20th September 2018
Review – The Minimalist Kitchen by Melissa Coleman
This is an attempt to clear out the cupboards with a helping hand from The Minimalist Kitchen
Let me start with this: I am not, nor have I ever been, a hoarder. But then I moved in with my partner. He’s a wonderful man in more ways than one, except for his unwavering love of utter tat. It’s just…everywhere.
A melting point came when I was spending an evening desperately trying to make space in our bedroom, and I came across a Walking Dead beer bottle opener, still in its original packaging and covered in dust. Do we watch The Walking Dead? No. Do either of us drink beer out of bottles that require an opener? No. Do we have a Walking Dead beer bottle opener? Of course we do.
Enter The Minimalist Kitchen by Melissa Coleman – creator of The Faux Martha blog – as a little helping hand in making sense of a nonsensical mess. Billed as ‘the practical art of making more with less’, and recommended by Buzzfeed’s Goodful, this book was a ticket back to my former life of the bare essentials.
So, what is a minimalist kitchen? According to Melissa, it’s as much an artform as it is a cooking philosophy – paring down tools and ingredients, building a pantry, and using efficient cooking techniques.
Here’s what I thought…
I liked…that this book is really, really, ridiculously good-looking
Superficial, I know, but this book is the Zoolander of tabletop reads. A thick and sturdy hardback with a clean, simplified design worthy of the Instagram age. You could buy this book for decorative purposes alone.
I didn’t like…that spring-release scoops are listed as a pared-down utensil
Being unfamiliar with the movement, when I think of minimalism, I think of Neanderthals or prison. Can you imagine a caveman wrapping his ape-like clubs around an ice scream scooper? No, you cannot.
I liked…that it states the obvious
Melissa has provided a list of basics that you actually need to have with the words ‘the rest were taking up space’. She’s like that friend who sits you down when you’re in a destructive relationship and says, ‘Seriously, you need to dump the guy’. You know it’s true; you know you have to cut the dead weight; but sometimes you need to hear it from somebody else.
I didn’t like…the assumption that I live in a four-bedroom detached house with more than two kitchen cupboards
After spending my twenties in a flatshare, I’ve upgraded to a small one-bedroom apartment. While I appreciate the extremely comprehensive guide to what should go in my pantry, I do not have a pantry. Granted, she also speaks of a ‘figurative pantry’, so I look forward to figuratively storing my food in that.
I liked…the recipes
I’d assumed that the recipes would be like Jamie Oliver’s Five Ingredients, where you can make a four-course meal out of a stick of celery and some kidney beans, but on first glance, these recipes don’t seem overly minimal. Actually, they’re pretty simple, well-explained and, quite frankly, delicious. There are over 100 to choose from, spanning breakfast, lunch, dinner, baking and drinks, complete with an excellent guide on how to meal-plan.
On the whole, I’m glad I purchased this book, and with my spring-release ice cream scoop in hand, I’m ready to organise my figurative pantry.
Purchase the book here.