Yesterday, I had my first company in the Studio at Sassafras Farm! It was an absolutely wonderful day.
Our day: Pat and John from North Carolina, Kickstarter backers, arrived around 10 a.m. The studio is not quite finished yet, so I spent the preceding couple of days laying in supplies and setting up to make-do. I still don’t have a couple of crucial items to make cooking and teaching in the studio more convenient, including my stainless steel worktables–but we managed! The first thing I did was burn the sausage before they arrived. I haven’t used these stoves before so I wasn’t being quite adept at adjusting the heat PLUS I left the sausage alone for a few minutes while I went back to the house to do something. When I came back, the sausage was burned. I gave it to the dogs and started over. Luckily, I had more sausage. And also luckily, that was the last of my kitchen trouble. For our brunch, we had French omelets (Julia Child-style), sausage, fruit, blueberry muffins, and Grandmother Bread with blueberry-lime jam and some Beulah Petunia butter from my freezer stash. I had roses, rosemary, hydrangea, and lamb’s ear in a quart jar on the table. It was quite lovely!
But, before we ate, they were ready to tour the farm. I took them through the house and out to the barn and the fields. Everybody got petted. Pat collected eggs. Here’s Pat and Chloe checking out the cows, who were napping by the creek and didn’t come up to say hello.
Back in the studio, we had brunch. I made some fresh croutons for our salad later and popped those in the oven while we had a breadbaking workshop. Dinner was going to be pizza, so we made our doughs and set them to rise while we took off for a little drive down the backroads. We stopped at the slanted little house, where I lived for two and a half years when I first moved to West Virginia, and visited with my cousin’s wife, Sheryl, and Georgia. Then we drove to Stringtown and toured around there. By the time we got back to Sassafras Farm, Morgan was off the bus and she had a little fun with my camera while waiting for us to show up.
Beautiful dork. That’s what happens when I leave my camera behind.
For dinner, we had Swiss, bacon, mushroom, and onion pizza with salad, and there were enough desserts to serve a small army. Pat and John brought some delicious desserts with them, too, including an awesome chocolate sauce and ice cream. (She has promised me the recipe! Morgan LOVED it.) We ate dinner in the perfect, cool evening air on the studio decks overlooking the pastures. The chickens provided redneck entertainment when we tossed them pieces of pizza crust, one chicken grabbing the piece and running with ten more chickens in chase. We had shut the front gates and let the horses down from the pasture, so they were grazing about the studio and gracing us with their magical presence. It was truly a sweet day. I had more planned for the day than could be fit into the day and we skipped some activities, so I’ll have to remember that in the future. Don’t overplan, Suzanne! People want time to sit down and just enjoy the farm.
Morning after in the studio…. Time to clean up!
By now you’re either wondering what the title of this post is about or you’ve forgotten about it entirely, but back to the sinks! If you’re planning a remodel to your kitchen, or even just dreaming about it, here’s an idea for you. My sink setup in the studio came about due to the requirement of a three-bowl sink for health department approval. (The three-bowl sink is for dishwashing purposes–washing, rinsing, sanitizing–separate sinks for each. You must also have a handwashing sink and a mop sink–those are located in the studio bathroom.) Last year, BuckeyeGirl had generously donated a three-bowl sink for my workshop kitchen. It had been disposed of during a restaurant remodel.
Unfortunately, when the inspector took a look at the sink, he nixed it. While it does have three bowls, the middle bowl is smaller, too small, and it doesn’t meet health department requirements for a three-bowl sink. (With BuckeyeGirl’s permission, I’m passing the sink on to CindyP, who will be using it as a garden sink, so it won’t go to waste! I’ve got it stashed in one of the stalls in the barn for now.)
You can see the three-bowl sink in this photo–notice the smaller middle bowl.
Three-bowl sinks are expensive, usually running $1000 or MORE. Yikes. But they’re required. Fortunately, I discovered upon discussing the sink situation with the inspector that the three bowls DO NOT HAVE TO BE ATTACHED. They just have to be placed fairly close together. Wow. That was like the sky opening up. With approval from the inspector, I bought a new, deep two-bowl sink (for around $269) and a huge, deep one-bowl sink (around $159) and placed them together. (Sinks purchased at Lowe’s.) For under $500, I had a three-bowl sink.
These fantastic faucets have pull-out sprayers. I love them.
Between the deep, deep sinks and the tall, tall faucets with pull-out sprayers, I will easily handle large pots for cheesemaking and canning. (The faucets were around $129. Also from Lowe’s.)
Yesterday evening when Morgan and I were together at the sinks in the studio, both of us running water and working at the sinks, it felt amazing. In the house, we’re often nudging each other out of the way when we both want to get to the sink. An additional benefit to having the two-bowl and the one-bowl over a standard three-bowl is that you have TWO FAUCETS.
It’s not too unusual for people to add an extra small sink in a home kitchen, but if you’re thinking of something like this for a remodel in your kitchen, or are building a new house and planning a kitchen–if you have the space, and especially if you spend a lot of time in the kitchen and/or have a big family, think about a second LARGE one-bowl sink. It is wonderful! The one-bowl sink is actually sold as a laundry/utility sink. It is an oversized and very deep sink–perfect for huge pots.
I love the deep two-bowl sink so much I’m planning to replace the awful sink in the house with one just like it. The faucet in the house is also terrible. While I can’t do a kitchen remodel right now, I’ll be happy to just replace the sink and faucet. (No room in the house kitchen for an additional one-bowl sink, of course!)
But if you have room for a sink setup like this, you won’t regret it!
We just replaced the pink faux-marble laminate in our kitchen and replaced the 6.5″ deep sink with a 9.5″ deep sink, and a faucet with pull out nozzle just like yours. I cannot even begin to describe how nice it is to be able to wash ALL of my dirty dishes at once, and let them drip dry in the other sink. The extra 3″ means I can stack WAY more. Some day I want a triple sink (one for dirty dishes, one to wash in, one to let them dry in) but I like the 2+1 idea, too!
On May 25, 2012 at 9:25 am
Ramona Slocum says:
I am so happy this is all working out so well for you Suzanne. I just love the way you discribe the plans and what happens through out your days.
Do you have all the Kickstart card pictures sent out? I haven’t received mine yet. I’m not in a hurry, I just don’t want to get missed. My name was included on the post awhile back.
Have a wonderful day. I dream of coming to your workshop- retreat one day. :wave:
On May 25, 2012 at 11:16 am
Suzanne McMinn says:
Ramona, I expect to have all the Kickstarter reward photos out by the end of next week.
On May 25, 2012 at 11:33 am
Karen Templeton says:
Yes,, yes, the sinks are lovely 😆 …but you had me at chickens as redneck entertainment. :chicken: Hahahahaha!
And Morgan just gets prettier every day. Wow.
On May 25, 2012 at 11:16 am
I am sitting here at Panera having my birthday morning bagel & cream cheese reading today’s post. I was so deeply enthralled with your day that when I came to the end I actually was a bit confused as to where I was… I felt like I was at your farm, in your studio, enjoying the food, the company and the surroundings. I love that your blog takes me to an entirely different location. With humor, beauty and love.
Thanks so much for just being YOU Suzanne!
On May 25, 2012 at 11:27 am
A few yrs. ago I did a makeover in my kitchen. It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint on cupboards/walls and a new countertop/sink , and new hardware, can do to transform a kitchen . I got a grat deal on a white,acrylic,deep double sink with a gooseneck faucet that pulls out as a sprayer. I absolutely love the deep sink/sprayer. Although I love the white color of sink, the acrylic doesn’t hold up very well. Even though I tried to be careful cleaning it, it has stains from the dish mats and the finish has dulled on the bottom. I find using my daughter’s shallow sinks,and ordinary faucet frustrating now. So if you’re changing your countertop and sink,I’m with you, Suzanne!
On May 25, 2012 at 12:08 pm
shirley T says:
Thanks Suzanne, for that great update. I loved looking at all the photos.You have really come a long way in just 6 months.You should start a scrapbook from the first day you moved there. I know, that takes up a lot of time, unless Morgan would like to help. It would be a bit of family history for the Grandkids to cherish~~down the road a bit. I’m sure someday that computers will be obsolete.
On May 25, 2012 at 12:42 pm
I second the pull out sprayer with great, great enthusiasm. Best investment in my start-from-scratch apartment kitchen. Just be sure any kidlets do not pull the faucet as if it were a 50-ft garden hose! You day sounds splendid. Congrats.
On May 25, 2012 at 12:54 pm
We just replaced our sink(double) with a new one which is deeper (love it) than the old one. Of course that meant replacing the faucets also. I would have loved one like Suzanne has but the budget wouldn’t allow it.
On May 25, 2012 at 4:35 pm
That looks great! Trust me, you would have *hated* that sink with the small middle bowl. I have one just like it, and there is no normal faucet that has enough reach to get to the middle of the two side sinks. I found an articulating faucet that would work… to the tune of $1800! Mine is headed outside to be a garden sink as soon as we re-do the countertops.
On May 25, 2012 at 5:09 pm
How do you keep those stainless steel sinks clean? Mine is a disgrace and I’m about to pitch it for one of a different material…
On May 25, 2012 at 8:02 pm
Suzanne McMinn says:
ack, stainless steel is easier to keep clean than anything, KarenAnne! You’ll be sorry if you get one of a different material, I think. If you have a lot of trouble with yours, there are special stainless steel cleaners that should help. (Look at stainless steel cleaners for pots and pans–same thing, works for sinks.)
On May 25, 2012 at 8:32 pm
:happyfeet: if you actually have room for the third sink but don’t want to give up counter space you can have a top made for the sink that is used as counter space but is removable when you want to use the sink. living in an rv we had “plugs” for both sinks to have much counter space at all and it worked great.
On May 25, 2012 at 8:29 pm
Suzanne I swore this morning that I was going to keep my mouth shut, because I hate to read comments from people telling you what to do. But I saw something in your pictures that is really scaring me. The electrical outlet above the third sink. I thought all building permits required electrical outlets to be at least 3 feet from any water source. The reason being that if water got into the outlet it could cause a short and a fire. The other reason is that anything plugged into that outlet could accidently be knocked into a sink full of water and someone could be electrocuted. I’m sure the outlet was there before the sink was put in but I can’t believe your inspector didn’t catch it. Now I will shut up, but I will probably still worry about it.
On May 25, 2012 at 9:26 pm
Suzanne McMinn says:
sueann, please don’t worry about the outlet by the sinks. It is a GFCI outlet (as explained in other comments, so I won’t repeat what they said, just wanted to confirm that is a GFCI outlet). There was not originally a sink in front of it, but it is safe and according to code as a GFCI.
On May 26, 2012 at 7:11 am
Sueanne37: It looks like a ground-fault outlet. These are allowed above bathroom lavatories and within a few inches of sinks or any water source. They are water sensitive. A ground-fault outlet sensing dampness will flip a switch, breaking the circuit to all outlets in series with the g-f outlet. They have to be reset manually–like going down to the basement and throwing the circuit breaker. I suspect g-f outlets are code throughout the nation.
On May 25, 2012 at 10:53 pm
You have a g-f outlet…It will pass inspection.
On May 25, 2012 at 11:14 pm
I’m sure that the outlet was in before the sink issue. The proper name by the way for that outlet is a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter). We’ve been updating our bathroom with paint, new medicine cabinet, etc. and while we were at it I had my son replace the GFCI. Found one at Lowe’s that has a 20 year LED nightlight built in! It was only about 3 bucks more than a garden variety GFCI. I love that thing LOLOL!
On May 25, 2012 at 11:43 pm
holstein woman says:
That is a great idea, I am planning a new kitchen and I will put in 3 sinks like that even if I am only single. I figure someday someone else will appreciate the effort I put into the house. Also the kitchen sinks will be 39″ high. I am tall so they will be high also.
On May 26, 2012 at 12:55 am
The High Altitude Tea Duchess says:
We all sure do get excited and wrapped up in the fun things you do, Suzanne! I noticed the metal chairs around the project table. May I recommend some padding? I am taking a painting class at the local craft store and their chairs are so hard and uncomfortable I can hardly stand at the end of class.
Just a thought.
Your studio looks lovely and I especially love the photo where it is back lit by the light coming in through the wall of glass that looks out over the farm.
I’m so happy for you!
On May 26, 2012 at 10:40 am
I just want to say that Lowe’s has a 10% military discount year round for anyone active duty, retired or who is a VA Recipient, as many returning vets who are discharged due to battle injury and so not technically retired, but still under VA care.
I just found out because I went there thinking the discount was only on patriotic weekends like it is now, and learned that it is year round with a valid ID card. Now I know that you won’t have a dependent ID card Suzanne, but anytime Ross is in town get him to go with you to shop there!! My brother DID get a discount just by telling the checker that his son was in the army a while ago too. It is true, but the checker just took his word for it, maybe showing a photo of him in uniform will work too, though I bet it shouldn’t. 8) Always worth a try though!
Anyone else who DOES have a valid ID (you know who you are!) can always get the discount.
On May 26, 2012 at 12:27 pm
Thank you everyone for letting me know what kind of outlet that is. Now I know I am old as dirt, because I have never seen one, or at least knew what I was looking at.
On May 27, 2012 at 12:17 pm
I’ve got a faucet similar to that and Love it like crazy. You can keep your stainless steel sink respectable with a little baking soda. Once and a while I pour a kettle of boiling water over it. Barkeeper’s friend is great if you’ve got something stubborn to clean up, but really I never have to resort to it for the sink. Different story for my pans as I am a big time scorcher.
Your day at the farm sounds fabulous.
On June 3, 2012 at 9:44 am