Central to all family homes is the place where food is prepared and cooked, the kitchen. It's the central room of attraction when parties are hosted and the place to grab a late night snack when needed so this section of the site is dedicated to this essential space in any small dwelling.
What can we learn and discuss about this particular room? Plenty! That is why it has its own category assigned to it on this website. So let's take an overview look at what I'm looking at here and where you can pick up some useful tips on making the most of yours.
The major function of this room is of course the preparation of food for the family or for the spouse or for yourself if you live alone in your downsize castle. For that to happen there are certain essential items that need to be in there but not so many that all available space is taken up with no room left for the cook to do his or her thing.
Here are some of those essentials:
- Cooker hob, grill and oven
- Sink, faucets, hot and cold water supply (and drainage)
- Storage cupboards
- Utensils (knives, mixing and stirring spoons and ladels, fry spatula etc)
- Pots and pans
- Plates and bowls
While not absolutely essential, the following just need to be there too:
- Microwave oven
- Food processor, mixer, blender
- Waste disposal
- Hand towels
- Paper towel dispenser
- Clingfilm and foil dispensers
I almost didn't put the fridge in the essentials list since you can prepare and cook food perfectly well without one. The only problem is you're limited to what you can prepare and cook if you can't keep certain foods cold to stop them spoiling at room temperature.
The good old cooker is what most hot meals are created on, so it pays to have a good quality oven/grill/hob combination. Most chefs prefer to cook with natural gas, so that's my preference too although I'm quite aware many people opting for electricity especially modern ceramic hobs.
Personally, I tend to make most use of my gas hob in cooking, although there are some meals that need to have parts of them be done in the oven such as roasts, while a few require the grill to be put into action. My own unit doesn't take up much space at all being fairly compact yet it is still perfectly adequate for making family meals.
I do like plenty of workspace for prepping meals and that means keeping the clutter out of the way. So plenty of storage space is a must, but where there is limited space, it has to be designed to use every spare square inch that is not being used by something else and that includes my feet as enough floor space for me to move around is also an essential aspect of my kitchen.
Making salads and other cold dishes is easy when there is ample worktop space and room to use it all creatively. A good set of sharp chefs knives, two or three good size chopping boards and bowls at the ready make it easy and fast.
Cold meats and cheese are easy enough to prepare straight out of the fridge and as long as I have everything to hand, I'm happy.
Many modern kitchens incorporate a dishwasher to clean up the plates and cutlery, but I'm an old fashioned kind of cook who doesn't mind getting my hands wet and washing up stuff by hand. I tend to use the minimum of stuff for cooking so there's never a pile of pots and pans waiting for me at the end of a meal.
I rinse every off before I stack it for washing, so clean up is really fast and easy. With no room for a dishwasher, I don't feel I'm at ant kind of disadvantage and one bonus is I never hear anyone moaning they have to empty the dishwasher. I also save money on lower electricity bills and I have no expensive specialized cleaning products to buy either!
A small kitchen is easier to clean as there is simply less floor and worktop area, everything is within easy reach and because of intelligent design layout, I don't feel I'm missing out on a thing!
There are several articles in this section explaining the several different aspects of the cook's retreat and you'll find their titles listed below: