Confident home cooking
Well howdy partner!
Musings

The Macheesmo Office

by Nick

I occasionally get emails or questions about a certain pot or piece of equipment in my kitchen so I thought I would just take a post and lay out my very small kitchen and some of the gadgets and oddities that are in it. What are you supposed to learn from this? Probably not much, but maybe it will be entertaining. You will definitely not learn now to keep your cat off of the counters. I’m very, very bad at that.

So let’s get started! The first thing that I see when I enter the kitchen is this wooden sign that Betsy and I got for Xmas a few years ago. It’s kitschy, but cute.

Well howdy partner!

Well howdy partner!

I stuck the sign over the one window in our kitchen (although our kitchen does get a lot of natural light). I also use that window for basic storage for some larger items. When you live in the city, it’s pretty important to use every square inch possible.

The note, by the way, is from a nice reader who sent me some dried habanero peppers (Hi Kristine!). I really do keep it there because I find that I frequently need luck in the kitchen.

Storage is tight.

Storage is tight.

While we are at the window… let’s talk about the damn spider plant. I curse because it’s necessary. One of my friends left us this plant when she gallivanted off to Bulgaria (Hi Carolyn!) and it went crazy on our windowsill. If you’ve never seen a spider plant, they shoot off these little baby spider plants that you are supposed to cut off and give to friends. The problem is that Betsy and I ran out of friends, so now the baby spider plants are infesting our coffee mugs.

Damn the spider plant!

Damn the spider plant!

The Hardware

Here’s a few photos of the everyday stuff I use in the kitchen. I only have, and use, a few knives. I hang them on this cool magnetic strip. I heard that hanging them like this will make them last longer because they aren’t banging around next to each other in a drawer. Also, it’s gives people the impression that I know what I’m doing.

I occasionally hang other stuff there that will stick to it because why not?!

The Hardware!

The Hardware!

Right below my knives I have, what I call, my random corner of booze. Right now there is a bottle of Pisco, a half bottle of sake, a bottle of homemade coffee liqueur and Bourbon. What will be there in a month from now is anyone’s guess.

My corner of random booze.

My corner of random booze.

Below is one of my pride and joys of the kitchen. It’s my random gadget drawer. I’m proud of it not because of any of the gadgets, but because I can actually see and access all of them. That’s pretty rare for these kinds of things I think.

Gadgetry.

Gadgetry.

Example number two is the drawer where I keep even more random things like food coloring, extracts and a sharpening stone for the knives. Yes. I use a Shun sharpening stone even though I have no Shun knives. I’m a walking kitchen contradiction.

Random stuff.

Random stuff.

There’s also this fun little enamel pot that’s actually Betsy’s, but let’s be be honest – it’s mine. It’s great for making a small batch of soup or reheating a single serving of something. We also use it for making hot cocoa!

Favorite pot.

Favorite pot.

And a new addition to our kitchen family, a nice stainless steel tea kettle!

Artsy tea kettle shot.

Artsy tea kettle shot.

One of the projects I embarked on over the last few months was organizing our pantry. I ended up buying a bunch of stackable jars that I keep things like pasta, beans, and rice in on top of the fridge. So far it’s working well.

And yes, we have to keep the paper towels on the fridge otherwise Tipsy will unravel the entire roll…

Storage.

Storage.

Decorations

Our kitchen is kind of sparse actually in terms of decorations. We have a Macheesmo calendar hanging and the damn spider plant. In addition, a few years ago I got some cool antique magazine cut-outs from The Salvation Army and put them in some neutral frames. I think they look pretty cool!

This one is over the stove.

Classy.

Classy.

This one is over the sink.

Over the sink.

Scandalous.

Then of course we have lots of random trinkets on the fridge. It may not show, but I had a few beers before stepping into that photo booth…

Random fridge stuff.

Very important.

Tipsy!

Photographing my kitchen without photographing the cat is actually very hard. Anytime I enter the kitchen to do anything she hops on the counter to investigate. I’ve tried everything to get her to NOT be on the counters, but she is bent on it and I eventually just gave up.

We’ve worked out an agreement though so I can maintain food cleanliness. The counter in our kitchen is split into two parts. One counter is for cooking and the other part extends out onto a small bar where we have a few chairs. She can sit on that end of the counter. If she crosses the dividing line, then I throw things at her.

She’s pushing her luck in this photo…

She was just startled by the wall.

Over the line!

Much better behaved here:

Stay on your side of the line!

Stay on your side of the line!

SO that’s honestly it. I wish I had something more amazing to show, but that’s where the magic happens. It’s a small space, but I’ve grown to like it a lot (note that I didn’t say LOVE). Sometimes I watch those house shows on HGTV and the people are always complaining that their kitchen is too small and it’s easily twice the size of mine.

But there ya go. Obviously, my kitchen has things like a stove and a sink, but I figured I wouldn’t bore you with those things even though I may have bored you with OTHER things. Anway, that’s my office!

PS. I actually really like the damn spider plant, but DAMN does it grow fast.

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13 comments on “The Macheesmo Office

  1. Just wanted to say hello to you. I've been a lurker via Google Reader for quite some time and just wanted to say love your blog. I made the Brown Butter cookies (well, ;-)lots of them) for gifts this year as well as the Pink Peppermint Whoopie Pies (OMG, yum.) They were both a major hit with neighbors and friends! Also, stole your fish cooking technique! Totally love cooking fish now!

    Thanks for your creative ideas. Happy holidays to you and Betsy (and Tipsy)!

  2. Love the blog, get the email feed and look forward to it. Just a note on keeping the cat off the counter/table/whereever you don't want her/him: masking tape. It was suggested to me to lay down double sided tape in areas I didn't want my cat to go. Cats don't like the sticky stuff and would stay away. I didn't have any double sided tape, so I used regular masking tape, just layed it sticky side up. Turns out it works. I would periodically put the tape down over a period of a couple of weeks. Since the cat didn't know when it would be there, she just stopped jumping on the counter and on my kitchen table. Love my cat, don't love cat hair in my cooking. Good luck!

  3. Small kitchens are not an obstacle to great meals. I lived in a studio apt for a couple years and found my interest in cooking in that tiny space. I just moved a larger apartment and now I have more room than I know what to do with in my kitchen, and by no means do I have the Bentley of kitchens. Small kitchens are no excuse for not cooking, its all about a little organization and planning for a great meal. Keep up the great work on this site!

  4. I like the magnetic strip idea for my outdoor kitchen. I've always got my tongs and stuff that I'm using cluttering my grill table top, this will keep them out of the way but handy when needed.

  5. I have my two Beagles who are always at my heals as I'm cooking. They've never been given table scraps, but that doesn't interfere with their hope. Some day something will fall.

    This was a fun little insight into your kitchen! And I notice Jenn in Tenn was a lurker, too. We're all coming out of the woodwork!

  6. Nick: take it back. You love the spider plant!! I am so happy to see how much your spider plant has grown. It's looking great and now you can make baby spider plants and give them to your friends. Do it. It will make your friends happy (and me too).

  7. I used to have cookware like your enameled pot. All the pieces eventually gave the ghost and had to be replaced.

  8. I enjoy reading your blog and have tried a few of your recipes. I was going to comment the other day…when I saw…your strawberry pot….I had the same set of cookware several years ago. My whole kitchen was decorated in a strawberry theme. I had them in my first apartment.

    Thanks for sharing your kitchen and your recipes.

  9. You are a much braver man than I am (and much cleaner too!). I'd never dare so my kitchen to my readers. In fact I take great pains when shooting in there to not get any of the kitchen in the shot. Way too cluttered!

  10. Thanks for the comments everyone! Glad that everyone didn't make too much fun of my kitchen and it's always great to see a few new commenters de-lurk :)

    Thanks everyone and happy holidays!

  11. OMG! Where, where, where did you get that awesome Mr. Men magnet?! We NEEEED one in our house! ;-)

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