Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Kitchen

I have measured.  I have 7.0 square feet of counter in my kitchen.  If you don't trust me and want to do the math yourself, here it is.  I have 3 teeny tiny counters and 1 just small one.  They are 12x23 , 14x23 , 16x23 and finally 26x23 inches.  There's not much you can do on a counter just one foot wide.  Also, my fridge slopes slightly towards the back.  I tell you all this because I don't think I have gone a day here without complaining or bitching or moaning to someone about the smallness of my kitchen.  It's inevitable, it's going to come out here too.

After a week of work-led food indulgences (last night a surf and turf from Rick Erwin's.  You just can't say no to that), I didn't really feel like eating, much less cooking.  But while watching an old rerun of Chopped, by far my favorite Food Network show, I got the desire to write in here.  And I knew I eventually wanted to explain my kitchen.  So why not tonight?

It is almost all summed up in the 7 square feet of counter space.  There's just not much you can do with that, which is why the chopping of vegetables has been known to spill out to my coffee table and mixing batters and doughs is done of my kitchen table.

The other downside is the lack of storage/cabinet/pantry space.  I have gotten creative with the minimal space I have.  The George Foreman and my aluminum foil, plastic wrap and parchment paper all reside where my broiler pan (if it existed) would.  Flour, sugars, breadcrumbs and bottles of oils, vinegars and soy sauce are stacked haphazardly in a tall cabinet.  My dishwasher gets the most use when it doubles as my dish rack. My hall closet actually holds most of my spoils from multiple trips to Costco.  Dish towels stay in the laundry room after they've been cleaned until they get moved up to the big leagues.  My cast iron wok and beautiful yellow kitchen aid sit on a bookshelf  in my dining room.  When my oven door is open and I bend to peer inside my bottom hits the sink cabinet.  Hopefully that speaks more to the smallness of my kitchen and not the proportions my backside.

My kitchen continues to expand further and further into the rest of my apartment.  My cookbooks have followed suit and currently lie on my couch, floor and bedside table.  The only one room safe from my unfurling kitchen is the bathroom.  The good news is that slowly cooking in a small kitchen is becoming more and more fun, as opposed to the misery it used to be.  It makes it an adventure, as I try to remember just where it is that I have stashed my colander.  All these chefs on TV with their big kitchens, double ovens and walk in pantries and of course they can cook!  But the real question is, could they do it with only 7 square feet of counter space?

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