Our kitchen is not big: 2 x 4 m and the backdoor is the one everyone uses, so there are always shoes, jackets and backpacks blocking the way. When the kids were toddlers and had a keen interest in cooking, it was crowded. Nowadays they mostly only join in when I’m baking Christmas cookies.

I made the cabinet doors and countertop myself when I took a carpentery course a couple of years ago. The wood is maple and cherry and all joints were made by hand. If I knew how hard the wood was, I might have chosen a different one. I ran out of steam, so the right half of the kitchen is not worth showing a picture of.

Out of principle (coupled with very limited cabinet space) I use very few gadgets. Most of the tools in the kitchen are simple and multi-purpose. There are moments (like when I catered for a tea party for 60) when I start thinking that a Kitchen Aid would make my life a little easier, but really, when you have to,  you can do just about anything by hand.

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