This Woman Cooks Everything in a Coffee Maker

The Swedish website Kaffekokarkokboken documents extreme minimalist cuisine.

Let’s take a moment to celebrate the true heroes—those who cast off the Rollie EggMasters, the Pasta Boats, and the Xpress Redi-Set-Go’s of modernity. Those of us who, if pressed, could survive the apocalypse with just one appliance.

In a world of quick-fix solutions, let us marvel at the coffee-maker chef.

In 2009, Katja Wulff was just a straw-haired Swedish college student with a dream in her heart and no stove in her dorm. Her solution: To prepare noodles in her coffee maker.

The initial noodle success was followed by more elaborate dishes, and eventually, to a blog called Kaffekokarkokboken and to a well-received book by the same title.

Dan Sörensen/Coffee Machine Cuisine

Fortunately for us, there is an English version: Coffee Machine Cuisine. At this point, Wulff is brewing up everything from chocolate marshmallow lollipops, to lamb hearts, to an egg “cake” consisting of boiled eggs and fried eggs cemented together with mayonnaise. As in, “Happy birthday, I made you this egg cake in my coffee maker.”

Dan Sörensen/Coffee Machine Cuisine

Her other hobbies are putting tights on her cats and making balloon art. Clearly, I needed to find out as much about this woman as possible.

The following is a lightly edited transcript of my e-mail conversation with Wulff. All of the delightful photos are by Wulff's photographer boyfriend, Dan Sörensen.

You said that you sometimes use food that looks good rather than tastes good. What are some examples of that, and why?

Coffee Machine Cuisine is a creative experiment rather than a traditional food blog. I have never liked to cook and I'm still not fond of "traditional" cooking. But I like to experiment with ingredients and with my coffee maker. And if the ingredients look crazy, it's even more fun, because it will look better on photos. I love to experiment with weird stuff like hearts, testicles and pig tails. The consistency of a testicle is awesome!

The taste of the final dish is not as important, although I try to make it taste good, of course. I think that if you are looking for great recipes, taste-wise, maybe I'm not the chef for you. But if you want to get inspired and have a great laugh, Coffee Machine Cuisine is hopefully the blog you want to read. And if you are a crazy cat person, like me, it's definitely the blog to read.

Dan Sörensen/Coffee Machine Cuisine

How many actual meals do you cook for yourself in a coffee maker in a given day?

Since I have a kitchen now, I do it when I feel like it and when I get a new recipe I have to try. It's "just" a hobby now both for me and for my boyfriend Dan--the photographer of the blog and book. But it wasn't always like this... I used to live in a dorm (before I met and moved in with Dan), that's when I started the Swedish version of the blog, and since I didn't have a kitchen in my room I started to cook all my food in the coffee maker and did that for like six months.

Why not add toasters or other gadgets to the repertoire?

I do! I've tried toasters, bread-roasters, vacuum cleaner, hair curler, iron, dishwasher, hair waffler, etc ... as well. But nothing is as good and versatile as the coffee maker. I would love to try and cook with a washing machine, but Dan won't let me. Tried to cook with my parent's washing machine but they saw it and interrupted what was about to happen. An hour later I fried a burger with their iron. Now I'm not allowed to cook with anything other than the stove at their place.

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Olga Khazan is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where she covers health.

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