There’s a lot to say about working in a small kitchen – too much for one post – so I’ll dish my secrets bit by bit. Trying to say it all at once has caused delay. (Summer vacation, kids, and busy at work are my other excuses for not posting for so long, but I’m back. Did you miss me? 🙂 )
Necessity led to these “discoveries”, but any size kitchen can use these nuggets to simplify and sereni-tize a cooking space.
Three secrets I won’t be offering:
These all work, but I prefer eating more, shopping less. Eating out, I admit, is a welcome reprieve, but I like home cooked meals best.
My first and favorite secret is simple, will instantly add serenity and space, and anyone can do it.
Secret #1 Throw away garbage before you use it.
I try avoiding garbage in the first place. Unfortunately, the world is designed to deliver maximum garbage. Avoiding it takes energy I don’t always have. For example:
I kept one box for baking instructions – but I could have just cut them out and put it in a drawer for reference.
So many things come double packaged! Cereal boxes, cracker boxes, granola bars, lunch foods. The box may have useful information, but mostly it’s a mini billboard meant as advertising in your home.
Ergo, the added benefit of throwing garbage away as soon as it comes in the house is it cancels out what I call the “Times Square Effect”.
The Times Square Effect
I don’t find Time Square relaxing. I don’t find the mini billboards on food packing at home relaxing either. It’s amazing how serene a kitchen feels rejecting the advertisements, even if the product itself isn’t shunned.
My house is half and half. I don’t open canned foods, for example, but I do transplant anything in a small plastic bag into a glass jar either right away or once it’s opened.
As a side: I use office clips to close larger plastic bags. They are a great source to avoid derivatives. They work as money clips, paper clips, chip clips, at times even safety pins or curtain holders.
Invest in Wide Mouth Mason Jars
It’s counter-intuitive to transfer food in a thin, lightweight plastic bag to a larger, heavy jar, but there is sense to it.
We humans are visual creatures when it comes to cooking and eating. We want to see our food and we want it to look good. If all the healthy dried fruits, nuts and beans are in bags piled on top of each other in a drawer, it’s invisibility becomes a barrier to overcome to eat it. We never “feel” like cooking lentils if they are forgotten in a drawer. Put them at eye level in the cupboard in a pretty mason jar – the dynamic changes.
Everything just looks prettier in coordinating glass containers. This makes for a seamless transition from cupboard to table too if you are serving anything already in a jar. Place the nuts, raisins, chocolate chips, jerky, etc. in front of your kids or guests as is – the serving dish is built in.
Invest in anything that helps you avoid garbage in the first place.
I’m digressing a bit, but it’s related to space efficiency and serenity.
We don’t use paper towels so we don’t need space to store them. We have 4 reusable straws which is much smaller than a box of 200 disposable ones.
More secrets to come…
- Eat Ante-American (not a typo)
- Be Anti-Derivative (again, not a typo)
- Play the “What Will Go Bad First Game”
Do you have secrets to use space more efficiently?