July 5, 2009

My Summer Kitchen

I love our back porch.

My back porch. It is neither heated nor cooled and has both screens and hand crank louvered windows (jalousies). It serves as a laundry room, mud room, and extra storage. What I really love however, is that it allows me to have a summer kitchen after a fashion.

One way to help keep the house cooler.I use my double burner hot plate for most of my stove top cooking. There's enough room on the table for me to plug in anything else I wish: electric skillet, bread machine, slow cooker, etc.

A handy spot for my toaster oven.My toaster/rotisserie/convection oven resides on top of my dryer, and I use it for heating/toasting/baking everything except pizza. This is because my pizza stone is too large to fit!

The charcoal grill - our favorite way to cook.And of course we use our charcoal grill a lot. Ours is small, but it's usually only the two of us anyway. DH makes enough coals to cook two meals. Yesterday we cooked burgers. While we enjoyed those, we let a turkey breast cook, which will give us meat for the next couple of days.

The advantage of a summer kitchen is in keeping the house cooler. Cooking and especially canning add a lot of heat and humidity to the inside environment, which in turn make cooling the house much harder and the AC bill much higher!

I love our back porch.


Theresa said...

We had a summer kitchen in one of our old houses and they are WONDERFUL! This one had an old brick oven in it and if we wanted to bake bread in the winter it was quite usable. Heavenly smelling too! I'm in envy
as we didn't build a space like that into this house.

Life Looms Large said...

That grilling idea is brilliant!! We have a tiny grill too... I feel like we always run out of space, but the idea of continuing to cook while you're eating seems so smart!

I like how your kitchen is spreading out through your house!


Renee Nefe said...

I love that idea! In the heat of the summer (wondering when ours will get here) I tend to plan all our meals to be cooked on the grill or something that doesn't mean firing up the oven. I refuse to bake in the summer, good thing all of our birthdays are in the winter & spring. :D

I haven't seen you mention it, but I would assume that you have a clothes line for drying in the summer...right?

Anonymous said...

I love it too! In summer here we aussies tend to cook ouot every day on our patios, BBQ's are a lifestyle here for about 6 months of the year:)

bspinner said...

I'm jealous. I love your back porch/summer kitchen too. Great idea to use your heat producing small appliances away from your living area especailly in the summer.

Dorothy said...

This looks useful, and fun too.

I wonder what the climate is like where you are living? Will you be able to use the porch in winter too, or will it be too cold?

Leigh said...

Theresa, I would love to have an outdoor brick oven! DH wants to make it a barbeque/grill, but maybe we could have an oven too :P

Sue, we got started on the idea of cooking two meals when DH kept lamenting how beautiful the coals were after we were finished cooking. He'd always ask if I had anything else to cook and finally I said, why not! We've been loving this arrangement ever since.

Renee, I confess that I haven't gotten a clothes line yet. I tried to figure out where one used to be, but there's no trace. I priced them the other day at Lowes, but I still haven't picked out a spot for one. DH just cleared out some vines and brush behind the carport, so I'm eying that for my clothes drying spot.

Molly, I can absolutely see why BBQing is an Aussie lifestyle! It's cool, it's smart, and it's tasty!

Barb, I've wanted a back porch for a summer kitchen for a long, long time. I feel very blessed that we have so many amenities in this house!

Dorothy, good question. We do get cold weather, though it rarely stays below freezing for more than a day. It will often freeze at night, and warm up to the 30s or 40s F during the day. I'll do my cooking indoors then, both for convenience and for the heat.

We get an occasional snow, but the biggest worry is ice storms. With mostly above ground utility lines, they often leave folks without electrical power for days. Alternative methods of heating and cooking are a must around here. My dream stove is a Waterford Stanley wood cookstove, but I'm doubtful I'll get one of those any time soon.

Sharon said...

I love your back porch too. Your place just oozes charm.

LivingOurWay said...

We grill out a lot in the summer. This summer, I want to build a solar oven. I heard they do well with pizza.