- Full Title: The Tiny Mess: Recipes and Stories from Small Kitchens
- Print Length: 192 pages
- Publisher: Ten Speed Press
- Publication Date: March 12, 2019
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0399582738
- ISBN-13: 978-0399582738
- Download File Format | Size: epub |
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From sailboats and trailers, to treehouses, cottages, and converted railcars, The Tiny Mess is alive with stories of tiny houses, the people who live in them, and the meals they love the most. The book offers full-flavored recipes for kitchens of any size, featuring gorgeous photographs of intimate kitchens; the fresh, colorful food they produce; and the artisans, cooks, anglers, and farmers who own and work in them. A range of inventive dishes includes options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even cocktail hour, such as Sourdough Pancakes, Kitchen Sink Quiche, Nopal Cactus Salad, Slow-Stewed Rabbit Tacos, Blueberry and Lime Pie, and Rosemary-Honey Gin and Tonic. In addition to the recipes, the book includes narratives about the contributors, including their tips and tricks for essential equipment, pantry items, and small kitchen hacks.
About the Author
TREVOR GORDON is a photographer and professional surfer who grew up on the beach in Santa Barbara, CA. He loves sailing, fishing, and getting knee-deep in boat projects. He has been a brand ambassador for Patagonia, Teva, Cliff Bar, and Poler Stuff. MADDIE GORDON is an illustrator from rural Sussex, England, with a serious passion for healthy cooking, hot tea, and foraging for food. Her home kitchen is in the belly of a 36′ sailboat that she lives aboard with her husband, Trevor. MARY GONZALEZ is a vegan baker, farmer, and all-around culinary rebel. She lives on a secluded mountaintop avocado ranch in a 30′ travel trailer with her dog, Rose.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Writing The Tiny Mess got us all thinking about the evolution of our own little kitchens. We haven’t always lived in teeny, tiny, unconventional homes, so adapting to a life of less space has most certainly been an evolution for the three of us. We have come a long way from our big, old, cluttered spaces full of useless junk to our small, cluttered spaces full of wonderfully useful junk.
Perhaps you and your living space have had a similar journey into the abyss of extreme downsizing. Perhaps it went something like this:
You started with about eight plates, a dozen mugs, pots and pans in every size, and a plethora of tools and gadgets. You thought you would really need that apple corer, egg slicer, and avocado keeper. There’d be room for them, you said. You had already gotten rid of so much stuff, you said. But then you spent that first month in your new home— navigating your way around your new microsized kitchen, organizing Tupperware like Tetris blocks, and realizing all over again, every single day, that you still have too . . . much . . . shit.
So for your next move, you gutted the kitchen and tossed everything that doesn’t fold, stack, stow, or nest. You knocked out some built-ins or ripped out a wall and added some extra countertop. You reanalyzed your inventory and decided to keep only two of everything you eat on or with. Nothing more. You decided you’ll be making cowboy coffee from now on. No need for that electric coffeemaker, pointless! Cowboy coffee it is.
Finally, you have space. Real room to breathe. Unfortunately, your kitchen now looks like the inside of a camping store. You want to have friends over, but they’d have to eat with sporks, so you get a couple more plate settings, ditch the enamel mugs that burn your lips, and buy a pour-over coffeemaker because good coffee is something you are unwilling to sacrifice. You acquire a cast-iron skillet because it does nearly everything you could ever ask a pan to do, and like a well-seasoned pair of old Levi’s, it doesn’t really need washing. That sleek multitool utility knife contraption goes back into your camping kit and instead you find yourself one decent, sharp knife that cuts anything. You part with the color-coded cutting boards and replace them with a lone burly wood board, one that will get funkier and funkier with each meal and fits perfectly over your sink.
Substance over style. Function as a part of form. Simpler. Slower. You are getting the hang of it now.
Perhaps the hardest thing of all during this process is learning how to accept various gifts from well-meaning parents, family, and friends. You know—those completely incompetent small versions of normal tools or some gimmicky ceramic measuring cups that don’t even say the damn measurements on them. The people in your life are so excited for you and want to support you, so in the end, you wind up with a special place somewhere in your tiny home for all these mostly pointless gifts because you love the folks who gifted them to you. Sound familiar?
Well, that’s because we have been there, too. The three of us have all gone mad with the work of trying to live smaller so that we can lead bigger, more enriching lives. We’ve plotted and planned, reworked, reconfigured, and redone things a thousand times in our pursuit of a better kitchen, easier cooking, and tastier food. It hasn’t been easy, but it has made us wildly more efficient, creative cooks who continue to grow with every obstacle.
Our pantries are filled with food, not appliances. Our cupboards are full of spices and sketchy condiments that most everyone else refrigerates. Our fridges might technically be coolers, but they are packed exclusively with perishables because that’s all we have room for. Our counters are stained with stories of meals gone by and roads long since traveled.
And you know what? These are good things. These are things that we are proud of. These are things we continue to work on every day. What we lack in physical space we can gain in peace of mind. At some point, the passing on of unwanted or unneeded goods becomes almost spiritual in feeling. The evolution is endless, as the effort becomes part of the fun. The challenges become part of your charm.
Make no mistake, this book is gritty, grimy, and grubby. It is the real deal from the front lines of the tiny home realization. Other than a few minimally styled food photos, T he T iny Mess is a raw account of all the blissful and chaotic cooking currently going on in small kitchens everywhere. Inside you will find stained linens, dirty dishes, works-in-progress, and cheap beer, but with them come soulful meals, tender moments, and deeply nourishing traditions. Sure, elbow room may be hard to come by, but tasty and healthy food most definitely is not.
This book is as much about food as it is about kitchens, and it is as much about kitchens as it is about people. It is those people, their homes, and their favorite recipes that you will meet in the pages ahead. They are but the tiniest selection of all the resourceful and talented cooks out there doing big and delicious things with humble means.