Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Did I mention that my kitchen is small?

For a week after I moved in, I didn't have internet. Work's been busy, and long, and all-consuming, and I just haven't been able to figure out what to say here. The problem with a knitting blog is that it's about knitting, and now that I have no AC, and it's high summer, there's a minimal amount of knitting going on to write about.

But then I remembered that occasionally, I cook, and I thought I'd tell you about the challenge I set myself after moving here. My kitchen, as I mentioned, is small.

(Please excuse the dishes in the sink - I decided to take photos and write this after I fixed dinner.)

That's the bulk of my kitchen, with the photo taken from me standing with my back against my apartment door.


This is taken from the living room, and you can see the entire extent of my kitchen here. There's a closet that I use as a pantry, but I'll be honest and tell you there isn't much in there. The paper on the fridge is a takeout menu from a sushi place.

See? Small. Since I wasn't really happy with using a cutting board on the sink as counter space, I bought this cart from IKEA. By the way, I'm a lousy shopper. IKEA terrified me. Way too many choices. Nice stuff, but overwhelming.


Anyhow. I've set myself 2 goals while living here. First, you might note there's no microwave, and if you've ever followed me on Flicker, you might notice that I can't shut up about how hot it is here, so turning on the oven isn't an option. Thus, a lot of convenience food is out. Second, I'm really trying to limit takeout. Third, with access to fresh food (small farmers markets, a big farmer's market, and Trader Joe's) I'm trying to really limit processed food items. And finally, I'm trying to cook without a cookbook. I can't take full credit for this idea - I saw this blog post, and it resonated with me. So far, it's been an interesting experience. I'll admit to eating a lot of salad, and some basic pasta, but it makes shopping a lot easier. As an added benefit, I think this in conjunction with walking to and from work has resulted in me dropping some of the excess pounds I carry around. Oh, and my final challenge? My kitchen tools consist of one large pot, one pan, and one medium pot, a spatula, spoon, vegetable peeler and a can opener. Knives, a set of mixing bowls, my multi-tool and a George Foreman grill round out the tools.

Tonight wasn't the healthiest meal, but it was tasty - I brought some well salted water to a boil, then added angel hair pasta and about 8oz-10 oz of asparagus trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces. That cooked for about 2 minutes, until the pasta was close to done. Then I cracked an egg and dropped it into the water, and cooked for about a minute more. I drained most of the water off the pasta/veg/egg combination, then tossed it in a bowl with maybe 2-3 oz of herb coated chevre, and tossed everything to combine. To keep it from being too sticky, I finished it with a tiny bit of olive oil and ground black pepper over the whole mess. It was even better than usual, thanks to the addition of the egg.

This weekend I'm planning a trip to the market for more fresh vegetables and for some spices I desperately need. I'm having fun cooking this way, and it's a nice way to shake things up a bit. A friend suggested trying a chickpea and apple salad today, and I'm leaning towards trying that this weekend. Simple ideas are definitely welcomed, so please share if you have a favorite ultra-easy dish that I can try!


kim said...

We have the same exact cart from Ikea (actually we have two) in our kitchen! :)

Cordelia said...

I do too! I do too! The exact same one!!!!
That dinner sounds yummy to me, and not terribly unhealthy. It had vegetables, protein...
Can you grill vegetables on the George Foreman grill? I love grilled vegetables in the summer.

Elizabeth said...

That is a seriously small kitchen! Wow. I hope it's just a short term issue.

Bells said...

i have that cart from ikea too! It means we can both be in our small kitchen at the same time, one of us chopping stuff up and one of us doing the other jobs.

That pasta doesn't sound so bad in terms of health. A bit of oil and an egg - meh, that's fine.