People who know me, even those who slightly know me, know I cook. It is more than a hobby. It is an obsession. And, so, they often ask me about what they assume to be the fabulous and spacious kitchen I create in.
Yes, the world’s smallest kitchen is mine. Although our house is comparatively large at more than 3,000 square feet, the kitchen is the size of a walk-in closet, the byproduct of the German playboy who built the house for entertaining and not cooking.
I’ll give you a quick tour. First, meet Max, my constant cooking buddy. He sits at the counter but never begs. Cats are too proud to beg. Past the bag of cat food that was yet to be put away are my notepad and camera. About 99 percent of all the photos on this blog are taken under Max’s watchful eye at the kitchen counter. Diet Coke in Styrofoam cup is always by my side. TV is tuned to Food Network, unless it’s Rachel Ray or Sandra Lee. What is it with those two? So annoying. Lately, Guy Fieri’s beginning to bug me, too.
But I digress. Past the sink, which overlooks the Coxes’ house, is a bowl with my staples – onion (red and Spanish), garlic, lemons. The gas cook top is the smallest ever. Practically microscopic. Above that is the mighty Advantium, which is both a microwave and a conventional oven. It also has this “speed cook” feature, which is why we bought it in the first place. A guy in a home store roasted a chicken on “speed cook” and gave out samples. I’m a sucker for a good roasted chicken. The regular oven is next to the cook top and against the third wall is the refrigerator. That’s it.
Having the smallest kitchen in the world is actually an advantage. No pesky extraneous kitchen gadgets to collect. No waffle maker, ice cream machine, hot dog cooker or George Foreman grill. I have a KitchenAid stand mixer, a food processor, a blender and a hand mixer – all stored out of sight. I can’t stand clutter and if you open the mail in my kitchen you have clutter.
We have a “three square feet” rule at our house, a rule I don’t necessarily want to obey. The rule is in a fairly large house the three of us, when Noah’s home, will always be within three square feet of each other, getting in the way. This is never more true than in the kitchen. If even two of us are in there, we’ve taken up all the room. When anyone offers to help me cook, I always kindly agree but tell them they have to stand in the living room. I’ll throw a cutting board their way. Clear off the coffee table and get busy.
I will say the kitchen is a model of efficiency when it comes to the triangle rule, which is that every good kitchen should have the refrigerator, stove and sink at the points of a triangle. The theory breaks down, sadly, when you realize you need not take even a step to reach all three.
It’s okay. I can live with a small kitchen. I just pretend I live in France. Everyone in France has a small kitchen. I can smell the croissants out the kitchen window. C’est la vie.