The Piss Ant Kitchen has turned a corner. Literally.
(Now it turns left into the dining room.)
As I was in the middle of dinner prep tonight, Ariel asked if there was anything she could do, bearing the same facial expression she always has when she asks this question. This particular look is something along the lines of 'I'd really like to be helpful, but I know there's nothing I can do... we don't have space, and you normally hog all the glory anyway.' I was in the middle of hacking up a piece of turkey breast, but had enough presence of mind to think for a minute, and realize "Actually... Yes!"
Having the auxiliary table out in the dining room area gave Ariel a place to work on her part of the meal, (which was AWESOME) while I was working in the kitchen. The doorway from dining room to kitchen is still the bottleneck, but as long as she comes through saying where she's headed, it works. (If she's headed to the sink, I stand in front of the fridge. If she needs to get into the fridge, I step back in the direction of the sink.)
I'm not going to say this is an optimal arrangement for two people to cook effectively at the same time. But we're figuring out how to make it work, so there's hope.
Piss-Ant Kitchen: proof positive that you don't have to have a great kitchen to make great food.