Downsizing is hard.

Don’t mess with a woman’s counter space….

The past couple of weeks I’ve been going through a series of life changes.  Sometimes you have to give up a few things in order to grow, and part of my last few weeks has included a serious downsize back to apartment living.

While I can say for certain that I’m in a good place personally, perhaps the hardest part has been giving up my enormous chef’s kitchen for a 2′ x 4′ slab of Formica in my current abode.  While I have every confidence in my ability to cook in a small kitchen (proved, in part, by the mean apple cobbler you see here), I’ll admit that I got pretty accustomed to spreading out.

As Alton Brown has drilled into me, muti-taskers are key, and in a small kitchen this is all the more true.  So the things that I’ve chosen to take with me to the apartment are going to have maximum impact with a minimum footprint.  If ever faced with nuclear holocaust, or a downsize of major proportions, these are the things I would (and did) take with me.

Lauren’s must-haves for a happy kitchen of any size:

  1. An awesome wooden spoon, spatula, and scraper.  Don’t skimp on quality here; break the bank and get the best.
  2. Corning ware.  My set was a wedding gift to my parents in 1975.  Oven, microwave and dishwasher safe (not that I have one of those anymore).  Plus they have lids, so you don’t need extra tupperware.  You can use them for baking, too!

  3. A fantastic mixing bowl.  Do I really have to justify this?
  4. Chef’s knife.  No meal is made without it.  Again, don’t skimp here; get the best and keep it sharp.
  5. A soup pot, a skillet, and a sauce pan.  If they are good ones, you only need one of each.  Will Calphalon pay me if I plug them as my brand of choice?
  6. A french press. The coffee tastes better, and it’s small enough to store in the cupboard.
  7. My vintage, 1st edition Betty Crocker Cookbook.  When times get tough, my mantra is always that Betty knows best.

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Lauren

Lauren Warnecke is the dance critic at the Chicago Tribune and editor/senior writer at See Chicago Dance. Her writing has appeared in Chicago Magazine, Milwaukee Magazine, St. Louis Magazine and Dance Media publications, among others. Lauren is an adjunct faculty member at Loyola University Chicago in the dance and exercise science programs. She has been a writer-in-residence at the Bates Dance Festival (Lewiston, ME) and the JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience (Durban, South Africa), and was part of the first low-res dance writing lab cohort at the National Center for Choreography in Akron, OH. Since 2009, Lauren has blogged about dance and performance in the American midwest at artintercepts.org.