Friday, April 26, 2013

My New Kitchen

As I've mentioned, I recently moved to a new apartment, so yet more new challenges to cooking and baking. Actually, the last apartment had a pretty big and spacious kitchen with lots of cupboard space, it just lacked drawers. Yes, that's right, there were no drawers in the entire kitchen. What it did have, and what we learned pretty quickly to make full use of, were cupboards with pull out shelves. So when I started unpacking boxes and putting things away in the new kitchen, I almost completely overlooked the drawers! Luckily, my boyfriend Greg took care of filling them up for me.

The challenges I now face with the new kitchen, and this is probably something most apartment dwellers can relate to, is a lack of cupboard space. Also counter space. There would be quite a bit more counter space if the built-in microwave didn't hang down, leaving only about two inches of space between it and the counter-top. My own microwave was superior to this one in that it had a turntable (I haven't even seen a microwave without one in decades), but I went ahead and got rid of it anyway since I didn't see much need for two, and there was no place to store it. 

Greg and I keep talking about getting tables and such to extend the counter space, but so far all we have is my old computer desk that is really more like an overgrown TV tray. It holds Greg's coffee pot (mine is relegated to the top of the fridge until I can find another place (or use) for it) and our odd assortment of travel mugs. I know it can take time and money to set up a proper space, but I admit to feeling frustrated over this. I hate living in an unfinished home.

Another interesting point to our new kitchen is the fridge. It looks like a normal fridge from the outside, if a bit dated, but inside, it's extremely shallow. There is also a giant crack the wraps around all three walls, and now a thumb-sized chunk has been knocked out of the bottom after I dropped a mostly empty plastic syrup bottle into it, exposing the insulation beneath. Everyone assures me this isn't a problem, but I can't help feeling a bit concerned about a badly cracked fridge, and not just because I'm worried about leaking time energy or the Silence. (No hash marks have appeared on my arm yet, and if anyone has been wiped out of existence, I wouldn't remember.)

Interesting thing about the stove, too: the front right burner doesn't work. It's one of the larger ones, too, so if I use my large sauce pans or frying pan, I have to use the back burner, so cooking has been kind of annoying due to the reach. This also means I can only cook with one large pan at a time. We put this in the move-in report weeks ago, but no one has been by to fix it. 

The oven portion, on the other hand, has proved to be stronger than any other oven I've had in a rented space. It also has a delay-cook feature and an automatic shut-off feature (near as I can tell), which is very interesting and I'm sure useful to some people, but as it didn't come with an instruction manual, and I've never had such a system before, I probably won't be using it. I can't tell if it actually has a timer, so I've been using my dented egg timer instead. The only indicator for the oven having reached its "pre-heated" temperature is a red light going off, which is nothing new to me, but to Greg is a real mystery. He insists every oven he's ever had has always buzzed or dinged. He has had a great many less ovens than I have, and very few of mine have been so fancy. The last apartment's oven didn't even have the red light, so we estimated. A great many things were either under-cooked or took 10 to 30 minutes longer to finish cooking in that oven than the recipe prescribed.

We've done a fair amount of cooking so far; easy things like stir fry, mostly, or chicken sausages, and a lot of pancakes. I should have a new recipe up here for next week. We don't have internet yet, and I have been finding very little time to stop in at the library to use theirs. 

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