“The Cabinet” Kitchen – Thanksgiving Stewp

A couple days before Thanksgiving this year I got the hankerin’ to make what has become a favorite – Thanksgiving Stewp. As I lay lounging across the recycled, and soon to be tossed on the burn pile love seat I stared aimlessly at the dreaded kitchen layout and cabinets. Really! Of course we are dealing with trailer quality construction, which at times can be impressive and at others, well, not so much.

Yes, the realization and the timing of this posting is around New Years but you know what, lounging and thinkin’ has taken up more of my time lately than actually working on tiny house projects or cooking for that matter.

To start off with there must be one piece of knowledge that you better be aware of. Electricity was recently installed. Actually it was turned on just before we got our first snow fall in November. Just in time to crank up those horribly inefficient electric heaters. While there are still so many cracks and breezes that allows the cold air to come in the dogs and I are staying relatively warm. So with that said, the oven and stove are still not hooked up.

No turkey feasting this year.

No ham feasting for Christmas either.

But! But!

The need for Thanksgiving stewp was just too much to handle and in all actuality the flow of this tiny laid out kitchen needed to be discovered. So, I rolled out of the blanket off the couch to my feet and dug in.

The kitchen floor plan is … well … tiny. Duh ?. It’s a tiny house. The width total is 7 foot 10 inches and the length is roughly the same, coming in at just under 8 feet. The cabinet space leaves a lot to be desired. Granted, I know this 1994 “park model” wasn’t built for turkey dinners or Christmas feasts but from now on it will be.

Proceeding on, this last summer the first real cabinet was installed. This gave a whole new 3 foot long space to chop, mix and sprinkle to our hearts content. It was already the perfect size space for catchin’ the pressure canned jars and that was a must!

You see this tiny ass kitchen has a lot to live up too. Baking must happen, Sunday Suppers must happen, canning summer veggies must happen, and preserving large wild animals must happen. Plus, the storage capacity to hold all such tools, pots, mixers, pans, and jars that will be needed. Pretty tall order for roughly 49 square feet. Now, that I think about it and see it completely written out … yikes! Am I forcing too much into this tiny space? I think not. I have faith everything will find a place and live happily ever after ( said in my romantically induced heart attack ).

Continuing our tour around the kitchen the next thing we see after the new cabinet that holds heavy jars of full stewps and bulk spices, we come to the four burner stove and oven that is not wired in. So you know this appliance was of course rescued for $40 from our local reclaim store and allows for a turkey or ham deep in its belly! This makes momma very happy! If a turkey fits, anything will fit.

Moving along the counter space the next part we come to is a massive, at least what seems like a massive sink in such a tiny area. This thing measures in at 32 inches long by 19 inches wide. Plenty of double sink suds for doing dishes. The problem lies in the fact that it measures 32 inches long. That’s a ton of counter space dedicated to a dropped in aluminum water hole. Honestly, I don’t like doing dishes and knowing my fingers will eventually suffer from dish pan hands – since there will be no dishwasher installed – I better figure out a way to make this work. Oh! There better be a way to cover every inch of that sink for such things that are important like food prep. As for making Thanksgiving stewp, I just need a bit more counter space so a piece of plywood now covers the sink perfectly.

When I put the pressure canner on the stove the realization kicked in that yes, I will need a foot stool and that there was very little space between the top of the canner and the hood/fan/air/light blowy thing.

On the left side of the sink there is 41 glorious more inches of counter space. At times it seems like so much until you load in three bags of groceries and the whole kitchen seems to virtually vanish before your own eyes!

You see, the plan is everything will have a designated space here in the kitchen. All baking stuff will be grouped together in its own home, all canning stuff neatly stored in its own designated space.

That is the idea, whether or not it stays organized is a completely different story.

On the other side of the tiny kitchen space ( opposite of everything and the kitchen sink ) sits the biggest waste of 39 inches of space, which is actually a hanging clothes closet and 6 shallow drawers. The doors to this built in space open up to shelves on one side that could be used for kitchen type stuff and the other is as mentioned, hanging clothes storage. I know, I know, the almost 8 feet in the back bedroom isn’t enough for two people to share if the stay for a week so I’m thinking that designers booted the guy and his clothes to the kitchen. ?

The hanging clothes closet and it’s shallow drawer friends will have to go. A whole new built in with beautifully organized cubicles will stand in this place measuring in at 79 inches tall, 39 inches wide and 24 inches deep. Just so you know my arm length is just over 24 inches so all things will be reachable.

After the 36 inches of fridge space comes about 18 inches of dead space that was originally intended for the dining room table. My guess. Well, if you know me I can’t stand wasted space. That wall now houses a huge cabinet for drinks of all sorts. Mostly … tea.

The idea for this cabinet came to me after a long conversation with momma. Her and I both love our tea stashes so this had to be brought out of a kitchen cupboard and into its own radiant, glowing space. One, it opens up space in the kitchen to store stuff out of sight and allows for one whole cabinet above the sink to disappear. Calm down, don’t have a gasping for air choking spell. You will see later why the cabinet must go. ( As I type this with an grin on my face and I rubbing my hands together quickly! Yup! I have a secret surprise! ) Plus, it’s easier to get to the whole hot water dispenser and bags of tea from the living room where readin’ books on the couch is a must-have pastime.

With the tea now out in the middle between the kitchen and living space it’s easy for anyone to get to and it opens up more storage for juices, bottled waters or as you see in the picture bottles of goodies, without taking up valuable kitchen real estate. Plus, it’s just plain fun to look at.

Can you see why now I lay on the couch staring aimlessly at the kitchen? There’s a lot going on in there. High impact entertainment for hours just waiting to be organized! Bare with me. This kitchen will rock! Or be functional for the rest of my life to say the least.

Back to the stewp. What I was finding as I was chippin’ away at the pumpkin skin, slicin’ up the sausage, and strippin’ the turkey meat from it’s leg bones was a desire to do more. The flow of the roughly 49 square feet was pretty decent. The canning process will work in the way I am accustomed to with empty clean jars on the left, loaded into the pressure canner, emptied on the right counter and left to pop and seal out of the way! That will work beautifully except for this time around. Yes, I went through the motions but since the stove isn’t wired in I ended up canning the stewp on the propane bbq.

Don’t judge.

After stewpin’ most of the day and sealin’ up jars the whole tiny space was filled with the most wonderful stewpin’ smells. A couple days later, I do admit, the graph paper came out and new plans are in the works. Of course!? Of course, you will be updated on the new and improved layout. Figured you would ask. As for the stewp recipe well … you can find it on my personal Pinterest board ( recipe by Ingrid Beer/ The Cozy Apron – Harvest Stew with Smoked Sausage ) but this was just a starting point for a pretty darn magnificent stewp!

Doesn’t matter where we live, the boys will always have the same rule. When momma is cookin’ in the kitchen … NO BOYS ALLOWED! I’m not horribly mean but I did make them all wait for a lunch turkey treat so I could take a picture of them all in the opening for you! Cheers!

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