Awhile ago, I decided that having a tiny studio apartment kitchen was daring and adventurous-- mostly in that "I would be so bold as to cook an eight course meal in here if I really wanted to" sort of way. Once I made this decision, every culinary endeavor was an opportunity to prove I could not be defeated by the small misfortunes of sparse counter space, a minuscule sink, or an oven just slightly larger than those of the E-Z Bake variety.
While I took a solemn oath to persevere for the good of the bakery hunt, I failed to anticipate that a near death experience would be a part of this gig. During a Santa Monica sunset this week, on an otherwise typical evening, an abrupt and dramatic crash rattled the studio. I rounded the corner to the kitchen and before my eyes was a crime scene of fallen dishware.
Formerly bolted to the wall, a massive cabinet now hung in the precarious balance, wedged between the wall and kitchen table. Among its fallen relics: champagne glasses with golden-inscribed "New Year's 2005!", a post-studying abroad Paris-themed martini glass, some 50's diner-inspired ice cream sundae glasses, and most of all, a plethora of random dishware with uncertain origins. Long before people force their relatives to purchase designer china patterns under the guise of matrimony, us modern, single twenty-somethings embark on a journey of mismatched adulthood. We're so full of the spirit of culinary adventure, we care not for convention and cohesive dish sets and care only for a colorful life where we savor the ingredients with the best flavor. This is a simplicity we long to hold onto at The Great American Bakery Hunt. When we don't have the fancy cooking tools in the recipe, we improvise. When each use of the broiler sets off the smoke detector within 30 seconds, we open the front door. When use of a 450 degree oven transforms studio apartment into sweat lodge, we keep on baking, but we change into shorts. Nothing can stop us.
It took me awhile to clean up the great cabinet catastrophe. My glass measuring cups, somehow, survived the carnage, as if to tell me "Go on and bake fearlessly in this kitchen, against all odds."
So beware the hazards of studio apartment cooking, but let your will to bake be strong.