Friday, November 16, 2007

It's A Small World After All (and that's okay!)

Since you've already seen my pantry and my spice rack, I'm opening the doors to my hideous and very small 1970's kitchen in an effort to prove that no quarters are too small or too ugly to cook at home. This kitchen is about 2 ft by 3ft, and (believe it or not) is worlds larger than the kitchen in my last studio. I can't tell you what a pleasure it is now to open the refrigerator door and not be knocked violently out into the hallway. Had I designed this kitchen myself, things would be a lot easier and more logical, not to mention roomier, but like so many NYC residents, I am a renter and consider myself lucky just to have a separate kitchen (not that I don't pay through the nose for it. Did I mention it shares a wall with my bed?).

As you may have already noticed in the above photo, the lone drawer in my kitchen (next to the fridge) is only about 6 inches wide and holds only some of my cutlery and a potato peeler. Since the cabinets are small and built for giants (the very bottom of them starts over my head, and I have to use a stepladder to reach almost everything) I've taken advantage of the wall space and hung as much as possible. It turns out to be very handy when quickly reaching for a whisk or small frying pan. I've given up on trying to make it look better since I'll be moving in a few months due to a ridiculous rent increase. So, If you know of any affordable (read: rent controlled!) places in the city, please do share.

On the back wall (not pictured) is a print with a lovely modern interpretation of a bull fighter, and my favorite apron. I long for a pot rack to hang on said wall, but as the floating shelf fiasco of '06 has shown me, my walls are apparently built on stardust and a dream.

This picture actually makes the stove look much larger than it is. It's quite small and has only one large burner oddly placed in the front left corner, the last place I'd ever put a large pot. It could be worse, when I lived in London I had only a hot plate and a warming plate, which led to many two part recipes and a lot of rice and beans--but I still managed to make lunch AND dinner (I was a student on a VERY tight budget). The knife strip is super handy, especially since (having no counter space) I usually just put my large wooden chopping block over the sink to do all my prep work. I can just reach over and grab my chef's knife or a pairing knife with ease. The spice rack is great, but like much of my apartment I've definitely outgrown it. It's also far closer to the stove than I'd like, seeing as herbs and spices should be in the coolest, darkest, driest place in the kitchen. I think for next time I'll get the magnetic strip spice rack and put it inside my cabinet doors, Alton Brown style.

Anyway, that's my tiny ugly kitchen, and if I can make decent meals in it, I'm sure you can make some in yours, whether it's larger or smaller. I hope this will encourage you to do so. Don't fret, there will be some more straight-up food entries in the days to come. I've had a few special requests, so I'll take care of those first. In the meantime, happy Friday!