In my opinion, kitchens are the make-or-break of a house. Either you have a nice kitchen and it’s nice to spend time in it, or you simply do not — so consequently your house is significantly less pleasant. There is something a little magical about how the kitchen works as a transformative space, taking something and turning it into another through heat and spice.
That being said, college kitchens can be a little nightmarish, complete with jump scares and a smell that will haunt you. There are definitely times when my own kitchen has caused me some heartaches with its fruit fly infestations or dirty dish mountains, but we’ve always overcome them. While this may sound unpleasant, you should see the amount of kitchen appliances we have. I’ve compiled a list of my personal favorites, in no particular order.
My milk frother is my favorite, and with the addition of it to our kitchen, my coffee is more delightful — and it’s always easy to whip up some homemade whipped cream. My quality of life has significantly improved with its presence.
The four-slice toaster
The toaster — a contribution to the kitchen from my roommate. It’s a four-slice toaster. It’s true that it takes up a chunk of counter space, but it has renewed my love of toast. No more toasting bread in a pan on the stove for me because it’s all about the toaster. Once, in my hurry to make it to a class, I accidentally left a piece of toast heating up in a stove that was on. While I didn’t burn the apartment down, it was a close call. My then-roommate texted me a picture of the charred bread on the stove. It was a humbling experience. Thankfully, the addition of the four-slice toaster has removed that danger.
My kettle has a soft spot in my heart. While I do enjoy the microwave, it just can’t make tea the same. My kettle is a bright sky blue, and I’ve had it since high school when I received it as a birthday present. Maybe an unusual gift for a high schooler, but it’s been pretty significant in my life.
The microwave! Here’s the deal: I had not one, but two, obsessive ingredient-parents. Somehow, that correlated to me growing up without a microwave. It’s not that they believe that microwaves put harmful radiation in food, but they don’t not believe that. My life was forever changed when I experienced how quickly and easily I could reheat up a cup of tea that was accidentally left to brew for too long. Leftovers no longer have to be heated up in a toaster oven or on the stove. I’ll never get over the novelty of oatmeal made in the microwave either.
Next has to be the instant pot; while I don’t frequently use it, I do love it. It’s actually also my roommate’s, but he doesn’t mind sharing. Pot roasts, soups, steamed potatoes and more are all cooked quickly! Crockpots are definitely a thing of the past — no more stewing things for eight or more hours. As a college student, I just don’t have time for that.
My coffee pot
Of course, I can’t not mention my coffee pot. As someone with a very developed caffeine addiction, I really couldn’t live without it. I’ve written a whole other blog article about my relationship with coffee, so I’ll just leave it at that for now.
An honorable mention to the other various appliances lying around — the air fryer, the rice cooker and the blender. My roommates and I, all four of us, like to cook. This results in our fridge always being packed, and we have a precarious relationship with the amount of counter space. We have drawers that require a little shove, and we all say a little prayer before opening the tupperware drawer.
I beg you not to picture our tiny apartment kitchen with the amount of things I’ve described, as I assure you we’ve made it work. And while you couldn’t call it spacious per se, on its good days it does pass as tidy. It remains the soul of Apartment 23, fluorescent lighting notwithstanding.