I am convinced that unless you live in a luxury condo in Manhattan (or any of the five boroughs except for Staten Island), you will not have a kitchen large enough to do any kind of “real” cooking or baking for lack of counter space, oven space, storage space or even simply walking around space. Which is just fine for most New Yorkers anyway, with its abundance of restaurants ranging from the hole-in-the-wall serving oh-so-satisfying-just-like-mom-makes food to the finest of fine dining experiences, where the portions are miniscule and the prices are gargantuan. And as far as cuisine — you name it, you can probably find it. But most people know this about New York.
In a city of small apartment kitchens, what’s a girl with a passion for baking and cooking to do? Well, in my case, leave some groceries unpacked until needed, sitting on the kitchen floor and taking up valuable kitchen real estate, cram my poor little microwave stand with whatever ingredients it could fit, stack everything on top of each other and house my KitchenAid mixer, Matilda, on top of the same microwave stand — which, by the way, did not even hold my microwave. My microwave was somewhere else.
Then came the day I helped Su with a wedding cake in her still-small-but-twice-as-big-as-mine kitchen in Elmhurst (I originally had Brooklyn here and then remembered she’s a Queens girl like me). There in her kitchen stood a chrome baker’s rack, fully stocked with all of her ingredients, complete with S-hooks from which hung a few tools of the kitchen trade. Not an inch of that beautiful hunk of metal was wasted. I think I developed a crush on it. After our baking gig was over, cake delivered, nauseating car ride home survived, I hopped on to Target.com, where I found my own storage solution. Not a baker’s rack, but a six-foot-tall, chrome, 5-tier shelving unit holding 800 pounds per shelf. I thought, “800 pounds! I could sit on one of these shelves and not break it!” But I didn’t try. I didn’t want to risk it. And it looks like those shelves I see on Top Chef too!
Well it arrived yesterday, as I discovered upon coming back from dinner with my friend Brian at Max Brenner on Union Square. It was almost 10 when I got home, and I should have been tired from a long day but thanks to the Melting Chocolate Truffle Heart Cake & Shake (poorly pictured below), I was fully loaded with sugar and chocolate, and so took to assembling the shelf after promptly emptying everything from my metal shelving crates (like the ones used in dorms across the country), a Dexter episode from season two running in the background.
And here is the result of my crazy, up-until-2AM shelf-building shenanigans…
And look, I can see my floor!
All that floor was 3/4 covered with just random things I couldn’t find a place for. I have twice as much walking space in my kitchen now! I’ve fallen in love with my kitchen all over again. I think this shelf is the second best thing that has befallen my kitchen, second only to Matilda (the KitchenAid, in case I need to remind you).
On a random note, I was looking at the statistics on my blog last night and discovered that my blog was actually mentioned in an online magazine called Poor Taste (no, it’s not a site compiling bad web sites or blogs). Apparently I was mentioned for my quiche cupcakes, which I made sometime last year. I’m famous!