Where it all began. Tessa’s Tiny Kitchen in Park Slope
Moving from Park Slope to Cambridge meant the loss of many things- like the co-op. But with the move- i did gain a fuck ton of counter space. And a dishwasher, full size oven and garbage disposal. Wherever you are, there are beyond tons of appliances, gadgets and tools to buy. In this section, I post about the equipment I love- and ways to make the most of your small space.
Dragged this heavy and gorgeous cutting board back from Ireland. They do a cool thing at the cooking school- they paint letters R(aw) and O(nion) on one side F(ish) C(ooked) on the other. This way, you cut the same things in the same corners- keeping things more hygienic. Instead of painting my letters on– I enlisted the talents of a very skilled designer/architect who with font templates and all– did this amazing wood carving of the letters. I’m pretty obsessed w. the results– and sorry if this photo doesn’t quite do it justice.
For some reason, I hate regular ball whisks. This is a flat whisk- they use at the school. Love it. Also- picked up some UK measuring spoons. I, for one- did not know they were different than ours. So know that when you are converting recipes.
Salad spinner. I never used to believe in these- but now i find it an utmost necessity. Love this OXO stainless steel one. A little pricier at $40, I have the smaller one, but I use at least the stainless steel bowl everyday.
The magnetic knife strip. Admit it, these just look cool. And as I only have one drawer, it help frees up some space. I bought it from Ikea (Grundtal $9) and of course it was another month before I installed it. Borrow a co-worker’s drill (thanks Paul), and installation is super easy. I even got it into my cement wall- for that i needed 2 screws, anchors and a mason bit- talk to the guy in the hardware store and he’ll hook you up.
The zester. I have an old box cheese grater, which is fine, but a new zester is a whole other kind of fabulous. This is a Microplane- I bought from the Park Slope Co-op but they also sell it on Amazon for about $10. Great for zesting citrus, grating cheese and spices- such as whole nutmeg. As it is new, it is super sharp so grating is very easy.
The garlic press. I could probably go on about this for longer than anyone (besides Jessica P. ) wants to read. The Kuhn Rikon Epicurean. I bought it from Amazon for $30, which, I know seems like a lot for a garlic press. But it is a beautiful tool- and it has a wonderful weight & feel to it. The silver piece that you see in the middle is apparently called a proboscis– and its mobility makes cleaning a cinch. yeah, i just said that. And it presses garlic like a champ.
Picked up these stainless steel measuring spoons at the co-op. What makes them so special- is their shape. The narrow rectangles allow you to fit them in the spice jar. Pretty awesome.
The kitchen aid. No question, every baker should have one.
Spice jars. Got these glass spice jars from Bed&Bath- about $5 for 4 jar pack. It was about time to get rid of the hodgepodge of spice jars that had been sitting around for years. These look nicer, take up less space, and the co-op sells their spice in bulk. Each jar labeled underneath w. cut up mailing labels. And yes, make fun, but mason jars are the perfect food storage device.
Very important- the coffee set up. Gorgeous new glass electric kettle- Capresso brand. Coffee grinder- no excuse not to have, they are like $20 and they make such a difference to your beans. I also use for spice and other small grinding jobs. And this- the V-60 Hario Dripper- for making drip coffee. They use them at a lot of great coffee shops- it’s great.
It took a while but I finally found a pair of excellent oven mitts. The brand is Orka and I got them Cooks Companion on Atlantic for maybe $15 per mitt. Two things that make them so fantastic: 1) unlike my last pair they actually withhold the heat and don’t burn through 2) they have a terry cloth lining that’s removable so you can launder it. Overall: very satisfied and worth the $.
Drying rack. I didn’t think these were really necessary- but I’ve come to the realization that if you don’t properly dry your dishes, they never really get clean. So finally I invested in a dish drying rack from ikea for about $8. It’s a little big and since I don’t have any counter space- I use my stovetop. It doesn’t come with a rubber matte base- so I’m using cookie sheets to catch the water. What makes this dish rack awesome- it’s collapsible!
Composting. This one is a real game changer (pardon the pictures of garbage.) First, it’s not gross. I keep the compost in the freezer- it doesn’t smell, it barely decomposes. Once a week, I take it to the farmer’s market in Grand Army Plaza- where there is a drop off. In nyc, there is one in nearly every neighborhood. The best thing, besides being eco-friendly, is less garbage! No food stuffs in your regular garbage- so it doesn’t smell- and you don’t have to take out half empty bags all the time. It’s fantastic. And I downsized my garbage can- a must for the Tiny Kitchen. Now, I can actually walk through my kitchen without this massive hurdle.
Mortar and pestle. Lovely thing about birthdays. Alice bought me this beautiful yellow mortar and pestle from Le Creuset. Welcome dressings, salsas and spices. Great for smashing and bruising your herbs or whatever you please, it awakens the flavor, brings it to life. Fun new kitchen toy.