The Not-So Starving Student—Introducing My Kitchen!

Over the years, I’ve grown quite attached to my kitchen. It’s where I’ve spent hours baking for the holidays or learning a new recipe. The more that I have come to work in this space, the more I have been efficient in improving the workflow of the area. I wanted to introduce this sacred space to my fellow AU students. For AU students living in smaller quarter or trying to maximize the space within their kitchen, there’s many tips that can help reduce clutter and help create an illusion of space.

Spice Cupboard

My spice cupboard contains all the necessary ingredient combinations for a delicious meal. One of the challenges many beginner chefs have is organizing this space. For myself as a budget-sensitive student, I wanted the luxury of matching spice jars without having to overwhelm my wallet. A full spice rack with 30 compartments can run you from $40-$60 which was outside of my budget range. Instead, I improvised with using older jam and mason jars. This has cleared away the clutter coming from individual spice packaging that doesn’t already come in glass jars.

The Fridge

While I have witnessed the growth of “smart fridges” that automatically track the freshness of produce in your fridge, I have yet to own one myself. Smart fridges look something of the future with its touch screens and advanced sensor systems. Instead, my humble fridge boasts a master calendar which tracks when my fresh produce is coming due. Having a smaller fridge also helps me be accountable for the groceries I purchase. It is also easier to find items at the back of the fridge or give the insides a wipe-down when needed.

 The Island

This make-shift kitchen island has been widely useful for additional items that don’t fit on the kitchen counter. Given that not every AU student has the luxury of a broad kitchen island, a make-shift island is perfect because of its functionality and price tag. This bar table with four stools runs you around $250 at Ikea and has been extremely hardy over the years.

The Stove

I often get asked whether I prefer electric or natural gas ranges, and my answer has never quite changed. I definitely prefer having a natural gas range for the speed of cooking and even heating. However, electric ranges definitely have its advantages in other ways. For example, while this stove is rather outdated compared to newer models, you can never get carbon monoxide poisoning cooking over an electric stove. A natural gas range will inevitably produce carbon monoxide as a by-product of combustion which can be harmful if enough of it accumulates.

Tea Counter

Part of my counter is dedicated solely to coffee, tea and hot water kettle. While the area takes up a corner of the counter, it does help speed the process up in the morning when I prepare my coffee or tea.