October 17, 2012 by Last Star blog
Four by eight…. is that a standard sheet of plywood, a sheet of drywall, it seems like a standard size in construction, works with 16 inch centers. Four by eight gives you 32 square feet. But if it is a kitchen it is not a whole lot. I suspect most of you have a kitchen that is 10 to 15 times larger.
So how is a tiny kitchen like this used when it is time to cook? Well the rear of the photo is the fridge. Now the top is some awful nice counter space but if you want to use the top of the fridge as counter space you MUST get everything you need out of the fridge on the first try. Next time you are in the kitchen preparing any meal try and go to the fridge once, just once. And if you need to go back to the fridge then you must move all your stuff from one side of the counter to the other before you open the fridge again.
Oh and that little thing hanging on the wall over the fridge next to the wine glasses is a little LED light to see into the bottom of the fridge. You see there is no light in this fridge. But there is a little shelf that slides left and right a bit to assist you in seeing into the deep bowels and find that hiding bit of cheese or grab that Pepsi. The problem is using that light requires that you hold it to see so you have only one hand left to slide the shelf, move other stuff, and keep the top from slamming down on you. Oh and finally you must be able to recognize every product from the type of top it has, soda cans are a particular challenge. It is important that both parties keep putting the same things in the same places.
The freezer is where all the cooling starts like in most fridges but this one is a little oval that you see on the left and it must hold the two ice-trays (aluminum trays that take 2 days to make ice and will freeze your fingers to the bone before yielding an ice-cube; but we do have ice!).
Now at lunch for example the top of the range can be good counter space but most of the time the top comes off the stove and you lose the counter space because you’re using the range to heat coffee, a pan of eggs, some vegetables or pasta. So in general the space to the right of the sink is available. It is possible to balance a few things around the sink and behind it too. Now there is no chance that two people can fit in the space. We tried the trashcan in different places but that seems to be the best place so far.
If you look closely at the lower left corner of the knife holder you’ll see it is angled, that cut is there to permit the oven door to clear the knife holder. Don’t think for an instant you can stand in front of the oven and peer inside. You have to slide to the side to see in which then puts me too close to the oven knob and with my aging eyes reading the temperature setting is a bit of a challenge.
Now on the bright side in general if you need something it is within an arm’s reach. It’s nice having the pantry, the dishes, glasses, fridge basically at the end of your fingertips; it’s just the dance required to open and close the necessary cabinets, drawers, and counter tops to get to the stuff.
Doing the dishes is a hand-washing experience like in the days gone by; the sink is small compared to the type you find in a home. The big limitation is trying to use the least bit of fresh water and not draining the hot water heater. The hot water comes from a heat-exchange between the engine and the hot-water heater. Once the engine is shut down for the day then there is no more hot-water. There is the capability to heat water with 110v electricity but we are generally not tied to shore power so the hot water comes from the engine most of the time. Look against the wall to the left side of the fridge and you can see our collapsible dish-rack. Very nice that it folds up small and stores easily.
So that’s our kitchen, it’s been a quiet week so I thought I’d throw this out to show the daily stuff we deal with.