Like many young Londoners, I’ve spent the last four years bouncing from rented flat to rented flat, never settling in more than one place for longer than a year. Last weekend, I moved into my latest home, to a flat tucked away in the top of an old science college, as part of a live-in guardian scheme. When my flatmates moved in, they were essentially given a shell; a series of classrooms with little in the way of home comforts and it’s been down to them to turn the shell into a home- I have to say, coming in at this stage, they’ve done an incredible job.
One of the things I like most about my new home is the kitchen. It’s nothing special, really, no bells and whistles. In fact, we don’t even have a fitted cooker, just a little countertop electric one. It wouldn’t exactly make the front page of Ideal Home magazine but it gets the job done. But what makes this kitchen so refreshing for me is that it’s a heart of the flat and it’s lived in by people who value the importance of sitting down to a nice meal or even just a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. You don’t need to throw money at something to make it right for it’s purpose and having a place that feels like a kitchen means I’ve cooked more in this kitchen in 3 nights than I did in weeks in my previous flat, where we had an open-plan kitchen, which was essentially the bare minimum space for cooking tacked onto the edge of the living room, with no space to do anything other than heat and serve and no table to eat at. Having a proper space dedicated to food just makes me want to get cooking again!
We have a perfectly spacious table, which can fit all of us around to share a meal. We have enough pots and pans to keep even the messiest chef happy , hung on a fantastic improvised ‘pan holder’ made out of just a pallet and a chain. We also have enough herbs and spices to make sure the things coming out of the kitchen are things we want to eat. And to add to this, two of my flatmates have recently taken an interest in growing their own herbs and vegetables, which seem to be flourishing nicely.
Of course, I’d love one day to have a nice, big, eclectic kitchen like these…
The kitchens I love are the ones with soul and character- give me a higgledy piggledy, lived-in kitchen with the personal touch over a stainless steel, premium kitchen any day. But that’s a long way off for me yet…
In the mantime, hopefully there will be plenty of recipes coming out of my new kitchen that I can share with you here. My first home cooked meal in my new flat? Some delicious smoky pork tacos, served with avocado salad and a tasty glass Malbec, perfect for a relaxed Saturday night in.
You can find the recipe here: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2121655/smoky-pork-and-black-bean-tacos
I highly recommend it, though I suggest adding a good handful of fresh red chilli into the mix along with the onions for a kick!