My Tiny Kitchen
This last bit is essential for the harmony of my marriage.
The Work Space
Next to the stove I've got a couple of IKEA utensil holders (no, I don't always follow my own recommendations). One houses metal utensils, while the other holds wood and silicone. The dark bottle next to them is EVOO, and the green is canola. The tinted bottles and the rate at which I go through them ensures that they never go rancid before I'm done.
There's also my salt cellar, my pepper mill, some burger testing-in-progress, and a few bottles of overflow wine and vinegar from the storage cabinet above.
Part of a Laaaaaaarge Pantry
Other items in the top shelves include: roasted sesame seeds. Cocoa powder. Espresso powder. Dehydrated black olives. Uncooked shrimp crackers. Piri piri peppers. Potassium alginate. Dried morels. Agar agar. Sichuan peppercorns. Fried shallots. Rennet tablets.
Not shown, but underneath my cutting board is where I keep my various rices and grains, and dried East Asian staples (various seaweeds, dried fish, dried fermented soy beans, dried mushrooms, etc.)
The Back Wall
Above the spices are some of my Japanese and Chinese style knives. More on those later.
I keep other flat-style generic plastic takeout dishes ready so that I can pack lunches for my wife Adri. Most of these have come from saving, washing, and reusing doggie-bag containers from restaurants.
The Cold Zone
In the fridge, at the moment I've got (roughly from the top down): chili pastes, fermented bean pastes, chili oil, miso paste, pickles and preserves, curry pastes, cooked sauces and prepared foods like kabayaki, orange purees, pestos, anchovies, dog food, apple sauce, four varieties of barbecue sauce (testing for the Serious Eats book), cooked vegetables and meats, onion juice, cole slaw, eggs, milk, heavy cream, buttermilk, Japanese barley tea, sausages, cheese (including the ends of 500 slices of American cheese, which had to be trimmed to fit sliders), eggplant, lettuces, zucchini, peeled garlic, scallions, mint, lemon verbena, shiso, celery, and carrots.
In the door are condiments, more pickles and preserves, and way too many other things to mention.
Taste Tester Extraordinare
But unlike me, he tends to pee on things that he likes.
I sometimes look at this while playing with my dog and think about things I probably shouldn't.
Knives, Part 1: East Asian Collection
Next three are Yanagi in various sizes, which are used for slicing fish for sashimi and sushi.
The next is an Osaka-style (rounded head) Usuba, a single-beveled vegetable knife that is extraordinarily sharp. Next is a Tokyo-style (square headed) Nakiri. It's similar to the Usuba, but has a double-beveled edge, making it a little easier to handle, but not as precise.
Last but not least is my single-beveled Global G-4. The Global was ruined a few years ago at a barbecue that involved low lighting, an entire lamb saddle, and a little too much beer. I was forced to grind it down about 1/2 an inch to remove the nicks I made that night. It's now my "hack and slash" knife—the one I use recklessly on bones, ligaments, and other such abusive tissues.
Knives, Part 2: The Backbone
Starting from the left, we have a Misono UX-10 (a great wedding gift), followed by a Global G-2—my first "high end" knife, which is at least 10 years old, and still going strong. Next is a 5-inch Wusthof Santoku that took me through a year of knife-work-intensive garde-manger duty at Clio. Almost daily sharpening has worn the blade down past its granton edge, despite using a 2000-grit stone.
Next up, a Wusthof slicing knife (great for terrines or smoked salmon), and a small Wusthof paring knife that gets more use now that I share it with my small-handed wife.
A Henckels bread knife is finally starting to show signs of needing replacing after eight years of hard core service, but the Wusthof 12-inch steel is still going strong, as is my Wusthof flexible boning knife.
The last one is the only knife my wife had before marrying me. It's a 4-inch paring knife from Ikea, and it's good for prying open jar lids, poking holes in metal cans, and opening packages—anything you wouldn't do with your real knives.
Knives, Part 3: The Travel Section
Next is my travel bread knife, a utilitarian job from F. Dick that works really well. To the right of that is my carbon steel Sabatier chef's knife. That one also might be my favorite.
Knives are like Beatles albums to me. My favorite really depends on my mood.
Also in my knife kit you'll find some microplanes, various spatulas, an oyster shucker, tweezers, peelers, zesters, a mini whisk, a pastry bruch, chopsticks, fish scalers, corers, scoops, pens, a notebook, a small plastic bench scraper, and some kitchen shears.
The rest of my knives are superstitious and would prefer not to have their souls captured and stolen by the camera. They live in my closet and must never be touched or looked at, like Nigel Tufnel's prize foam green Fender Bass VI.
This is What You Get
This is what happens when you brush your finger against the really really sharp edge of a carbon steel Sabatier when inserting a spatula into your knife kit.
It cuts so fast and deep you don't even realize it's happened until you see the blood.
Two Common Sights
I can't decide which is more important for my sanity and well being.
On Our Fridge
Below it is us as South Park characters. See how happy we are?
To the right is my laundry card (in-building laundry machines rule!), and above is us celebrating a birthday at Shabu Shabu 70 (in case anyone was wondering what happens when you go on your birthday, there's a big hint for you).