An inordinate amount of my time is spent these days on ann arbor craigslist, trolling the apartments for rent section. It’s the main reason this blog, and my adopted kitchen at the boyfriend’s house, has seen little of me lately. Sure, I cooked up a little birthday brunch a few weeks ago, featuring an asparagus bread pudding from 101 cookbooks. And I vaguely recall a vietnamese chicken salad and some sesame peanut noodles, to accompany a viewing of the Soprano’s a few weeks back. A loaf of banana-coconut bread appeared, as did a stellar pizza with olives, eggplant, and feta. (We’ve caught the pizza bug from Maria and John.) I fixed myself some nice cavatappi with white beans and sundried tomatoes for a solo dinner, which was superbly satisfying. That might sound like respectable kitchen output for several weeks, but it hasn’t felt like it. My zest for life, typically expressed by preparing relatively delicious food (that I read about in the blogs, apparently), has been squelched by a dispiriting march through Ann Arbor’s apartments–and most disappointingly, its kitchens.
Every apartment I’ve ever lived in has been in an old house broken up into apartments, and with this apartment search I’ve wanted to continue the tradition. I’ve been extraordinarily lucky that my former abodes have all had more-than-decent kitchens, which, as I’ve learned, are usually the overlooked piece of the historic home-cum-apartment. My current place has what I have recently come to call a grownup kitchen: it’s bright and sunny, has plenty of counter space, along with a new stove (electric, though), a magnetic knife strip, a cool old enamel-topped table, and a pot rack mounted the wall. I love it, and I have many fond cooking memories there.
Perhaps I was naive, but I thought that a lot of apartments in this town would have grownup kitchens as well. Instead, the kitchens I’ve seen in 1 BR apartments are architectural accidents. The kitchen in a hallway is a commonplace, as is the refrigerator in the back hall and the mini-stove, which inevitably puts me in mind of the EasyBake Oven. These kitchens do not merely hamper creativity, they actively mitigate against it. Rather than workshops where I can experiment and produce really good dishes for people I love, these kitchens are stages for the single person, standing alone in her pajamas, heating up a package of ramen.
Forget about an eat-in kitchen in a 1 BR apartment; you’re more likely to find a $5 sandwich at Zingerman’s.
I’m desperate: if anyone knows of a decent
kitchen apartment I can rent, please let me know!