Saturday, May 1, 2010

Back to basics in the kitchen

My microwave is the single most used appliance in my kitchen. I drink instant coffee, for which the water is heated in the microwave. I cook my veggies in it. I cook bacon in it. I warm up meats and sauces in it. So while playing around with small efficient kitchen designs tonight, I asked myself if I really need a microwave. My answer is that no, I don't, not really. I knew already that I could live without an oven. I never use that. Dishwasher? Don't really need it, though I hate washing dishes by hand. Refrigerator? Well... I could keep things for a few days in an ice chest if I bought ice and lived near a grocery store to replenish my food every couple days. Or I could eat out all the time and not have a kitchen at all. Some people do that.

A lot of my thinking here comes from giving myself a power outage scenario. I know I need a non-electric way to heat food, water for coffee, and water for bathing and washing up. And that leads to thinking, "Why don't I just design it that way to begin with, and then I won't even notice if the power goes out?" I know already that I want an LP gas tankless water heater. So I think as long as the LP is there, I may as well just get a 2 burner gas cooktop.

What else do I need in the kitchen? I don't entertain, so I don't need much in the way of dishes, glasses, flatware, or table linens. Probably a service for 4 of each. Basic cookware, my crock pot, and I do love my little electric grill, though with LP available, a real outdoor grill would be nice. Of course, the smaller the kitchen, the less room I have for "stuff" in it, so it makes sense to pare down my belongings for that eventuality.