This is my new kitchen. This is my fifth new kitchen in the past year. As you can see, this one also happens to be an incomplete kitchen- but this girl is still cookin’!
Here’s the story: I moved out about a month ago, from Waialua, via Piiholo, via Makawao, after a few other stops on the island of Maui. It’s been a fairly tumultuous two years: too many houses, too much heartbreak, and lots of other big changes along the way. This little kitchen represents a clean new start for me.
I am living solo, just me and the kitty. I miss the North Shore, but I am fortunate to have found my new location- closer to work, closer to friends, and with an incredible landlord (she shares her lilikoi, New York Times, and her compost pile!). I’ve kept myself really busy with work, but I’ve also been practicing yoga nearly every day. I am working on being present, calm, and happy; I am keeping myself grounded with good friends, joyful work, lots of time on the mat, and most importantly, lots of good food.
Using just one portable stove and the best Cuisineart convection/toaster oven, I am cooking often and eating really well. It makes me sad that I am cooking for others less often, but I am happy to share foods when I can: lunch for my lovely co-chefs when they help with cooking classes, prepping goodies for potlucks, and creating treats for my coworkers. I am surprised how easy it is to make good food in such a limited space! If I find a way to expand my counter space, I will invest in a hotplate, but for now I have just the one gas burner. But I’ve been making tons of food: hearty soups for our chilly weather; lots of baked tofu, apples, and veggies; batches of muffins, pancakes, and cupcakes to keep in the freezer. I’ve been good about making big pots of rice, quinoa, and beans to use throughout the week. I’ve even started some kefir experiments on my limited counter space!
Now that I am on a tight food (um, everything) budget, I have been pretty frugal with my purchases and habits. I am trying to be very careful with all my leftovers, and remembering to re-purpose stale grains and such into muffins or porridge. I’ve been freezing backup grains, beans, and baked goods, and looking for ways to trim my food costs (saddest change: no coconut ice cream!). This is all a bit new, but as I learn more about cooking solo, eating solo, and I will share my tips with BM readers. So stay tuned for new posts about eating well on the cheap as I continue to share my experience of cooking small but eating large here at BakeryManis.