(Our cat, Cooper, startling us during a garlic scape photo shoot.)
Welcome to Teeny Tiny Kitchen.
“Teeny” (as we affectionately call it) is our blog about cooking in a small kitchen in our northern Vermont apartment. When we first moved here we fell in love with the kitchen. It's very small, but – out of necessity - really well organized. In our 6 x 11 ½ foot kitchen (69 square feet), 46 square feet is taken up by the sink, the fridge and pantry shelves, so it's trim as a ship's galley with a healthy amount of storage. But, we only have a combined prep area/flat space of 1 ½ x 3 ½ feet. And for the first couple of years we lived here, when we would invite friends or family over for dinner, the resounding refrain was, “You made (insert meal), in that small kitchen?”
It became a reoccurring joke. Paninis made on our small Foreman grill one New Year's Eve were instantly christened by our group of friends as “Teeny Tiny Paninis.” The nickname stuck and we decided to use it to name our blog – but we dropped the “Paninis” and replaced it with “Kitchen.”
Why start a blog?
At this point there are literally thousands of food blogs, but we enjoy chronicling cooking in a very limited space. We also don't cook with any processed food. There are no cans of Campbell's soup on our shelves and no packages of Lipton's onion soup either.
We don't exclude processed foods because we are snobs or even overly healthy. We're not. We enjoy cream, butter, cheese and wine. We like food. But we also like to know what we're eating. Making your own food from fresh ingredients instead of relying on processed ingredients doesn't mean you have to eat the same thing every night and it doesn't have to make cooking more difficult, even in a small space. It also doesn't mean you have to get all of your ingredients directly from a local farm, but we're lucky enough to live in an area that is seeing a revival of diversified agriculture. We're near an affordable CSA farm, and so - when it's in season - we can get most of our ingredients straight from the source. There's nothing fresher than food that was picked the day you bought it. It tastes better and lasts longer, and that's not even mentioning the benefits to the environment and the local economy.
We also like a good challenge: having a CSA means getting a surprise in your kitchen on a regular basis – introducing you to new ingredients and forcing you to learn how to manage the bounty of the season. In the summer when we get our bi-weekly shares, the kitchen turns into a mini-processing plant. We are overrun with fresh vegetables and we have to work fast to blanch and freeze vegetables or make them into “quickles” before they go to waste. Again, another challenge in a small space, but a rewarding one and not as difficult as it might sound. (Except for stacking dishes perpendicularly, on top of a row of cookbooks. That's tricky.)
And that's why we started Teeny, to show that size doesn't have to matter when it comes to good food.
Recipes and photos
We believe in etiquette. If we borrow a recipe from someone or are inspired by someone else, we put a link to their post in ours. If we use something from a book, we link to where you can buy the book. If you want to use one of our recipes on your own site please feel free to do so, but we appreciate the same courtesy that we extend to others. Just make sure that you provide attribution and a link to Teeny Tiny Kitchen.
We take all of the photos you see on this site. If you'd like to use one, please email us and ask permission first.
We've also had recipes picked up by Athens Foods, Livestrong and Phyllo.com which we think is pretty neat. Launie's food writing has also been featured on Food Revolution Day, Salon, Open Salon, Let My People Grow, Crasstalk, and BlogHer. She also had an article she wrote for Crasstalk linked by CNN, and the L.A. Times and Culture Cheese Magazine both really liked her recipe for Homemade Tater Tots with Cheddar Habanero Sauce. And in February we were thrilled to be chosen as Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution's Blog of the Month.
To sum up: Teeny is our written and visual documentation of our culinary adventures. And misadventures. We're not shy about talking about recipes that fail, or recipes that challenge our kitchen to the point of insanity. Making bagels in 2 feet of space? No problem, if you employ patience and planning. But making pierogi? Hoo boy.
Anyway, we hope you enjoy reading about 2 cooks, 2 cats and one Teeny Tiny Kitchen.
Launie and Jedd
Contact info: teenytinykitchenvt @ gmail.