A sink, even that one, can only keep you going so long. After four years, I was ready to move on.
|my grandfather's rolling pin and a hand carved cake stand we received as a wedding gift|
When we were house hunting in Japan, I was pretty picky about the kitchen space. I didn't need huge sizes or massive cupboards; I was used to smaller spaces and wanted to keep it that way. I wanted space on the countertops, a good flow, and to not be cut off in a galley.
We brought over an IKEA butcher block island for the one wall that didn't have anything on it. I looked at Natori and other Japanese shops and couldn't find what I was looking for. IKEA had it for $199 and it fit within inches. Some things are meant to be.
I don't know if I mentioned it before, but rental apartments in Japan lack all appliances, right down to the light fixtures. Renters buy them and move them with them as they go. It's annoying from our perspective, as we only plan to rent one Japanese apartment at this juncture of our lives, but I guess it makes sense from a long term rental perspective. At least it prevents crappy appliances from 1970 marring an otherwise decent apartment. Perhaps? I don't know; I don't make it a habit to ask too many questions of why things are done they way they are here. They just are, I accept, and we bought new appliances, including a new refrigerator. Oh, our refrigerator. Happy sigh.
It has an upper part, full of drawers and shelves, which is big news for us when you consider what we're coming from. What's more, it has a whole pull out crisper drawer for all the vegetables my little heart could ever want (and that Amos could ever stomach). It has an ice (!) maker (!!), a quick freeze drawer, and a pull out freezer. It's full of fancy buttons that we've labeled in English and whose function I only vaguely understand. It's only full of beer, peanut butter, eggs, and jam at this moment, but I have big plans for its future. Wait for it.
The only real downside to this beautiful kitchen of ours is the oven... or lack thereof. Every single place we looked at only had a fish grill, which is to say a teeny-tiny little broiler oven used to cook a fillet. That's it. I was used to half sized ovens, but even this is beyond my experience. We could have purchased an oven/steamer/microwave as an additional appliance, but they are rather bulky. In the end, Amos and I opted for the counter space instead. After all, we did recently get a toaster oven that does have degree settings up to 450. Between that and the fish grill - and some creative thinking and appropriately sized dishes and pans - I think we can make it work.
|See the little thing to the left, under the stove? THAT is our oven...|
I'm moving forward with optimism and bravado on that count. Get ready.