Back to our sobering college lifestyle here in Ithaca...which means, a more industrial kitchen. It's bigger and LEED-certified with rubber flooring. Totally utilitarian, and not pretty or stylish. We humored it for a few days, but we had to replace the sink faucet immediately. Luckily, one of us is a handy plumber type.
As far as storage, there just wasn't enough. Most of it is too high for me to reach, so we're picking up a folding stool called the Skinny Mini (that's a Lithe Method class!). We purchased some industrial restaurant-style shelving (super cheap storage and doesn't look terrible) along with some shelf liners to keep bottles and smaller items secure and neat. We decided to display spices, flours and everyday items, along with our dinnerware and major appliances. Things that we don't use often are tucked away in the harder-to-access shelves.
There was very little in the way counter space, and no island for entertaining and prepping. Cooking is usually a joint effort here, so we both like to have our own space for a cutting board so that we are able to cook together without bumping elbows. The solution? We invested in two stainless steel counter tables, and we have tons of room. Which lets us keep the juicer out for once (more motivation to juice) so that I may actually use it more often.
The other shelf acts as the liquor library, with a smaller adjusted shelf for bitters, syrups, and glassware. Our apartment came with a wooden counter table that is very similar to the metal ones and right now, we're using it for miscellaneous barware. Perhaps it will be my dehydrating station?
We turned what was a basic kitchen into a place that is more functional and reflective of our interests: a true workspace for all things food and drink. It pleases me to be able to see all of my tools at the ready, no straining to find a particular pan or appliance that is hidden behind a medley of other things. With spices and major ingredients out in the open, it's much easier to see what I have and just cook from there.
How have you tricked out your less-than-ideal kitchen?
Now to properly stock the fridge and pantry...right now the fridge contains cashew cheese, too much vermouth, and Lulu's Chocolate.
The raw chocolate company is new to me, as I've heard of it but was always so fixated on Fine & Raw and Gnosis, my go-to raw chocolate sources, that I'd never tried a bar.
As neither of my favorites are available here, I picked up two flavors of Lulu's the other day: Chocolate Maca Chunk and Smoked Sea Salt Almond There are a couple of other raw chocolate brands that I want to try here but Lulu's looked the most appealing. It's sweetened with coconut sugar (I prefer this over cane sugar or agave for flavor, texture, and nutritional reasons) and it also cost less, at $4.49 a bar.
Does it melt my face off? Yes, we're happy together. It's no Fine & Raw, but that's because it's thinner and not as fudgy. It's crisper and it is the perfect size - one smallish bar is the ideal fix - not too much and not too little.
Also of chocoholic note, I highly recommend Emmy's Super-Fudge. Because Emmy's is made here in Ithaca, it's everywhere, and every flavor of Super-Fudge is available in the pastry case at the Greenstar Co-op West End. I've tried the Goji and Peppermint, and I am very near in love of this low-sugar wonder.