RT Cunningham

A Dirty Kitchen isn’t Necessarily an Unclean Kitchen

I don’t remember hearing the term “dirty kitchen” when I was in the United States. Perhaps people call them something else there. That’s what we call them, here in the Philippines.

Some people build dirty kitchens away from the main house. Others build theirs adjoining the main house, like we did.

Our Dirty Kitchen

Some people build theirs with wood, except for the roofing. We built ours with most of the same materials as our main house.

Our dirty kitchen is only about half of the extension we built on to the back of our main house. I took the picture this morning from the doorway adjoining the regular kitchen. The doorway on the opposite side of the rear wall opens up to the laundry room, which is almost the same size. Both rooms are bigger than any other room except the master bedroom.

I don’t remember when we started building the extension and I don’t remember when we finished. It took a few years because my monthly budget was too tight to do it all at once. It now needs renovation. We started by replacing the open windows with jalousie windows, mainly to keep blowing rain out. Actually, we started when we replaced the wood cupboards with aluminum and HardieFlex (a type of drywall) due to termite damage. That was last year.

I took the picture after breakfast and before anyone cleaned it up. My wife, Josie, chose the colors for the dirty kitchen. Can you tell she likes the color red? We have red cabinet and cupboard doors. A thin layer of red cement covers the original gray cement. She uses red floor wax to spruce it up from time to time.

The walls are cement and rebar, just like the main house. We’ve already repaired a couple of earthquake cracks in the laundry room. When we can afford it, we’ll replace the roofing with the same type of roofing we used for our carport. We’re trying to remove every trace of wood from the house because of termites, but it’s a slow process. We wait for termite damage before doing anything. We have wood wardrobe cabinets in all the bedrooms.

Why have a Dirty Kitchen?

We don’t want our house to stink. It’s really that simple. Josie and her sisters like to cook food that will stink up the entire house for hours. Things like dried fish. It’s hard to sleep when the air stinks around you. No amount of air fresheners can get rid of some odors.

We do most of our cooking in the dirty kitchen. In fact, I can’t remember the last time something wasn’t cooked in the dirty kitchen. Josie will, of course, use the regular kitchen when baking or doing something other than cooking on a burner.

Dirty Kitchens in the United States?

I’m sure you can find them in the United States, even if “dirty kitchen” isn’t the term people use. If I ask someone there if they have a dirty kitchen, I’ll probably be told the kitchen is clean or get yelled at or something.


August 17, 2017
House and Home

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