(Oh snap, this post contains recipes! Roasted Red Pepper Hummus and “Red” Potato Salad, after the jump.)
Earlier this year, I moved from a pretty swanky Lower East Side apartment that I couldn’t afford, to a studio apartment in Brooklyn that I can mostly afford, as long as I watch what I spend on say, going out to eat. Which is fine, considering that my single greatest source of private, self satisfaction is when I’ve cooked something I’m proud of. (And when someone else likes it to – well, I’m through the roof.) Problem is, grocery shopping and kitchen-stocking can be just as expensive as eating a decent meal in this city, so I’ve learned to be creative with making the most out of cheap items.
To top it off, whereas my old, LES apartment had been outfitted with one of the most beautiful, glistening kitchens I’ve ever used (The fridge would beep at you if you left it open for too long! Temperature control on everything! A stove with a removable pancake griddle! An ever-enviable dishwasher!), the kitchen in my new apartment is…quirky. The temperatures on the oven knob have rubbed off, and if I ever turn it on, it immediately sets off my fire alarm. My sink faucet sprays water everywhere. And I have no counter space.
But it’s forced me to get creative. I turned the broom closet into a pantry. My double sink has wooden boards that have been cut exactly to fit inside their lip, et voila–counter space! The oven….well I just don’t really use it.
I’m not complaining–the opposite, in fact. How will I learn to be a better cook in a kitchen that doesn’t challenge me?