I thought I would share with you a glimpse of the arena where I spend my cooking time. It is very compact but in most ways efficient. Compared to my last kitchen, it is a dream come true.
When we first moved here, I had the very silly notion that my kitchen would give away not even the slightest hint that a crumb ever touched the counters. It is part of a "great room" so looks directly into both the sitting area and the dining area and I thought I would like to keep it pristinely empty of any evidence that is was a working kitchen. The first time I tried to drag the KitchenAid mixer from storage to the counter that idea went the way of the unicorn.
Now my kitchen is cluttered but workable. I rearrange things about once a week seeking the optimal but on the whole it works - for me - but drives anyone else crazy. And that suits me just fine. There's just not room here for more than one person.
This is where I do the majority of the food prep and then make sure it is cleaned up so I have somewhere to plate. It looks and is small but after reading somewhere on egullet that in a commercial kitchen each food prep area is something like 14 inches in width, I figured if they can cope then so can I. Since we rarely eat at the bar, the bar becomes another area to put dishes prior to serving and I will put the warming tray on the bar if needed.
And here's the answer to the "Thirteen Steps to Dinner".
Cupboard space in the kitchen is almost non-existent. The upper cupboards are only 11 inches deep and I'm vertically challenged so that only the two lower shelves in each cupboard are useful to me. The lower two-door cupboard stores my pots and pans. The drawers hold cutlery, cookie cutters, and such and the deep lowest drawer my small appliances: spice grinder, stick-blender, mini-chopper and a stack of face cloths for my two granddaughters who hate sticky fingers. Under the sink is like most under-sink cabinets - full of pipes and connections to the dishwasher. The cupboard to the right of the sink is narrow and awkward and so the only things in there are wraps and two large plastic bowls. So, if you have been following along - THERE IS NO ROOM for food! Hence, my pantry is downstairs, 13 steps down to be exact, and each time I want to make something I go down with a list and return with one or two baskets of ingredients and/or additional baking pans, appliances, etc. My freezer is also downstairs.
The small hi-fi cabinet at the end of the bar is an appliance "garage" where I store my breadmaker, blender, juicer, etc. We will eventually replace it with something we design ourselves but that's a long way into the future - for now it works.
Time to get cooking. I am going to make a loaf of whole-wheat bread for my daughter. I try to make two loaves a week if I have the time. I make it in the bread machine but bake it in the oven. Then, if work does not interfere, I will make some Danish red cabbage and Danish meatballs for tonight's dinner.