Hello, hello! Today I thought we could talk kitchens. It’s high time that I give you a little photo tour of my culinary corner, that room I visit every day in search of food. I try to spend some time in the kitchen every day. Most of my meals and snacks are prepared at home, even if they are eaten elsewhere, such as the lunches I take to work. This dedication to homemade makes my kitchen a busy place, one that’s always in a state of flux as food and dishes move in and out. I try to keep thing orderly, but I’ve given up on having a pristine kitchen because it’s one of those things that could make me lose my mind if I think about it too much. So: neat and (reasonably) clean, yes. Ready for its own page in Real Simple? Never.
My apartment has a very clever lay-out in which the kitchen is tucked into its own corner, but it’s entirely open to the rest of the main living space. When you round the corner to walk into the kitchen, you are greeted by my red oven mitts hanging on the closet that holds the water heater and my cooking gear.
Look to your left, and you’ll see the stove. The tea kettle and my blue Le Creuset pot (Little Blue, as I like to call it) are permanent residents on the stove. I use them almost every day, so it doesn’t make sense to find a “storage” space for them. Oh, and I used the cast-iron skillet here to make a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch. The skillet is cooling on the stove.
Look toward your right, and you’ll see my main prep counter, the sink, the dish rack, and the dishwasher. Also, I have some strawberries and bananas on the counter for a smoothie I’m going to make later today. Taking a cue from my big brother Charlie, I’m going to make a double batch of smoothie and save the rest in the fridge. He’s so smart.
The main prep counter is a very important work space. I do most of my chopping, mixing, blending, and measuring at this counter. The one unfortunate thing about my kitchen is that this counter is the only reasonably-sized work station, so it’s tricky for two people to cook together. I’m not sure Matt and I have tried to really cook together in this space, and by together, I mean a meal that involves a decent amount of prep and cooking time for both of us. Usually, our meals sort themselves into the ones where I do most of the work, and the ones where he does most of the work. But come November, when we see each other again, I think we’re going to press our luck with the tandem cooking. We’ll make it work!
If you turn around and look out of the kitchen, you’ll see my “dining room,” with its table and chairs. I really love my kitchen furniture. My only regret is that I haven’t had many people over to my place for meals, though when I lived in Evanston, I had lots of dinner parties and overnight guests, so my table saw many faces over the years. Those meals are among my happiest moments in life. I love feeding other people.
This kitchen and I have gotten along well since I started cooking here. It’s not a big space, but it’s well-designed, cozy but not claustrophobic. It gets a little tricky when two people are trying to cook, but most of the time, it’s just me. I love having a dishwasher; dirty dishes are my weakness, my Achilles heel. I can’t seem to keep up with the dishes, but having a dishwasher helps.
Admittedly, this kitchen could use some more color, but honestly, when I’m in the kitchen, I’m paying attention to the food, not the color scheme of the room. I’ve tried to brighten things up with colorful accessories, which I think works well against the neutrals of the cabinets and countertops. I wonder if the neutrals are almost soothing to me, making the kitchen feel like a refuge after long days in the lab. I hadn’t thought about them like that until now, but maybe that’s why I’m not bothered by the overall sparseness of my apartment. A little bit of color goes a long way for me.