For starters I’d like to state for the record that I don’t claim to be any type of masterful chef or end-all-be-all of great cooking. But I try hard, I enjoy being creative, and I don’t like being told I can’t do something… like cook something basic in my tiny kitchen. I wanted to start this blog to share the trials and tribulations I have encountered cooking in my closet kitchen which, to be fair, barely counts as a kitchen because it is basically a closet with a fridge, microwave and toaster oven.
A little tour. Wine rack above, I always cook with wine not as an ingredient but more of a partner. Pantry lies on the four shelves between the fridge and the cabinet. Spices, oils and root veggies are on the counter with dish drying area above, and all my dishes and utensils are in the small cabinet below. Microwave is perched over my love, my gorgeous, 9.9 cu ft apartment fridge. The first fridge I have ever bought, making be feel very adult and very independent purchasing a whole fridge all to myself. I could go on an on, just ask my friends who got extremely tired of hearing me talk about waiting for my precious fridge to arrive like a kid waiting for Christmas morning for the full 3 weeks it took for delivery. Finally and most importantly my toaster oven, Curt. I have and you can cook absolutely anything in a toaster oven, and I would starve without it which I why I named him. There is no hot plate hiding anywhere and the sink is in the bathroom. This is all there is, and all I need.
Now that you’ve met the “kitchen” you might be wondering how I got here an why I have decided to survive out of this closet kitchen. I few months ago I decided I wanted to live on my own, but really didn’t have have budget to afford very much in Santa Barbara, CA where rent is very inflated and pickings are slim. I love Santa Barbara and have close family and a wonderful job I wouldn’t want to leave for the sake of housing. After months of searching I found this wonderful “studio-like” room at a reasonable price, but without much of a kitchen. I thought hard about what I needed and what I wanted and decided to make this studio work. I spent a few weekends working to fit everything into this studio and get the kitchen all wired properly so I can cook without blowing any circuits. My feisty little Keurig still trips the power strip twice before it makes a hot cup of coffee on weekends, but that’s another issue yet to be fully resolved. Weekdays I keep pretty busy having dinner with my parents once a week, my grandparents once of week, and girlfriends or the occasional date other nights… so my weeknight cooking is pretty limited. I still love cooking, creating and providing snacks, hors d’oeuvres or deserts for various events for work or with girlfriends.
I know many people find cooking intimidating and many can’t imagine how I feed myself in my closet kitchen. I want to share my stories, victories and failures alike, to show that cooking doesn’t have to be all that scary and with a little invention and persistence you can make some pretty good stuff without a lota space.
More to come! ~ M