Gallery: Behind the Scenes in Robyn's Home Kitchen

  • Welcome to My Kitchen

    The kitchen island is one of the best things I've gotten from IKEA. I didn't have one for the first two years of living in this apartment and now I can't imagine not having it.

    And that MUJI trash can next to it? I LOVE THAT TRASH CAN. It doesn't look like anything special, but it's just...a nice trash can. It's light and sleek, it has (optional) smoothly gliding wheels, it doesn't take up much room, and it's a nice height.

    The Island

    When I realized how many things could hang from the hooks, I was like, "I WILL HANG ALL THE THINGS!" (Although as you can see, I didn't use all the hooks. Um.) Towels, strainers, measuring spoons and cups, and other utensils hang here. Under the island go a bunch of glass bowls that might be older than me, my rice cooker, a food processor and blender, the paddle for my ice cream maker (...yeah, that doesn't belong there), paper towel roll, some empty plastic containers, Janet's box of tea and spices, and other stuff.

    The Cart

    This cheap IKEA kitchen cart seems to be popular with us Serious Eaters (wattup, Carrie and Niki). After Janet and I replaced this with the larger island last summer, it became the "pile random stuff here" area. Large bowl with random stuff! Other thing with random stuff! Large bin with random snacks and ingredients and stuff! Jars and boxes and cans and whatever!

    The shelves are stacked with lesser used baking dishes, pots, and pans (including a large paella pan I inherited from Shann, who inherited it from another roommate, who inherited it from another friend—I'll probably give to Janet). It's not where cookbooks usually go, but the Hoosier Mama Book of Pie is the last cookbook I used, so...there it goes.

    To the right are grocery bags for recycling and aprons hanging on the wall. To the left, an extra folded chair, a picnic basket, and random pots.

    Inside the Cart's Drawers

    Random stuff on top, and random stuff inside. Yeeeaah. I rarely open these drawers. Methinks there are random menus and instruction manuals in there, along with some of Janet's stuff (hello, immersion blender and coffee filters).

    Shelves of Bottles

    I think Shann found this old bookcase abandoned on a street. Good thing or else I don't know where all these bottles would go. I mostly use olive oil, soy sauce, sesame oil, Chinkiang vinegar, and Shaoxing wine. The water bottles are leftovers from Hurricane Sandy prep when I thought I better stock up on some water, and then we never used 'em. Snuggled up next to the water bottles is Janet's jug of rice.

    The big bowl on the right used to be the "random stuff" bowl before the bowls on the cart took over that role.

    Special Fun Bowl

    Here's a close-up shot of the big bowl because you must behold the NUNCHUCK-WIELDING BUNNIES AND A FIRE-BREATHING CHICKEN. My friend Lee Anne gave me this bowl as a gift ages ago, commissioned from one of her fellow pottery classmates. Lee Anne knows me very well.


    I forget that you're supposed to put notes and photos and other magnet-able things on a fridge. Half of these magnets were left behind by Shann, and all the magnets I put there were given to me by other people (except for the timer, which I bought but ended up never needing). The kitty handle cover came from Janet's mom.

    On top on the fridge: bags, foil, plastic wrap, and some random grains.

    Enter the Freezer

    I mostly use the freezer to store homemade dumplings. Otherwise, it's the land of forgotten meat. I've got some random frozen beef and fish in here in case of a...meat emergency, but it's mostly Janet's leftover Korean food, plus a bottle of vodka I took from the office for cooking (I've used it once) and the bowl of my ice cream maker.

    Enter the Fridge

    The fridge is a bit bare since Janet and I recently came back from different vacations. Much of the stuff should probably be thrown out (hello, brown avocado half). Oops. Janet and I don't drink much besides water, tea, and coffee, so there isn't much beverage diversity in here. I'm not sure if the beers in the door are for her or her friends.

    I ignore most of the stuff in the door, aside from the butter, which means some of it could probably be thrown out. I mean, that's a lot of jam for two people. And I never use jam. Does Janet use jam? I hope so.

    The Stove and Oven

    The kitchen floor is a bit off level, so pans on the right-most burner sometimes slide to the left. It can also lead to cookie dough baking up as cookie smears as the dough succumbs to gravity. The oven door doesn't open all the way easily; you have to shove it past the window frame. Just a few of the fun things I discovered after moving into this apartment!

    It could be worse, of course. The stove and oven work fine otherwise.

    The Sink

    The sink is a perfectly good sink. The sponge is gross. I will replace that ASAP.

    On the right, drying rack and cutting boards. On the left, container of spoons, spatulas, paddles, and more, and Janet's coffee grinder and maker.

    Drawer of Utensils and Rubber Bands

    Forks? Knives? Spoons? Chopsticks? Leftover take-out plastic utensils? Rubber bands, both new and used? Aw yeah, guys, I've got 'em all.

    The Everything Drawer

    I'm only realizing now that some of this stuff should go in the other drawer considering this one is overstuffed with...everything. Knives (with covers), grater, reamer, lemon juicer, can opener, knife sharpeners, vegetable brush, vegetable peeler, thermometer, measuring spoons, etc.

    Under the Sink

    This is mostly where we shove shopping bags, but there are also some mixing bowls, a salad spinner, a hand mixer, a funnel, and a potato masher, among other random things.


    The left side is mostly my stuff and the right side is mostly Janet's. We've got tea, spices, honey, hot chocolate mix, pasta, fried onions, and other bits. I use this cabinet mostly to get to tea and sugar.

    Another Cabinet

    Here's where we keep too many mugs and cups, a variety of bowls, storage containers, plates, and serving ware.

    And Another Cabinet

    Home of dry goods, mostly flour, various sugars, rice, and other grains.

    Above the Cabinets

    Here's more stuff that doesn't get used much. Except for the rice. As for why I didn't put the rice in the dry goods cabinet, I don't know. And why is there an extra drying rack? ...Because...[shuffles away]

    And Another Cabinet

    My apartment is full of storage areas, such as a random cabinet floating in the corner of the kitchen that we don't really need. But we put stuff in it anyway because we can, stuff including dried noodles, seaweed snacks, more tea, some serving ware, and empty plastic containers.