The lab-top that keeps on giving...

mama goose_gw zn6OHDecember 7, 2011

If you've read my kitchen remodel thread, you know that I used several old lab-tops as counters in my vintage-style kitchen. I DIY'd some runnels in the slab I used beside the sink:

When I was practicing on a scrap piece of lab-top, I routed a flat channel, just to get the feel for the router. I decided to use that scrap piece as a base for my apple peeler, so that the drippy apple juice would drain off into the channel and drop into a bowl placed underneath it on the floor. Before we found the marble table, I used to clamp the peeler to a drop-leaf table, and let the juice drop onto a dish towel on the floor, but it made a big sticky mess. I didn't want to clamp the peeler to the marble table, especially with etching issues, so I protected the marble with a plastic trash bag, then clamped the scrap lab-top piece to the table. The peels drop into a large bowl placed on the floor, too. Here's the set-up:


And, the sink which held a half-bushel of Granny Smiths with room to spare:

The filled dehydrators:

The spiral slices make pretty stocking stuffers and package decorations, when tied in a plastic sandwich bag with ribbon.

I found a use for another scrap piece. I didn't want to keep sliding the Kitchenaid back and forth on the black marble, so I had my brother cut a scrap piece of lab-top to fit the cubby. I sanded and polished the edges and stuck non-skid rug tape to the bottom to protect the marble. Now I pull the mixer out a few inches when it's time to use it, and push it back when I'm finished:

I wonder if I can use more scraps to make napkin rings? Just kidding...maybe... ;)

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WOW You have been so creative with that lab top. Great ideas and perfection on the grinding and polishing. Love that mixer too!!!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2011 at 2:07AM
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my goodness mama g! not only are you creative you're like a spring chicken! where do you get the energy? It tires me to even think of all you've done!

great going in rigging up things/ways to make your projects work for you - and your new kitchen!

I looove reading about your projects...

    Bookmark   December 8, 2011 at 2:18AM
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Great idea! I usually just set a pan under my apple peeler, but like you said, it's quite messy. But I am going to take a tip from you and put a plastic bag under it next time and make clean up easier. Thanks!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2011 at 10:10AM
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Mama goose- I think you should write a book (with lots of pictures) about your kitchen remodel and all of your wonderful DIY projects! Seriously, there are lots of people out there, who would love to see what you've done and be inspired to start their own projects :)

    Bookmark   December 8, 2011 at 10:43AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

shades, thank you--I bought the mixer used, but just barely. I'd been thinking of retiring the almond-colored one, for an apple green model, but the red one was just too good of a deal to pass up--$100 on craigslist.

desertsteph, one fall, a few years ago, I dried 3 bushels of apples. They were all gone by Christmas. Now I hide some, if I want them for the kids' stockings.

marti, after I took that picture, I thought I should have used a vinyl tablecloth, like the old oilcloth table covers. That would have made a prettier picture for the book that lavender wants me to write!

lavender_lass, thank you for the vote of confidence. I'm afraid if I wrote a book, all this fun stuff would seem too much like work. ;)

BTW, here's pic of the end product:

    Bookmark   December 8, 2011 at 9:45PM
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WoW thanks for this post. You cut the channel into the Soapstone for the apple juice drain ?
I want to get a dehydrator and apple where to mount it..

    Bookmark   December 8, 2011 at 11:18PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

EATREALFOOD, the lab-tops are epoxy resin. I'd never worked with that material before so I was practicing on a scrap piece when I made the channel. As I was setting up the apple peeler last evening, I realized that the channel was the perfect size to collect the drippy juice--purely a happy accident. I still need to sand and polish the edges of the mini-slab, which is a good size to double as a trivet.

That peeler is so much fun, especially if there are kids around. After I used it the first time, I ordered one for my mother and one for my MIL!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 12:10AM
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Mama-Goose your dried apples look lovely. When I was doing lots of canning on top of my mosaic topped island I used a large piece of that heavy plastic REALLY heavy plastic bought from dept store on 4 foot wide roll. Was perfect. I could splash all I wanted and no worry about grout.

I have been saving these tall pickle jars. I think I need to paint the tops that pretty green. Love yours!!!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 3:19AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Thank you, shades. The heavy plastic is a great idea. I'd like to get back to soap-making, and the plastic would work for that, too. I used to use the heavy, contractors' trash bags to cover the counters. The resin tops are supposed to be impervious to the NaOH--I (accidentally) deglossed my old laminate tops in a couple of places.

The jar lid is spray painted Rustoleum Gloss Fern. I love that color, too.

I was thrilled when my DD brought home a jar of pickles that's 80-ounces, but the same height as a gallon jar. It matches the gallon jars perfectly! Is it strange for me to be so excited about a pickle jar? :)

    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 10:08AM
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mama goose, you are such an inspiration! I just am amazed over and over by what you have done.

A friend from work had all us gals over, and gave us each a gallon pickle jar. Her dh spray painted the lids for us, and we made lamps out of them. I put a little country farm scene in mine, some had Christmas scenes, some woods with deer, etc. Had the light bulb attached to the outside of the lid, and had little lampshades on them. A person could then buy fabric to fit the shade. Cute! Just an idea if you have one too many pickle jars.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2011 at 5:44PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

misntroya, thank you for the kind words. I'd love to see a picture of your lamp--that's such a great idea! I can imagine lamps filled with seashells, golfballs, legos, pinecones--the ideas are limitless.

LOL, I just had a visual of the snow globes we used to make in grade school, with baby food jars and glitter for snow. One of those in a gallon jar would sure make a statement!

marti8a, if you see this, I have an idea for a blog topic:
We could all submit pics of re-purposed pickle jars. I'll bet shades-of-idaho has one covered in mosaics.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2011 at 11:23PM
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Great idea mama goose. I'll post 'em if anyone has 'em. That's actually something I don't have. I have several half gallon canning jars though.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 2:26PM
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Hi mamagoose, yes. I realized after the fact that you have lab tops. I have soapstone on my brain as I am awaiting shipment from Green Mountain so I can get my sink back! What brand dehydrator do you recommend ?
I love seeing your photos and ideas too. :)

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 10:39PM
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Thanks Mama-Goose on the paint color. I already put it on my grocery list. Also got up and checked the new pickle jars I like so well and they are also the 80 OZ ones. I like them because they fit two deep on my pantry shelves and the gallon ones are a little iffy two deep. AND YES!!!! I got so totally excited about those jars. The upside is they are on sale at $2.50 with the pickles in them fairly often.

I have used that same heavy and clear plastic piece for several years and it is holding up really well.

LOL on the mosaics on the pickle jar. Not yet. I am still working on the back splash. I DO have a large lamp liked up to mosaic. And it goes in the kitchen.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 2:31AM
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Where do you get your pickle jars?

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 10:41AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

marti, thank you, I like the half-gallon canning jars, too, but mostly for storage of dry goods. My kids love dill pickles, so I used to buy them by the gallon at Sam's Club. And a friend gave me the extra gallon jars that she had collected from a local restaurant, for a Cub Scout project. They had held condiments and peppers as well as pickles.

shades, I'm planning on making 'Chex Mix' soon, and I'm thinking that the 80 ounce jars would be the perfect size to fill and give as gifts.

EATREALFOOD, I have two Ronco dehydrators, ordered years ago, after seeing them on a TV commercial. They have heat coils, but no fan, so take longer to dry foods than the smaller Waring dehydrator that has a fan. The fan is really noisy, but if noise wouldn't be a problem, I'd recommend one with a fan. The faster fruit is dried, the less it darkens--I don't add lemon juice or ascorbic acid to stop the browning. And with all the dehydrators, I rotate the trays a couple of times.

Yesterday we made pastrami jerky. I have deli pastrami or turkey-ham sliced thick (ap. 1/4), then cut in strips and dry in dehydrator--great for hikes or camping trips. I've also dried deli turkey breast the same way, by first 'painting' it with a mix of Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, and spices.
My kids and their friends always enjoyed that 'homemade' treat.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 4:41PM
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