There are obviously a lot of design decisions to consider when working on a tiny home. This week I investigate if the amount of counter top space I’m planning will be enough. As I said in my first post, I am not a chef. I don’t cook often, but when I do, I make something that I can meal prep for multiple meals to eat later that week, or freeze for later in the month. I also choose recipes that only have a few ingredients and use a single pan. To get an idea of what I’m going to need in a kitchen, I took a night to see what little cooking would be like!
My current kitchen design has one 24” base cabinet and two 30” base cabinets that houses the sink. That means I have 54” of counter top space to prep and cook on. I don’t have a clue on what it’s like to cook in a compact space, so I gave it a shot in my parent’s kitchen. After a quick measurement, I found that the space around the range would be perfect for my little experiment. In the diagram above you can see where I mentally divided the space and how it would be used in my tiny house.
The wonderful recipe I tried out was a creamy ricotta chicken dish. I found the recipe on pinterest as a base and then just changed a few things here and there. This recipe only uses six ingredients:
- Olive Oil: For cooking obviously.
- Garlic: Garlic is my favorite seasoning in the world. I only use fresh garlic because it makes such a flavor difference.
- Almond Milk: I consider myself lactose intolerant but I freaking love cheese more than anything else in the world. I avoid dairy products when possible therefore I drink almond milk.
- Skim milk Ricotta: Because I love cheese.
- Frozen Chicken: It’s rare that I buy processed chicken from Tyson. I’d rather buy fresh chicken breast, but I had a coupon and I’m a sucker for a good deal.
- Frozen Spinach: Literal gold to the single gal. Frozen veggies are cheap and you can stock up when it’s on sale to use whenever. The hardest thing about “single cooking” is that fresh veggies spoil quickly, so if you want to cook with all fresh ingredients, you have to go to the store for every meal.
Basically this recipe just had you cook everything together and you had a creamy mixture of chicken and spinach. Super easy. Cooking in the restricted area of the kitchen wasn’t bad at all. Since I had the determined zones, it was pretty easy. I just had to be more aware of putting things away and cleaning while I cooked. This meal is a perfect example of why I don’t need a full 4 unit stove top. I only used one burner and one pan to make my meal. Once I was finished, I had 7 portions that I put half in the freezer, and the other half I ate for lunch at work.
I had a bit more counter space in my experiment than I will in my tiny house, but I felt like I had extra space while I was cooking. I don’t need a magazine perfect kitchen, I just need something that works for my low maintenance lifestyle. I’m really excited to be cooking in a minimal space and having to adapt recipes to what I can and can’t do. It’s going to be a cool life experience and a challenge to my cooking skills.