Size Doesn’t Matter

The first cake I baked emerged a bit on the rare side from a tiny pink Easy-Bake Oven. I considered this marvel to be my kitchen – in other words, off-limits to my older brothers. It wasn’t huge and barely took up any space on our kitchen counter…but, it was mine. A sanctuary from which I believed would emerge masterpieces to amaze my friends and family.

At eight years old I followed the directions to a tee:

1. Open cake mix package and pour into small pink plastic bowl provided

2. Add water and stir

3. Pour cake batter into baking pan and top with sprinkles

4. ‘Bake’ for :20 minutes

When I took the cake out of the oven, the multi-colored sprinkles sank into the mushy batter instead of adorning the top as they did in the photo on the box. Maybe my light bulb (the cooking mechanism of the Easy-Bake Oven) wasn’t strong enough or was broken or just wasn’t quite up to par. Or, maybe it was the mixture itself that was a bit off.

Still….what came out of the oven wasn’t at all like the picture on the box…Bear in mind, this was about 1,000 years before the Internet and I couldn’t go to an online Easy-Bake Oven support group. I couldn’t shout my disappointment out on my Facebook page and hope for ‘Likes’ and suggestions on how to improve.

I just had to move forward. I baked countless small pans of mush that slowly improved and became the spitting image of what the box had promised.

My tiny pink kitchen, where my passion for cooking began.

In a world where Mayor Bloomberg is challenging architects and designers to come up with plans for a 300 sq ft apartment, we all need to find ways to consolidate. Let’s face it; we have too much stuff.

Last year I moved from a 4br house into my 1br apartment on Manhattan’s upper west side. To say there wasn’t enough space for all of my things would be an understatement. During the time that I lived in the house, I honed my cooking skills…and amassed an impressive collection of cooking gear – enough to fill a pretty large kitchen. The move to a small apartment required some serious paring down of equipment. But I had no intention of diminishing my ability to cook and to entertain my friends.

What I’ve learned and what I hope to impart here on this page is that a passion for kitchens and cooking supersedes the space available. Whether yours is a grand kitchen featured in Architectural Digest or just a small, pink, plastic box with a lightbulb for heat, if you want to cook, size doesn’t matter.