29 December 2008

my kitchen

over the holidays, i had the chance to cook in three kitchens other than my own. some of these kitchens were better designed and possibly "better" equipped than ours is. but, the fact remains, that our kitchen, however imperfect, is where i want to be when whipping up culinary delights.

carl's mom has a marble rolling pin, that takes all the muscle out of pie crust making. but her food processor leaves a lot to be desired. it may be one of the first models ever made, and while many kitchen gadgets of yesteryear are far superior to the crap that is made today, food processors have improved over the years, and i prefer mine. her kitchen has storage out the wazoo, and counter space galore...but i have to ask where to find things, and all that space is very disorienting.

chuck and hank's kitchen is adorable and spacious, but counter space is scarce, and oddly placed, and they are both minimalists when it comes to gadgets and utensils. i am sure their kitchen is everything it needs to be...for them. but it's not my kitchen.

Eric is is a gourmet cook, with a custom kitchen (it even has TWO sinks!) but i could never find the right pan for the job. that pan was at home. in my kitchen.

in many ways, our kitchen is all wrong. there's a stove where the dishwasher should be (we have no dishwasher), and where the stove and ample counter top space should be, sit the full size washer and dryer. our kitchen is placed where the nonexistent mud room SHOULD be, so bags and hats and keys and plastic containers and jars and every other piece of odd junk gathers on top of that washer and dryer, and drives me INSANE. the space is too narrow, and to make up for the lack of a dining room in this house, someone decided to make a low "breakfast bar," where no one ever eats, or really even sits. if the breakfast bar were standard height counter top, it would be a hell of a lot of prep space. but, as it is, it's a junk collector too--oh, and a place for plants in the winter time.

all that being said, i love to work in our kitchen best of all. i know what we have, and i know where it is. i love our spice rack, the one i made back when i was a cabinet maker. it is massive, with adjustable shelves, accommodating jars of all shapes and sizes. i like how the storage space is organized. i like our bread box that i found for a dollar at a yard sale, and spruced up.

i like our red coffee maker, and our open shelving (installed by me) above our main prep table, stocked with clear jars of dry goods. i even like our prep table. i've been carting that thing around to at least nine different kitchens over the last 11 or 12 years. it's not made of the best wood, but it is solid wood, and well constructed. i think i got it at target for $60. underneath it is more open shelfing, a simple green metal bookshelf. it's something i pilfered from a studio in grad school--left behind by a graduating senior, no doubt, who has completely forgotten about it and is now raking in the big bucks in a high profile architecture firm in NYC...

but, i digress. the long and the short of it is, for all it's flaws, our kitchen rocks. we have everything we need to make the things we like to make. and make them, we do.


it's good to be home.


Actchy said...

I love this post. I feel the same way about my kitchen, and suspect most hard-core home cooks do, too, because we know what we can make ... in spaces that are actually more appropriate for "making do." Charles and my parents made a veggie lasagne in my crazy small nook of a kitchen on Christmas Eve, and while the resulting dish was, as always, perfect, they were so frustrated by my space. I, in turn, could not find a damn thing when I got home from the hospital. Such is life.

Abby said...

I totally understand what you mean! Our kitchen is TINY - but Scott is always cooking up the most delicious meals. Over the holidays I pitched in and made some things at my parents house, and was annoyed that they didn't have the things I needed and was used to using. I kept saying, "You need this....and you need that."