27 September 2010

The Kitchen

My most difficult space to streamline is probably the kitchen.  I am no gourmet cook, and I don't have a ton of unitasker appliances lurking on every inch of countertop or behind cabinet doors.  But I do cook often, including baking bread (in the oven, not a bread machine), pies, and cookies.  As an occupational therapist, I think kitchen activities are an excellent way to work on motor and coordination skills, so I often include my own kids when I cook.  And of course they love love love it, and it keeps them busy, out of trouble, and away from the t.v.

I also have an addiction to containers, so it's hard to part with bowls, tupperware, and other organization-friendly items.  And finally, Pampered Chef stuff is cool.  The only reason I don't have more of it is that I hate going to the parties.  But that is another one of my quirky issues that doesn't need to be dealt with in this forum.

So, all that to say I can usually justify holding on to kitchen items.  But again, my pseudo kitchen in this temporary living space doesn't have much.  And I haven't needed much.  I posted a while back about some silicone covers we have that take the place of plastic wrap and turn most anything into a lidded storage container.  I have 4 different sizes, and I have found that I don't really need tupperware.  I make use of bowls, mugs, and even plates to store leftovers in the refrigerator, and it has been working out just fine.  With no dishwasher here, we don't want a lot of dishes piling up anyway, so we haven't needed more than the set of six plates, bowls, and cups in the cabinet.  I use one water glass throughout the day, and I immediately wash my toddler's cup when she is finished so it is ready for next time she needs it.  I make pretty simple meals, but they are complete, healthy, and tasty.

I think my kitchen needs will continue to be scaled down when we move into our new house.  I only miss a few appliances:  
-our rice cooker- a staple in our house, which doubles as a slow cooker (my favorite is steel cut oats put in the night before with the timer set)
-a toaster, although I have toasted bread pretty easily on the stove here
-a blender, but I am switching to a stick blender that can also be used as a food processor (I puree a lot of veggies into sauces for the picky eater in the family)

I will have an oven, so I will once again use baking dishes, but I only brought a couple because the ovens here are tiny.  I am going to try baking bread on a small piece of stoneware rather than my usual pizza stone.  It should work fine, but I might have to make two small loaves at a time instead of one large loaf.  I am not sure how I will bake cookies, because cookie sheets won't fit in the oven.  Maybe I will try to use the same small stoneware pan.  

I may have to amend this in the future, as I get settled in my new kitchen.  But for now, this list looks good.

Next up:  the toys!

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