If you like to cook, your kitchen is probably hard to keep in an uncluttered state. Even if your kitchen gadgets are minimal and you have managed to stay away from esoteric items like cherry pitters, there are still those clunky pieces of equipment. Food processors, blenders and juicers can take up some serious room.
Or you may be aching to try something new, like a dehydrator or a waffle maker, but without clearing room in your bathroom, it seems like an impossible dream.
Even though the notion of a library has been going on for some time, it still seems remarkable. With one magic card, you have access to a multitude of books and an entirely different world. The Kitchen Library is also a window to a world where you can have a free counter yet enjoy the use of unlimited gizmos and gadgets.
Here’s how it works. A membership is $9/month. Check out the kitchen inventory, from ice cream makers to stand mixers. Drop by to check it out. Borrow the item for up to 7 days, then wash and return it. Careful: it could get addictive.
Dayna Boyer, the founder and executive director, was kind enough to let us in on the esoteric kitchen items she stocks and the cool appliance she’s been enjoying tinkering with (hint: it isn’t an Easy Bake oven):
Please let us know more of The Kitchen Library story.
I had been working with The Toronto Tool Library for a few months when I started rolling around the idea of all the different things we could put into a library. It was a light bulb moment when I landed on kitchen appliances because as someone who loves to cook and lives in a tiny apartment in Toronto, I definitely didn’t have all the space for the appliances I wanted. And looking around at all of the other apartments and condos already in the city, it’s pretty safe to assume I’m not the only one!
We can verify that fact. What are some of the more esoteric kitchen items that people can rent?
Most of our inventory is made up of common appliances that people need for cooking and baking but aren’t necessarily items you need everyday like stand mixers, juicers, dehydrators, bread makers, etc. We just had a wine making kit donated to the library that I’m excited to learn how to use.
What happens if the rental comes back a little worse for the wear?
Equipment hasn’t come back dirty but a few appliances have come back broken. We’re always on the look out for handy volunteers interested in helping us maintain our inventory.
You sound super understanding. Does having a library filled with kitchen swag make you cook more or less?
Since opening The Kitchen Library I’ve definitely been cooking more (I’m still not very good at baking).
We have a feeling you have a better shot than most of us at perfecting that skill. What is one item you have learned to use better since having this job?
This could turn in to a really long list. I’ve learned how to use so many appliances since starting the library. We just got a TFal ActiFry (it fries food using only a teaspoon of oil) and that’s been pretty exciting to play with. The nutritionist at Living City Health, Kris Light, and I just made a vegan gluten-free poutine that changed my world.
Yum! In your opinion, what are the top 3 kitchen essentials, whether rented or owned?
I couldn’t have survived this winter without a slow cooker for warm meals and the juicer for when I feel a cold coming on. But the appliance I use almost everyday is the high-speed blender for smoothies.
We’re ready to up our culinary game, Dayna. Move over, Barefoot Contessa.
Torontonians, get cookin’ by heading over to the Kitchen Library’s website here.