Everyone has a place in their home or apartment that feels like their own. A place where, no matter what the day has dealt them, brings peace, happiness and serenity. Perhaps it is a chair in the living room that is perfect for curling up under a blanket with a glass of wine and a book. Or maybe a sunny porch where coffee and the sunrise bring their warmth. Whatever or wherever you find these feelings, I would love for you to share them with me in your comments to this post.
My favorite place to be in our apartment is my little corner kitchen. Small, a little cramped, and sometimes messy, this is my little spot. The table right next to the window, where I drink my coffee in the morning, is where I browse through my cookbooks and do most of my food writing. I can look out at the Tama River while soaking in the bright sunshine and writing about the creations that come from my kitchen or from our experiences in Tokyo.
When I say that my kitchen is a little cramped, I’m not kidding. It isn’t so much that I don’t have room to move around, it’s just that everything is very small. And difficult to organize. Still, I do the best I can.
My two-burner stove top is small but powerful. Being used to four burners, I have had to become more creative with “one-pot meals” and developing other ways to keep from over-crowding. My fish oven (a teeny tiny broiler type thing found just under the burners) has been an adventure as well. Figuring out the Japanese controls has been a challenge too! Thanks to my wonderful mother-in-law, I now own a toaster oven that fits perfectly on top of our mini refrigerator. I can bake stuff now! More to come on that in another post.
My cookbooks sit neatly on a kitchenette that Brad found at a recycle shop. These things sell for around 30,000 to 50,000 yen brand new ($300-$500 U.S.) but this one only cost us 4,000 yen ($40)! I was skeptical at first, as it was totally covered in dirt and dust. But once it was all cleaned up, it looked like it had never been used. This kitchenette doubles as storage for our dishes and our “bar” area. Talk about multipurpose!
With all the frustrating, small and unusual quirks, my kitchen is still my favorite place to be. My chalkboard, an inspiration from my friend Jenn, displays our dinner menu. The pictures above the stove are reminders of home in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Overall, this is my sanctuary. No matter what has blemished my mood for the day, there is consistently something wonderful that happens in this little corner of the apartment.