Friday, December 12, 2008

Cooking Kosher In A Small Kitchen

There are lots of things that I hate to do around the house: laundry (what moron decided that the laundry hamper should be on the second floor but the washer/dryer should be in the basement?), ironing (and still the pile grows, higher and higher), cleaning the bathroom (no explanation necessary). One chore that I really don't mind is cooking. It's kind of fun, and it's actually appreciated by your family members. However, because my kitchen is so small, cooking large meals can get very tricky. My kitchen contains:
1 small refrigerator/freezer, a hand-me-down from my sister
1 electric oven with a 4 burner gas stove on top
4 cabinets on top and 3 on bottom, and 2 cutlery drawers
1 23" sink that has seen better days
44" of counter space on one side of the sink (dairy), which holds a toaster oven and a plastic dish drainer
15" of counter space on the other side of the sink (meat), which holds nothing because it's too small

That's it. No island, no dishwasher, not even a microwave. There simply isn't any room. And because I have to fit all my pots, pans, utensils, gadgets, paper goods, and non-refrigerated foods into those 7 little cabinets, I have to keep the number of pots, pans, utensils, and gadgets to an absolute minimum. No food processor, no blender, not even a blech. Again, there simply isn't room.

Keeping kosher makes this a lot more complicated. A kosher kitchen must have two sets of pots, dishes and utensils; it must have storage space for an additional two sets of Passover things; and it must withstand the extra cooking that is required by large families and by frequent Shabbat and holiday meals. I have long given up having guests over for meals. It is possible, but not very enjoyable, to cook large meals in such a cramped kitchen. Serving multi-course meals is also difficult, because I must constantly shuffle things around to keep the used dishes out of the way while I prepare/serve the next course. And washing stacks of dishes by hand after a big meal is a drag.

That's not to say that we don't eat well around here. We do, thank God. But it does require an extra bit of planning. And because it is important for Jews to always have hope, I have not given up hope that one day I, too will have the luxury of two sinks, a larger frig, more counter space, and (yes, Raizy, dare to dream!) a dishwasher of my very own. Ani Ma'amin.


G6 said... I guess buying you that pasta maker with all the attachment for chanukah would be a bad idea, huh ;) ?
And don't fret about the dishwasher... I always said, "Who needs to buy a dishwasher? I gave birth to FOUR of them!!" Problem is, they're getting married one by one now........

Child Ish Behavior said...

Good luck.

"a dishwasher of my very own."

What will it be, milchig or flieshig?

Lion of Zion said...

i guess out kitchen isn't too bad for an apartment (i've seen smaller), but i made it even smaller by taking over part of it for my workspace

"what moron decided that the laundry hamper should be on the second floor but the washer/dryer should be in the basement?"

my friend has a laundry shute down to the basement

Mrs. S. said...

"ironing (and still the pile grows, higher and higher)"
Several years ago, while I was on bed rest, one of my Israeli neighbors offered to help me by doing all my ironing. I thanked her for her very, very thoughtful offer but shocked her by saying that I rarely iron anyway.

To this day, I suspect that she still thinks that I'm a horrible, uncaring wife and mother.

SephardiLady said...

Ani Mammim about the ironing.
Don't give up hope about a kitchen. We finally landed ourselves a functional kitchen and love it.

Lion of Zion said...

you should read the article in today's times about small kitchens

SuperRaizy said...

I finally got to that NYTimes article.
Damn that Mark Bittman. That guy is always making me look bad ( :