Friday, January 02, 2015

My kitchen is my nightmare

My kitchen is my nightmare but not in the way you would imagine. I love that I can access nearly anything I need with just an arms reach in my closet-sized space. When I visit family with large kitchens I feel like it's such a waste of energy always having to run back and forth all the while making a recipe. No, it's not the space that annoys me. It's the cold.

Typical old French apartments (and maybe even some modern ones) have a little box cut into the kitchen's exterior-facing wall where they store fruits, vegetables and potatoes. There is a ventilation "frame" cut into the exterior wall, and a little door that opens into the kitchen.

It's called a cellier. I use it occasionally and think it's brilliant. Until Winter comes. When Winter comes this little maison des legumes (vegetable house as I call it) become my nightmare.

The point of this cubby is to keep vegetables cool and fresh. Since there is always air coming in from the outside, and the little door on the kitchen side to access the vegetables is not airtight, there's always a little fresh air coming into the kitchen. And it's not winterized. So cold, icy, Winter air comes into the apartment all Winter long.

Because we live in an old French apartment, with all it's charming polished parquet floors, old marble fireplaces, super high ceilings and double-French doors out onto our balconies, we also have paper-thin walls to our neighbors (another post), and we have a freezing kitchen! 

I try to protect our home by taping plastic over the door, but the tape never sticks very well due to the slippery walls (and cheap tape). I keep the door to the kitchen closed to contain the cold in one room. And I've become a crazy woman reminding everyone to close the doors to every other room to keep the heat inside. But every time I go into my kitchen I freeze.

I guess I could think of it like those thermal baths to help me feel better?!

Here's the "ventilation" in the toilette room and my shoddy-white trash kitchen "fix" (more like a "fail"), complete with the white t-shirt stuffed into the gap between the counter and wall where there's a definite strong breeze. Have to truck all over Paris to find some duck tape!!