If you have a small kitchen and limited
counter space, you can cook with ease. Kitchens are natural breeding
grounds for gadget overgrowth. keep only what you use, and give away the
rest. Less clutter and less frustration. Stow away rarely used items that
you just can't part with. For easy recall, keep a list of these items and
their locations on the back of a cupboard door or in a utility drawer.
Try to choose compact appliances as small
appliances keep your precious counter space open. Instead of a gargantuan
standing mixer, consider a handheld mixer. Go for an immersion blender
rather than a conventional blender. Choose a handheld citrus reamer over
an electric juicer. And a reliable chef's knife can often take the place
of a food processor. Or choose a mini processor.
Keep cookbooks in the bookcases. If counter
space is tight, why cram in a favorite cookbook? Instead, make a photocopy
of your favorite recipes, then tape them up on a wall near your work
space. Or use a fork for a recipe card holder. If you love working
directly from cookbooks, consider buying a cookbook holder, which will
prop it up and hold open the page, taking up less counter space.
If you don't have shelving in your kitchen,
think vertical and put some up. Inexpensive units are widely available and
easy to install. Use a cutlery magnet strip to keep knives at hand but up
on the wall rather than in a block on precious counter space. Consider
placing a peg-board on your wall to hang utensils, strainers, stainless
steel bowls and even pans. Or use baskets or wall-mounted magazine racks.
The cardinal rule of cooking is to clean as
you go even when space is abundant. Keep a large bowl of sudsy water in
your sink (or fill the whole sink) and place dirty utensils, bowls and
dishes there as soon as you're done with them. Position a trash can or
bucket by your side so that any waste can be immediately removed.
Stack instead of spreading. When making
batches of baked goods such as cookies, stack baking sheets or cooling
racks, propping the racks on tin cans. Stack bowls too, whether they
contain finger foods or the evening's side dishes. Place a plate in
between each bowl and a thin towel on top of the plate if the surface
At the same time, try to create surfaces.
Expand your counter space by sleuthing out hidden horizontal surfaces. Any
unused tables nearby? Use them to set out food, equipment or utensils.
Place items on the top of your refrigerator. Any unused burners on the
stove? They make a great place to warm plates or hold platters. If you
aren't using the oven, take advantage of the racks inside for extra
storage (you might want to tape over the heat controls so that no one
accidentally turns on the oven). You can also pull out a cabinet drawer
and set a tray on top of it to hold foods or utensils. Straddle a cooking
rack or baking sheet over half of the sink for added space. You can even
open up a sturdy ironing board and cover it with a long cloth for a buffet