A high counter separates the kitchen from the living room. It gives me a little more counter space, an opportunity for storage, and a tiny bit of privacy but not too much. Plus, my cat, Thomas, loves to jump up on it.
Even though my oven is minuscule and I don't have very much counter space, I'm not afraid to bake elaborate desserts or cook for friends. I have what I need, and that's enough.
Everything is stored in its own special spot, fit in Tetris-like to be as efficient as possible. Just how much of a jigsaw it is comes into high relief when a new person cooks in my kitchen. They're usually completely turned around and appalled by how quickly clutter accumulates. For me, it's all second nature; I'm used to these unique small kitchen challenges.
• The best meal I've made here was also my most ambitious. It was a progressive bistro-inspired supper of kir royales, baguette with butter, raw oysters, broiled scallops on the half shell, seared duck breast with potatoes and haricots verts, tarte tatin, and of course, lots of wine. It took 4 to 5 hours to make (and eat) as it was mostly cooked a la minute, but my guests were good sports about it.
The sun that comes into this space in the late afternoon is lovely, and always makes me happy. And it means that I'm actually at home in the afternoon!