Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Minimalist (Heavily used) Kitchen

Our kitchen isn't "finished" yet, but it's done in the sense that there is a lot there just won't be time for until much later. This is what it looks like on an average day (before cleaning)- a peaceful place to hang out. We spend much of our day around the table.

We have two pots and two pans, and four hooks. Perfect!
 It's a pretty good example of a minimalist kitchen, though it betrays our needs and yours may be quite different. But it isn't a kitchen that's meant to sit there and look good- It's more about function. I cook about 18-20 hot meals in the house/week, because usually breakfast is oatmeal and coffee.

This is where we keep all our non-produce food (spices, coffee, grains, oil, cups plates, appliances.
This is our kitchen table. Eug painted the stripes. When I asked him how he got the idea for uneven stripes, he said "even stripes would be too difficult". I like these much better. We do much of our work here, because it has one of only two working electrical sockets in the house (the other is used for our ADSL modem). 

Our cooking tools

The sink. I've since made a curtain to cover the doors, as they're very very old, so there's no easy fix to make them look nice.

Our deep freeze and fridge. The fridge is in what used to be a space for a coal stove (there's a chimney behind it in the living room). A cool nook, if underused right now.
So here's a list for people wanting to have a kitchen where they can cook all their meals from scratch, but they don't want, or can't afford, to equip their kitchen with too much gear:

Bar Fridge
Chest Freezer
Blender (used a lot for smoothies and soups)
Coffee Grinder (most people don't need this one)
[meat/yoghurt thermometer- very useful for making marscapone, steak, yoghurt]

Appliances we're doing without for the first time:
Slow Cooker/crockpot
Rice Cooker
Toaster/Toaster Oven
Of these, the only appliance that would be really nice to have is a slow cooker/crockpot. 

Stuff to cook with:
We have just 5 hooks, and on them 5 cooking/baking utensils

Staple Foods
Whole wheat and white bread flour
cous cous
(occasionally arborio rice)
flaxseed (called linseed in SA)
Olive Oil
Sunflower oil
Coffee (instant and beans)
Rooibos tea
Brown Sugar
Peanut butter
Sesame oil
Soy sauce
Black pepper and other spices

What we need is always shifting, but so far sanity has been keeping things to a minimum, since we don't really have cupboards. What do you consider essential?


emily said...

Jo - I have a girlfriend in Baltimore who hung a chain link gate on her kitchen wall and, using S-hooks, hung pots and pans and ladles and anything with a loop or handle on it. Inspired, we once borrowed the idea and used a piece of cut-to-size chainlink fencing. It's an AWESOME - and attractively hippy chic, I think - way to get things out of your way and on the wall. It works very well on dry wall. We're still trying to figure out how to adapt it to plaster. Le sigh.

Concrete Gardener said...

that sounds like an awesome idea! We love hanging stuff and having things as in-sight as possible.