Monday, April 10, 2006

ask, and ye shall receive

So I borrowed the digital from work. First, a tour of my kitchen:

This is a shot of my kitchen through the "window" leading to the living room. There is a barstool-height counter/passthru type area, which I am very glad they put in because, otherwise, the kitchen would be too small to be usable. However, the counter isn't good for much, besides collecting dirty dishes. :) It's also a nice place to set canisters while cooking. Notice how high the cupboards are? Keep in mind I am taller than my fridge, and I'm 5 feet 2 inches tall. I think my whole apartment was designed for basketball players.

So, we're starting in the kitchen now, on the left side, (if you have your back to the counter.) This is my wall o' spices. I have discovered the importance of using all available space in a kitchen this size, including vertical space. Below the three spice racks, I have a magnetic knife bar. To the left of the spice racks is the phone and four-cup programmable coffee pot. (I also have a French Press for special occasions.) I store my cookbooks on the window sill: one of Jamie Oliver's, all three of Alton Brown's, Joy of Cooking, Betty Crocker's Cookbook, Joy of Cooking All About Vegetarian, a couple miscellaneous books that were given to me as gifts, and Herbst and Herbst's Ultimate A-Z Bar Guide. I don't drink much, but when I do, it's nice to know what's in your cocktail! (Also, notice the "naughty kitty squirter" ready and waiting . . . ! For some reason, he especially enjoys attacking me while I'm cooking.)

Continuing around counter-clockwise, you see my stove, ONE usable countertop, and part of my sink. I store my cast-iron frying pan directly on my stovetop at all times, (covered with the splatter screen to keep out dust,) because I have nowhere else to put it. Also, the teakettle I "inherited" from my great-grandma. (It's nothing special, but it's tiny, which is nice in this space.) The oven is so small, nothing larger than a 9X13 pan fits in it. I had to buy new cookie sheets when I moved in. Again, notice the use of vertical space -- anything that can be hung on a nail in my kitchen is hung on a nail. I'll have a lot of holes to fill when I move out! Anyhow, on the countertop, (which is 16.25 inches wide by 24.25 inches deep,) I have a flatware caddy, because the drawers are just too small for flatware, (the caddy also holds my vitamins and the pepper grinder,) a drinking straw dispenser, (smoothies!), my mini Le Creuset casserole, which serves as my salt cellar, and a glass "butter" dish with an Earth Balance buttery stick in it. Below the counter are four, 8-inch wide drawers that hold junk, cooking utensils, and plastic wrap, foil, and parchment. I store my dishes and glasses in the cabinet above the oven.

Here's the sink. The single sink. The single, 5 1/2 inch-deep sink. I wear an apron when I wash dishes, because I slosh a lot of water out of the sink. I also have to drain and re-fill the sink several times while washing dishes, or fill the sink with water and dishes, and stack the dishes on a towel on the counter to my left, then drain the sink in order to rinse them. It's a bit tricky. HOWEVER, I love my dishrack, which must have been designed to fit spaces such as the one to the right of my sink. (Thank you, IKEA.) It's only 10 inches wide, but holds a TON of clean dishes! Below the sink are two large, open cabinets which house the garbage and compost, cleaning supplies, and all of my plastic containers, which I store with their lids on inside a cardboard box with the top flaps cut off. Very high tech. :) Above the sink are two (very tall) cabinets where I store oils/vinegars/other cooking stuff, cereal, crackers, and bulk dry stuff (beans, grains, and pasta.) Above the dish drainer, there is a super-skinny cabinet that houses teas and canned goods. I use my stepstool A LOT. OH! Also notice the microwave. I hardly use it, but it came with the apartment, and I like how it's hanging above everything. Neat, eh?

Here's my fridge. Again, nothing special. I am taller than my fridge, which is kind of cool -- I didn't know they made fridges that small! When the fridge door is open, it completely blocks the entrance to the kitchen. In the cabinet above the fridge, I store metal baking pans, mixing bowls, my colander, and extra travel coffee mugs. There are also a couple bottles of liquor up there, but they are pretty dusty! On top of the fridge is my cooling grate, coffee grinder, filters, whole bean coffee, and bowl of bags of different kinds of dried fruit and coconut. Notice my laptop lunchbox??? ;-) Oh, on the fridge, I have my grocery list, and I have THE COOLEST system for this, but I'll post about it another time.

This is overflow kitchen storage (also known as the closet in my living room.) Pots, pans, more cansters (hot cereal, flours that don't need to be refrigerated, sugars, etc.), both Crock Pots, my French silicone pastry mat, rolling pin, glass baking pans, blender, hand mixer, Cuisinart mini-prep, cookie cuttters, serving bowls and platters, miscellaneous baking pans, and anything else that isn't in "regular rotation," like my ice cream maker.


This is the last, lonely cupcake from a week or so ago. (Well, four are in the freezer.) It looked so lonely, I put a class of soy milk in the picture to keep it company. And I forgot I wanted to take a picture of it until AFTER I took a bite out of it. Oh well. You get the idea. :)

This is the chocolate pudding/mousse I made on Friday. Mmm . . . if I wasn't already so full, I might have dessert again!

This was dinner tonight -- "chips and dips." Sprouted wheat baked tortilla chips (I made the chips, but not the tortillas,) with leftover mango salsa from Friday, (this salsa does not store well -- the ginger flavor overpowers everything. I like ginger, but I don't want mango to taste like ginger!), leftover homemade refried black beans with a dollop of Tofutti Better than Sour Cream, and a big blob of leftover homemade guacamole. (I think Fuerte avocados are just about the best things ever. When they feel soft, they are perfectly ripe inside. None of this "rock solid outside, black inside" Haas avocado nonsense!)

Kitties like to eat, too. :) (Also notice my beautiful hardwood floors -- even in my kitchen!)

That's all the photos for now, and probably for a while. Hope that tides you over!


Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

What a great tour of your looks so tidy and organized. I'll be back later to read more.

Eat Peace Please said...

Catherine, we have so much in common it's crazy! First I have to say that I think you do the same exact thing for your grocery "list". I have a "staples list" and basically just circle/highlight what I need and I never need to think anything up. I do have a space for "others". It's all categorized too.

Thanks for showing us your kitchen. This one's perfect for me too (I'm 5 feet tall, ah ha, shorter than you!) but I'd go crazy with the lack of counter space. I'm spoiled/lucky now as I used to have super-small spaces too. I like how you hung everything and my problem around here is lack of wall space but not space-space! You did a wonderful job describing to us all your kitchen details(even what's in your drawers, you're funny).

Like Vicki said, I guess you'd have to be organized. And thanks for the Ikea mention, I must go get that rack.

If I were you, I'd cancel that subscription too and for sure write a letter. There's a bunch of other magazines anyway that you might like better (Revolver Magazine, although I don't know if they smoke on the cover).

And your chips and dip... wonderful idea! It's like a snack but a real meal (im weird). Thanks for letting us in, I had FUN being in your kitchen. ~Leslie~

Eat Peace Please said...

If you have a bathtub, why don't you toss all the dishes in there and wash!?!?

Your sink is strangely-small.

Catherine Weber said...

yeah, I have a bathtub, but it's one of those old claw-foot types. It's great for taking baths, but really deep -- I'd have to bend over a faaaaaar distance to reach my dishes. Head rush!

I did actually have to wash dishes in the bathtub for a while because I was having water pressure problems in my kitchen sink. (The water was coming out in a dribble.) I just put my swimsuit on and got in the tub with the dishes. It was quite an experience, let me tell you!

I figured I'd be really detailed about where everything was, because I figured the first question on everyone's mind would be, "where does she PUT everything?"

Oh -- and I LOVE appetizers for dinner. It's my favorite meal, and usually a good way to use up some leftovers, too!

Flo @ Yielded Heart said...

Catherine, I've visited this post a few times now, but have not made a comment yet. Your kitchen, though small, has so many things of interest. I love the spice racks. I have looked at IKEA's hanging spice racks (I'm sure you know what I'm talking about) and I'm still thinking whether I should put the bars for hanging racks or not in our kitchen.

It's nice that you get sunshine in, though. To me that makes a big difference. I like the wood floor too!

Thanks for giving us a good tour of your kitchen. Now, who's next?

Dori said...

I did a quick scroll through the first time I stopped by your blog and now I'm back to check out your kitchen and your kitty better. I love that dish rack... that is so perfect. You're right about the lack of space and hearing the question, "where does she put everything."