Posts Tagged ‘kitchen


new fridge



perhaps the most important kitchen appliance requirement that we have

A posting review copy from the GE website for a recent appliance replacement

For some acclimating to a new fridge after 20 or so years with a favorite appliance takes some adjustment and change, the milk is in a different place and the shelving and placement of items is not the same as the old fridge. But that soon dissipates.


The first and foremost consideration is whether the appliance will properly fit. Outdated kitchens sometime do not mesh well with newer appliances. Height wise I had to modified the cabinets above the GNE21FSKSS. luckily as they were built they were easily converted to a lesser height by some trimming of the lower part of the cabinet and doors and relocation of the hinges and bottom, accommodated the GNE21FSKSS. The depth is also a consideration as with the new GNE21FSKSS the storage in door gives a greater door thickness so the GNE21FSKSS will protrude further out compared to the one it’s replacing. As with most manufacturers concise dimensional blueprints can obtained at the manufactured website and use to confirm the fit and location of electrical and water connections. Also don’t scrimp on the recommended clearances, that may shorten the life and proper operation of the appliance.

Other impediments can include your home’s entry door width and interior door dimensions. It may be necessary to remove the doors from the fridge when transporting to fit but be forewarned new fridges with door mounted accessories like ice and water dispensers, doors are not easily removed. So consider the above if you are going to DIY deliver and install this appliance.


As more consumers purchase items online sight unseen, It’s also worth mentioning that ergonomically considerations could be considered with household members that may be challenged height wise or may have limited mobility, motor function and range of movement. this GNE21FSKSS could be deeper, taller or require different positional movement to access the bottom freezer, than your present model. The bottom freezer with the upper sliding shelve give somewhat easy access to he frozen items. The sliding separator can be useful if your living in a multi generational or shared living space household and something that could be applied to the main box shelving for easy food item separation.

A large amount of food storage of the main box is in the doors is easily configured bins. These clear plastic bins are placed as desired on the inner portion of the doors , in our case french door configuration. At first glance I though that the bins had been cracked, all in the same place, until after closer inspection the cracks were molding lines in the plastic. Compared to our old fridge that due to overloading and subsequent failure of brackets, these door bins of the GNE21FSKSS appear that they will hold up well. Some family members questioned the longevity and durability of the plastic freezer components. The glass shelving was also an upgrade from our former wire shelving of the Roper (Whirlpool) and the plastic bottom shelve and bin. The glass is much stronger but be careful when landing heavy glass containers like growlers in the fridge.

The digital control function setting are a definite upgrade for the old analog knob style of set and check till it to your liking. even though they are rarely accessed once set, I worry about the long term function as the similar touch control panel of our dishwasher is sometime unresponsive.


The fridge performs it’s function efficiently and practically silent. intermittent noises are of the filling of the ice maker ( fill solenoid,water flow,  and shutoff operation), occasional repositioning of a flapper for air distribution (similar to a stepper motor sound ) and the dropping of the ice from the ice maker to the bin The plastic ice bin being of plastic construction can be a bit noisy when getting your cubes and we use a repurposed measuring cup as a ice scoop. I’ve considered a silicone mat at in the bottom of the bin to muffle the sound. The large ice bin makes a large quantity of ice available for distribution when entertaining but will take up freezer space, in our case not a consideration as we have used in the past up to 6 ice trays for ice production in our old fridge. The GNE21FSKSS is our first bottom fridge design to replace and aging side by side Roper that gave us many many years of service. The GNE21FSKSS selected didn’t have the external door ice and water dispenser and has a sleeker look, most others persons with the feature of water in the door dispenser reported that in a few short years these dispensers malfunctioned even to the point where the water dispensers flooded and caused damage to their homes. Not exactly something you would consider when purchasing for convenience, but having a water supply with no drain in the kitchen, this could happen.

The stainless front and black sides is a clean look and a frequent less considered point is whether the front and side will support fridge magnets. the GNE21FSKSS has enough metal in the stainless  to allow the use of fridge magnets if so desired. Selecting a fridge can be a long drawn out decision. Most appliances today after viewing choices and narrowed by budget, fall into a certain category and some appliances are simply bulk manufactured and branded under different labels. Persons who have seen our fridge have the same exact style under a different badge. Also the choice is narrowed by the bells and whistles added of simply efficiently cooling and freezing foods. Most fridge purchases only happen once every 10 or more years. to be fair in this report the cost was subsidized by a utility company for an energy conservation program.


Water filter is recommend to be changed at 6 month intervals, some reviewers also mentioned measuring the TDS of the water to verify that the filter needs replacing , a gallon meter would be a more accurate indicator of replacement frequency. What the cost of filters over the life span of the fridge is to be considered in the operational cost for this appliance if you are budget conscience.

I purchased the recommended stainless steel cleaner and polisher, the handles of this GNE21FSKSS seemed to show more residue of handing in our active kitchen than our old fridge. The metal seemed to soak up the cleaner polish so after several applications the door and handles look extremely clean and flawless. As with our old fridge I clean the condenser coils religiously. On this fridge as with our old one this requires rolling out the fridge and removing an access panel to get to he coils and vacuuming and brushing out the accumulated dust. This is often overlooked and a cause of early failure or reduced cooling, increased energy consumption or compressor or other component failure.


The only way i could give this appliance a 5 star rating would be possibly after 10 year of use. We realize that in today’s world an appliance is often obsolete before it’s failure and the energy use and convince upgrade may be the determining factor of replacement rather than the forced purchase due to failure. (note:this is not a “smart” as in connected by wireless/app  etc. fridge”) A prudent consumer would have a timeline to replace an major appliance depending on it’s expected lifespan


counter tops, before and after

Yep , they make it look so easy on TV.

Remodeling ! the scourge of the homeowner, it can be frustrating or a gainful experience. Many years ago (if you are that old) the great rise of the big box home supply stores came on the landscape, only before there were the local lumberyards that serviced the homeowner. A minor upgrade, priority one, replace the kitchen counter tops. Well not really  replace them but resurface them. The amount of home improvement ideas will hit you like a tidal wave, now narrowing it down to counter tops alone, granite ? solid surface ? composite? stone? cement? laminate?  What’s your budget is perhaps the first question of the re-modeler before picking up that hammer. The sky’s the limit so why bother, just get a home equity loan and call a contractor and thousands of dollars  later your dream house renewal is done.  Not so fast! With a bit of sweat equity this small task won’t run us into the poor house or a second mortgage

Now that we have decided on the method, re laminating the worn kitchen counters, we search the websites and stores for samples, probably the only way to view the hundreds of combinations of styles and colors that the manufacturers (laminate products are most dependent on 2 manufacturers) supply since chances are none to zero that the local home center will have a counter top made with the laminate you like on display. Fortunately the manufacturers will mail laminate samples free of charge and usually in 2 sizes. This combined with the website will allow one to select the style, color, size of the sheet goods needed and finish of the sheet goods. Also the ordering process is easy with the local home centers  have mostly all the selections available for online ordering AND delivery. Years ago one would need a truck delivery of sheet goods because of there size but now they are packaged in such a manner to facilitate delivery to the home undamaged. Purchase and ordering without visiting the home center. So we poured over the samples only to make multiple decisions and to change them last minute. Ordered, done deal.

One 5 by 12 foot and one 4 by 8 foot Wilsonart laminate delivered in one large box.

canvas6The before, a mismatch of colors, years ago I worked for a real estate developer and did some laminating on the job. We were able to order though our employer at the time. Some scraps served use as a small counter lower type desk was added to the kitchen years ago.


The counter tops will stay in place, usually they could be removed from the cabinets, new tops constructed, laminated and re installed. But to the nature of the kitchen construction, the counter tops are part of the cabinets, not easily explainable as the cabinets were constructed in place when the house was built one advantage is that there are no dividers between the cabinets. One might want to replace the cabinetry but you need deep pockets to absorb the skyrocketing cost.




The new re-lamination



Before view…







Before , laminate is brittle and chipped when moving the stove years ago.




DONE !   (years ago I converted and painted the cabinets and  doors and draw fronts to overlay  from the wood finish originals and replace the hardware).




High wear area next to the sink and edge banding that didn’t match.





The completed area, the total job  job was broken down into several steps, (weekends) one was the completion of the counters previously pictured, on one week end. After the laminate purchase a new sink was purchased to replace the well worn heavy cast iron original. The sink was actually replaced before the resurfacing of the counter as to eliminate any plumbing problems that might arise as the new sink drain positions did not match the originals and the original faucet connections failed upon disconnection . A bit of plumbing expertise allow me to use slip couplings to remedy the drain alignment and to allow the drain lines to remain on the sink as it was removed with only one disconnection point, the other were the hot and cold supply and the dishwasher drain. Again know your limits, sinks alone can run much money even before you get to the selection of faucets that can easily exceed the cost of the sink, and even though we didn’t plan on replacing the faucet till later, when disconnecting the sink, problems arose as to necessitate replacement sooner than later.  Anyone who messes with plumbing knows that is where the major labor cost (time) can be so getting this aligned (plumbed) before the actual lamination procedure of the counter top is a way to split up the labor hours (unless you have a team of plumbers at your disposal). 😉 and to avoid any plumbing surprises when removing and installing sink to re laminate the counter top.



New sink and faucet, decisions, decisions, Pull up? pull out? separate sprayer? soap dispenser? 3 hole sink? 4 hole sink? stainless? chrome? nickel? black?  Diane was happy to find this model that didn’t have the base plate and accommodated a 4 hole sink and only after stops at 2 home centers. A faucet is kind of a thing you want to see in person but some store displays have them beyond reach. All in all it is quite higher arc than the previous one but better fit for filling pots and pans. The pull out, or pull up integrated sprayers were passed by as it could be a wear factor over the years and another movable parts and another button to push on the pull out spray head. Plastic pipe abounds on these faucets made to ease the installation, no more sweating copper lines or trying to bend metal tubing for the feed lines, afraid at first of tugging out the plastic lines the installation was quick, clip together fed lines to the valve and sprayer and flexible plastic supply lines had me on my back for only a short time.


Whats next ? Solutions for the floor !

What I plan to add to this blog is the actual process description, cutting , gluing and trimming of the Formica laminate.





Recent shopping, 11/10/16


under cabinet lighting


It’s been a constant effort to upgrade lighting, step by step, to change lighting to LEDs. Since 2 years ago can lights (recessed lights ) were converted to LEDs in the kitchen/dining area, now that LEDs are now available on adhesive strips by the reel, some are now installed under the cabinets/over the counter tops.

The main advantage is that the reel of LED’s can be cut and configured to about any length, soldered, and a switch added. Buy a plug in transformer (wall wort) and installation is done.  The usual voltage is 12 volts DC so your not running 120 vac wiring. Follow the manufacturing directions on how many strips can run on the 12 DC adapter you selected.

In this application, the strips were cut and wired in triple parallel rows for brightness  into  an L shape to go to the right of the sink where the counter goes out to a 90 degree corner. The configuration was first mounted to thin wood strips to ease in soldering and then mounted under the wall cabinets. Some manufacturers   also offer channeling and lenses to give the product a more finished look.

The prices have dropped on LED’s over the years and if you factor the expected life span and  wattage/lumens output they make sense.

A quick search on any popular on-line retailer will give you ample choice of LED styles and colors for strip lights. If you choose not to solder, connectors, adapters etc. are available.

The lighting I utilized :

LED Strip light, Waterproof LED Flexible Light Strip 12V with 300 SMD LED, 3258 Pure White. 16.4 Foot / 5 Meter (Pure White)

Most components I bought, come direct mail from China.

The LED strip lighting does more than light a shadowed area below your cabinets and above your counter top, but adds a general accent  and brightness especially if you have a white or light colored back splash and can be used as a nightlight in the kitchen area given the low wattage these use.

I’ll post a better picture when the dishes are done! 😎




Light it up!

Taking a break from recipes, now a little tech, lighting in the kitchen area was due for a makeover.

Energy efficiency is being touted and the current lights consist of a ceiling fan light fixture, not always used, two can lights placed over the counters, one to the left of the sink and one to the left of the stove. ( The hood over the stove already has a LED bulb installed ,an A19 style) and a florescent fixture over the sink.

Over the years I tinkered with the can fixtures, incandescent , then compact fluorescent, and then back to incandescent. The sockets and bulbs were never really aligned with the reflectors and uneven light patterns and glare were the result. As slow as I move on a project, replacement cans (4) were first ordered with an additional 2 for placement over the dining area table to supplement the pendant light fixture over the table. (That pendant hanging fixture already has a LED bulb installed in it.) Months later, the bulbs were ordered.

Usually with can light fixtures, trim kits have to be bought along with the fixtures. The LED replacement modules are all that’s required, no trim kit is necessary. They are expensive compared to incandescent bulbs, but the LED’s consume around 12 watts each for 800 lumens of soft white at 2700k and have a long life.
The new cans are 6 inches diameter compared to the existing 5 inch fixtures in the kitchen , so the cut outs had to be enlarged. No big problem, a hole saw for a drill was out of the question, too expensive for just drilling 4 bores. A reciprocating saw would be used, and I found out the a fine tooth metal blade worked better than one for wood. Also the ceiling is not all that thick. Plaster and sheet rock construction.

The can light replacement and the LED module.

One requirement of the LED modules, is to gut out the fixture of any brackets that hold the socket.

Ceiling cutout to the enlarged from the existing fixture that has been removed. Paper template is supplied with the fixture.

You have to install a romex clamp on the connection box, not supplied. The fixtures also have push on connectors, no wire nuts are necessary.

Thickness of ceiling requiring cut. Oh! I’m supposed to mention that the power is off before you begin working.


The wired fixture ready to be installed in the ceiling.

The installed fixture and LED module.


LEDs sourced from


Can light housings sourced from Home Depot.


The spring clips are a lot harder to engage than pictured, a small mallet may help and also pre-bending them may help, also as noted on the instructions, self tapping sheet metal screws may be used on the clips.

Two fixtures installed in the dining area .

New bores were required in the dining area, small holes were first  drilled along the perimeter of the diameter of the opening needed to prevent the ceiling from cracking when cutting with the reciprocating saw and finished with a course rasp,  checking in the attic space first for proper placement between the joist, also a line (electrical) fished down (time consuming) to the existing dining room light dimmer for power. An additional dimmer is planned to be added for the new fixtures.
Now the kitchen and dining area are very well lit, is is not a harsh type of light as with one of the LED flood light type bulb in the back hall. One other advantage other than the obvious energy savings is that it will be many years till they require changing. More A19 LEDs will be replacing incandescent bulbs in the future. The most used fixtures are being done first.

one note ;if you are considering installing new additional fixtures and deciding on placement, wire one of the can fixtures to a cheater cord with the led installed and onto a extension cord (safely). Plug it in and hold the fixture close to the ceiling in the desired location and have someone check the spread of the light pattern to see if it meets their requirement. Less work than patching holes.


craftsmen of confection

Jumping ahead here , still have items to post from thanksgiving but here are some pictures from an open house kitchen tour yesterday.

It’s not often that you have the opportunity to visit a kitchen of a restaurant, let alone a candy making shop.

Open house and self guided tour at Sweenor’s Chocolates, Wakefield, Rhode Island.

more text later , for now some pictures taken of the kitchen area and assembly line. S W E E T !

IMG_4061 IMG_4062 IMG_4064 IMG_4065 IMG_4066 IMG_4067 IMG_4068 IMG_4069 IMG_4070 IMG_4071 IMG_4072 IMG_4073 IMG_4074





The New

possibly will be doing some blogging about this range soon.

The Old reblogged

You take it for granted, A twist of the knob and the flame or heat appears. You can do a lot of cooking outdoors on a grill during good weather, but when it comes to baking, unless you have a fully equipped out door kitchen, and agreeable weather, your kitchen range is indispensable. “They don’t build ’em like they used to” is what I would say about our stove.

20130113-194302.jpgThe Ol’ Magee Range, you may have seen pictures of this range in The Metro Blog in a little less than clean condition, but it’s an actual working appliance used on a daily basis.

Many years ago I happened to work at a location where a part of my employ was to service appliances. Over the years the decision was to eliminate the gas ranges and I was in a position to purchase one of the ranges for a real good price. Of course I look back and wish I would have bought more but didn’t have the storage space for them. So I have been cooking on the range for over 30 years. It gets moderate to heavy use and from time to time I pull it part to clean it. Not the sharpest looking appliance but none the less functional. You won’t find too much if any plastic on this piece of equipment. Very reliable and well built, the only real maintenance required is that the oven door hinges have to be cleaned and lubricated more or less annually. Also the burner valves can be disassembled and greased every few years. Original harvest gold enamel paint which gets a over coat of silver paint from time to time on the door and lower panel.
An old time feature is the use of standing pilots, today considered and energy waster, but provides a slight heat to the oven good for drying and proofing of dough if necessary. One of the best features is a separate broiler burner in the oven. No bother to switch from the oven to a lower broiler like old school ranges. One of the other options that was offered on this model was the “Burner with a Brain” a thermostatically controlled burner, now that would be real handy for mashing grains for beer! Another feature offered was a rotisserie motor mounted in the rear wall of the oven and with a special rack and spit with the use with the broiler burner allowed spit rotisserie use. Unfortunately mine has neither option. The clock module in the console has been upgraded from the original triple analog as pictured on the installation guide.

20130113-195224.jpg all cleaned up, the burners have “simmer centers”. FYI burners are rated at 12000 BTUs for you techie foodies.

20130113-195259.jpg under the hood, looking into the belly of the beast.

2015 Update:

A PID  controller  was added to control the oven temp. The original thermostat’s thermocouple broke off. A PID controller wired to a Red Hat valve was installed the the gas line (  3/8″ size) from the thermostat output to the oven valve. A bit of fine tuning and finish work is needed. The controller will be mounted in a enclosure.


PID wiring


valve install , needs sound/ heat shielding insulation, thermocouple wires will be routed.


documents etc.

so far so good …..


Kitchen Garden

This year I brought in some of the containers from the garden so i could continue growing herbs for kitchen use. I had some under counter lights  (florescent) my daughter had gotten from a give way on Craig’s List and mounted one under my kitchen cabinet. It gives ample lighting during the day and the temperature stays around 70-75 degrees. Now I recently planted more herbs with the existing ones and they have started to sprout. I’m keeping my fingers crossed as herbs are sometimes difficult to start, for me that is, and that they continue to flourish.


(L-R)  sage is still going strong, it’s flavorful and it has been trimmed and keeps sprouting leaves. The Oregano grows more slowly and each trimming brings new growth. The Parsley is being brought back to full growth as there was little of it left after being outside.

With this on the counter I’m more likely to use fresh herbs with everything. Now before a meal trim some, place in small containers, and set them on the table. Your family and friends can use them to season as you would with salt and pepper.

Great with side dishes such as mashed potatoes, pasta, rice etc. Serve bread with dinner ?  Alongside a plate of olive oil for dipping bread, herbs will give bread a new taste alternative and/or compliment butter.


March 2023

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