Kitchen of the Week: Tiny, Fruitful New York Kitchen

Although she’s been desperate enough to wash dishes in her bathtub, Yossy Arefi-Afshar can find plenty of things to appreciate about her tiny rental kitchen in New York. A lack of storage and prep space surely makes things difficult, but it also forces her to get creative with decor and cooking.

Whether it is turning a drawer to extra prep space, utilizing every square inch of vertical storage or changing up the darling artwork on her kitchen wall, Arefi-Afshar embraces her little kitchen and utilizes it to whip up tasty seasonal desserts and keeps for her website, Apt. 2B Baking Co..

Apt 2B Baking Co..

Q. What’s your go-to dish for a dinner party?

A. I like to keep it simple for dinner celebrations. I’ll never forget the time I got too rough with my menu and ended up doing dishes in the bathtub the following moment. It was a great celebration, but I believe I used every single bowl, pot, pan and utensil I possessed.

Lately, I have been really into cooking up a big pot of mussels with garlic, wine and a lot of parsley, with a side of whatever veggies are in season — peas and fava beans sauteed with shallots are a favorite — and some sliced sourdough bread to consume all of the delicious juices from the mussels. For dessert I adore rustic fruit tarts, pies or crumbles with ice cream.

Apt 2B Baking Co..

Q. What are the three kitchen necessities you use most?

A. My sturdy kitchen scale, that has lived quite a few falls; parchment paper for all manner of cooking tasks; and my bench and bowl scrapers. They’re a baker buddies.

Apt 2B Baking Co..

Q. How have you heard to earn cooking in a little kitchen easier?

A. Just like a lot of people with little kitchens, ” I wish I had more counter space. When I’m working on a large project at home, like a wedding cake, I totally clear the decks and temporarily relocate everything to another portion of the apartment.

Subsequently to give myself a bit more surface area, I’ll pull out a jar or two and put a sheet pan in addition to make a few more inches of counter space.

Hint: sterile as you go, instead of leaving all of the dishes until the end. “Small kitchens get cluttered fast,” states Arefi-Afshar. “Particularly when your sink is about 12 inches square.”

Apt 2B Baking Co..

Q. What are three kitchen luxuries you really adore?

A. Delicious-smelling dishwashing soap for all of my hand-washed dishes — Mrs. Meyer’s Basil Scent is my very favourite — my Le Creuset and All-Clad cookware I hope will last a lifetime, and my Ateco cake turntable. It’s heavy and hard to store, but it makes cake decorating so simple.

Apt 2B Baking Co..

Q. Tell us something else you love about your kitchen.

A. My little rotating collection of artwork on the walls. I like to shoot photos and cards and stick them up using washi tape. It’s a simple, inexpensive means to add a little colour to the room and very simple to switch up when I get tired of what is hanging. Right now I have a few of my own photos hanging together with a letterpress baseball card Ray Pepper, created by Left Field Cards — a card from BDRStudio, another card created by my pal Ellie and a great fruit and veggie print from the Little Canoe shop on Etsy.

Apt 2B Baking Co..

Q. What’s a good storage or space-saving secret?

A. I try to use my little distance very efficiently, and that means a lot of stacking and lots of bowls, pans and serving dishes. I also try my best to use wall and vertical area. I store some of my sheet pans in the distance between the top of my cabinets and the ceiling, and my dish rack resides on top of the refrigerator. Knives are stored on a magnetic strip on the wall above the stove, and pots and pans go on hooks outside of the kitchen.

Hint: If you have an extra-small kitchen, a shopping habit could cause some storage issues. Before you purchase something, constantly ask yourself in which you are going to store it. If you can’t answer that, it might want to remain in the store.

Apt 2B Baking Co..

Arefi-Afshar is originally from Seattle. She began Apt. 2B Baking Co. throughout her stint working in restaurant kitchens and proceeds to chronicle her cooking and baking adventures now.

Portrait: Ellie Connell
Pictures of kitchen: Yossy Arefi-Afshar

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