Several years ago, when I’d first moved back to Inverness, I made a post about the ‘joys’ of cooking in unfamiliar kitchens, or least kitchens that aren’t your own. In it I looked forward, longingly, to the day when I’d have my own kitchen, that I didn’t have to share, that I could arrange to my own preference. Having moved house last month, I finally have one! Of course, this means a whole new kitchen – and associated appliances – to get the hang of, but at least they’re mine, I can set them up the way I like, and change things round to suit me without consulting anyone else!
Probably the most important development is having a full-sized fridge/freezer to work with, instead of a little fridge with an icebox. I can bulk cook properly without condemning myself to eating the same thing for a week! Admittedly, between adventures in getting the settings right on both the fridge temperature and the central heating I have accidentally frozen a few things that really shouldn’t have been, but apple juice slushies are actually very refreshing when you’ve been painting all afternoon! It’s a work in progress, but we’re getting there. It has also been quite handy for stopping me getting over-enthusiastic in filling up my fridge, as if I can’t use it up in a reasonable time-scale chances are I’ll come back to find it frozen solid!
Despite some teething issues, I am really enjoying cooking in my new kitchen. It’s small but perfectly formed and I like how it’s set out. (I’d prefer if the fridge/freezer wasn’t behind the door but I’m not sure where else it could reasonably go.) It’s a space I enjoy being in, which in turn means that I’m more inclined to spend longer and be more adventurous in my cooking. (I whipped up a little batch of hummus after dinner last night, and a smoothie this morning and just having my blender easily at hand makes such a difference.) I’m putting together a little herb garden for it, both a window box for my kitchen window and an indoor hanging herb garden that lives in the corner. There’s just something about having everything on hand that makes me both more adventurous and take more care with my cooking and presentation. Yesterday I was unpacking and reorganising cupboards to accommodate another box of kitchen stuff and discovered a pile of empty storage jars, so now a bunch of things that were in packets that might have fallen down the back of cupboards or got tucked behind something else are now in regular circulation and all my fun little last minute add-ons – like pine-nuts, cashews and flaked almonds – are sitting out obvious where I’ll see them and use them up, while also looking all decorative and aesthetically pleasing in their cute little storage jars.
It’s just so nice knowing where everything is and having it on hand when I need it.
Now…if I could just figure out how to work the oven…