My dream kitchen could be a lot of things: a classic symphony of polished marble countertops, deep cherry cabinets, and sparkling glass tiles, or a shabby chic collection of fun colors and fully functional, retro appliances. I’d happily chop vegetables in a warm, country kitchen with a rustic wood table, or a modern, industrial space dominated by a center island with seating for six. Regardless of the style however, my dream kitchens all have one thing in common: an adjacent room the size of a walk-in closet where I could store every single piece of cookware, small appliance, gadget, and entertainment accessory that caught my eye.
If only! In real life, I live in a house that was built in 1924, and although there are plenty of charming architectural details in main rooms, there really isn’t much to see in the kitchen. It’s a room with four walls and three doors, and I’m sure the back of it used to be a porch or a hallway where the refrigerator lived before the space was incorporated into the house sometime during the 50’s. There’s a sink, a stove, a refrigerator and just enough room for a table that rather tightly seats four. I have two itsy-bitsy countertops, four cupboards and a narrow pantry. Still, I’ve learned to work within this space, and created a kitchen that works for me 365 days a year. In short, it’s your average, every day kitchen.
As for that walk-in closet that holds all of my beloved tools and gadgets the way Carrie Bradshaw’s closet holds shoes, it doesn’t exist exactly. My cookbooks, serving trays, and large bowls are in a dining room secretary, my glassware is in a cabinet in the living room, and many of my small electrics are on a shelf in the basement. My actual kitchen is reserved for the stuff I really need and use all the time.
I have a friend who is still amazed that I cooked for myself before I was married. Hey, I like to eat! Over the years I’ve managed to keep up with the ever-changing tastes of my growing family, hosted Christmas brunches and Thanksgiving dinners for up to 20 guests, thrown parties, and even catered my last wedding reception in our backyard. (Ok, I had to borrow some stuff for that one!) The point is that my kitchen serves me, not the other way around. It took trial and error and time, but at last I’ve developed a healthy repertoire of recipes and dishes that don’t require tools that I either don’t own, or don’t feel like dragging out of the back of an already overstuffed cupboard.
But enough about my kitchen – let’s talk about yours! Whether you’re fortunate enough to live in a house that features one of my dream kitchens, or you make do with a little stove, sink and fridge shoved against the back wall of your apartment, I’m betting you’re on food duty pretty much every day. What works for me might not suit your style, so let’s figure out what your every day kitchen needs in terms of cookware, utensils, and gadgets…oh my! We’ll talk about what’s out there, what some people love, and what other people hate. We’re aiming to cook smarter, not harder, so grab a coffee or a tea, and c’mon in! Lazy Suzi is always looking for an easy way to help you love your kitchen!