Sustainable Sunday – Small Kitchen Duty

A few years ago it would have been a rare occurrence to see me in the kitchen.  Back then we went out to eat frequently.  Cooking was not something I enjoyed or had the time for.  My idea of a perfect meal was having someone else prepare, cook and clean up for me.  At the time we lived within 10 minutes of downtown Indianapolis, where a plethora of restaurants awaited us nightly.

Within the last year or so my cooking habits changed.  I was planning my exit from my lab job to self-employment.  This led to cooking at home more and going out less to save money.

Now we are both self-employed and living in the country.  The closest restaurant is about 15 minutes away.  Not surprisingly my cooking habits have changed again and for the better.  I cook at home every day while going out to eat has become a rarity.  Now I actually enjoy cooking and I love to try out new recipes.  Since we moved I have made homemade pizza (crust and sauce completely from scratch), alfredo sauce (no jar involved), bread, marinara sauce (no jar here), finally nailed breakfast (including the perfect hash browns) and much more.

March 20, 2016 Kitchen

My homemade bread cooling while I enjoy a good book in the hammock.

What I have discovered is simple.  I love my cooking more than going out to eat.  My time is flexible, allowing me time in the kitchen without being rushed.  With a lifestyle of living on less, cooking at home is not only fun and delicious but very economical.

Moving into a smaller space meant maximizing my kitchen space to make it as efficient as possible.  Ironically our old kitchen was bigger in terms of floor space but our new kitchen is much more user-friendly.  When thinking about organizing the kitchen I had the challenge of space.  Where would the pots and pans reside?  What about all of our pantry items?  Spices, utensils, etc?  Everything had to be easily accessible but also out-of-the-way.  Clutter would not work in this small space.

May 01, 2015 Kitchen

Pots & pans fit nicely on our wall thanks to the pegboard Shane mounted.  Easy and inexpensive way to create more space by utilizing the wall space.

May 01, 2015 Kitchen

No more cabinet space, why not hang things from the outside of the cabinet?

May 01, 2015 Kitchen

Paper towel holder, cheese grater and colander fit nicely here.

May 14, 2015 Kitchen

A deep window sill is excellent for additional storage, especially items in mason jars.

May 14, 2015 KItchenUtilizing the empty space on top of the stove makes for easy access while cooking.

May 14, 2015Kitchen

A bookcase converted into an open concept pantry.  Everything is at my fingertips.  Shown above is just the top shelf.

In the end I love our tiny kitchen.  In my eyes it is spacious, open, and my dream kitchen.  Everything I use on a regular basis is close at hand.  Because we have a small space to work in, it keeps me on my toes when it comes to clean up.  Now I clean up as soon as we are done.  There is no space for letting things collect for a few days.  I love the clean and uncluttered look of the space.

May 14, 2015 Kitchen

Note, the wine rack is close at hand, making cooking with a glass of wine a breeze.

On that note, I think it is time to check the homemade bread baking in the oven.  Until next time, cheers & Bon appetite!

What about you?  Do you find yourself cooking on a regular basis or do you avoid it like the plague?  Anyone else out there have a small space with tips to share?