Let’s talk about tiny kitchens. Mine is about 6 feet by 10 feet. Inside that space is about 6 square feet of counter space, a sink, a 20x20-inch gas range and oven, and a full-size refrigerator (yes, in Brooklyn apartments, it’s necessary to note the “full-size”, as it’s not always the case!) Just outside the kitchen is a roughly 2x4-foot island, generously gifted to us by a friend.
People have marveled that I get anything done in this kitchen. In the middle of cooking a meal, I often have dishes set on top of every available surface - on the toaster, in the dish drainer, on top of other dishes - I have to get creative! I’ve tried to take advantage of every available square inch for storage. Spices, coffee-making gadgets, oils and vinegars, and more oft-used items live in a bookshelf that my great-grandfather built, knives are on a magnetic strip on the wall, and strainers are on hooks on the wall. Cookbooks are on the shelf under the island, and spilling out into the living room bookshelves. Things I use less often are on top of the refrigerator or in bins on top of the cabinets. All this to say - you don't need a chef's kitchen, a fancy stove, or endless counter space to cook something delicious.
One way this small kitchen has influenced my cooking is that I tend to focus on making just a few well-executed dishes, rather than multi-course meals. Here’s a recent dinner that was delicious but simple, and allowed me to space out the prep throughout the day rather than get overwhelmed with multi-tasking.
Lamb meatballs and Caprese salad. I made the meatballs early in the day, then let them sit in the fridge until dinnertime. While they cooked, I prepped the salad. I intended to make fresh mozzarella, but I dropped my dairy thermometer, it shattered, and I was forced to dump a gallon of partially curdled milk down the drain. So it goes. Check back in a couple of of weeks to see how my second attempt at cheesemaking goes (now with a metal thermometer instead of glass!)