Daily Archives: November 17, 2018

So Begins This Journey: Small Kitchen Vs. Farmer’s Daughter

The Kitchen:  Small galley kitchen in central Wisconsin granary converted into a farm house.

The Challenge:  Batch cooking and making meals in a tiny space for starters, as part of a plan outlined below.

The Contender:  Alora Rueth – farmer’s daughter first, now farmer’s wife and drug reimbursement counselor by day, devoted foodie armed with a retirement gig plan by evening and weekends.  Yes, this plan is crazy because retirement is about winding down, but winding down is not in a farmer’s daughter’s vocab.  The driving force behind this plan – determination to make delicious culinary “lemonade” from a small galley “lemon.”  Farmer is 100% behind this craziness (he has nothing to lose being the culinary guinea pig).

Timeline To Get This Gig Going:  Over the course of 2 to 5 years.  So many ideas, so little time, but if there’s a will, there is a way.  As long as there is enough coffee and Advocare Spark Energy.

So begins this journey that will delve deep into what doesn’t and does make a small kitchen tick.  One thing I do know is that it’s harder to adjust to a small kitchen when you’re used to the amenities of a large kitchen.  This I realized after having to move from a kitchen that had a full-sized stove and oven with an open area to cook and bake to what I called a kitchen from hell that has a built-in cook top, built-in small oven and close quarters.

In reality, the kitchen from hell is really a galley-type kitchen that is more tailored for a cook who is very old school without a microwave and just cooking for one person and belongs in an apartment, not a farmhouse.  But, this kitchen was the culinary card I was dealt when I moved in.

Now, after over a decade of dealing with it, I have decided to make peace with that kitchen and use it for what it is.  The last 4 years of dairy farming have been a struggle financially due to a surplus of milk resulting in the farm taking in next to no income.  That means, doing anything major to my small kitchen is not possible financially so I will make do with what there is and make changes that I can afford with the day job income.

The change in attitude recently though had a lot to do with some great products I became aware of.  I didn’t know there were kitchen tools that served more than one purpose and didn’t take up a lot of space.  I didn’t know anything either about how meal kits could make cooking in a small space more tolerable.  That is when I decided to start doing something about that galley kitchen to make it a better place to cook and bake.

I don’t think of myself as a great cook or baker, but I admit that I am sort of a foodie.  I analyze what’s in a dish from time to time the few times I go out to eat after seeing it advertised on television.  I find myself captivated by television shows like Hell’s Kitchen, Master Chef and cooking competitions broadcasted on food television channels.

Here’s my small kitchen before I did some changes–rearranging items, cleaning out cupboards and getting rid of items not used or replaced with multipurpose kitchen tools and counter appliances.