel and anything pastel. Paula, bless her, painted the shelves white to show them off.
And last, my cutlery collection. When I graduated top of my year from my computer science course, I received a bit of flak for using my prize money to buy something as un-feminist as the cutlery set in the middle of this photo. I have loved and treasured them ever since, and I use them every day - I hope I'll have them for my whole life. On the left is a very primitive knife and fork I made for Paula just after we met, on a friend's forge. They're a bit impractical for use but Paula still can't believe I actually made them myself, specially for her, so they get pride of place in our kitchen too.