Huge Flavors from the Tiny Kitchen

As you can tell from the blog posts so far, our family’s cooking/baking is very flexible. Adaptable to ingredients in the house, to growing teenagers, to crazy lives, and to husband’s tastes 🙂 . In the last month, however, my cooking has had to adapt to one of its biggest challenges ever – space.

This month witnessed a huge change in our life – we moved to Oxford for the year! Due to a nice chunk of tuition payments and visa stipulations, we’re on a nice tight budge. So instead of finding a normal flat, we’re living in a house that is somewhat reminiscent of a dorm. Shared kitchen and shared bathroom with the 4 people of our floor and the next.

This has been an adjustment in and of itself. But as you can imagine, with 4 people sharing a kitchen, there’s not a whole lot of storage space. To compound that, there’s not a lot of space at all! This is the tiniest kitchen I’ve ever cooked in!

And there’s one more obstacle. There’s nothing to measure with.

Yup, that’s right. No measuring cups or spoons. Which would be pretty fine, I’ve been cooking long enough that I can eyeball quite a bit, but let’s just add to the challenge a little more, shall we?… Wait for it….

Everything is in metric!!! Are you kidding me? Celsius oven temps, liquid in mls, and dry ingredients in grams. Needless to say, it’s been an adventure.

So far, despite all factors working against us, the tiny little kitchen has lent itself to some tasty concoctions. Working without any non-stick skillets (surprise, surprise), dull knives, and no spatulas, we’ve sampled some tasty omelettes, hearty filling soups, and garlicky italian pastas. The prize production, however, has been the apple crisp I made last week. Sadly, I won’t share the recipe because I have no idea how much of anything actually went into it! But it turned out great! Hit the spot on a cold, rainy English night with Inspector Lewis on the telly (laptop, actually :-), and church bells in the background. Oh, and all the drunk Friday night party-ers singing in the street…

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So we will see what comes out of this nine months in the tiny kitchen. Inevitably, probably some disasters, but hopefully some good wholesome food. And my next project is Cornish pasties…

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