advice for cooking without a kitchen (during remodeling)?
  • As I put kitchen items into storage, I was wondering if any of you had suggestions for those items necessary to manage for a month plus with no real kitchen. We have a camp stove, pressure cooker, slow cooker, and waffle iron. The refrigerator will also be available. I have cleared some space for food and dishes. Any advice on cooking items you found to be essential? Recipes that turned out to be surprisingly easy to make under these compromising circumstance? I'm already thinking about crepes. Many thanks.
  • Your phone, and a few flyers from restaurants providing take-away... :)

    I think you're pretty well covered with the camp stove, pressure cooker and slow cooker. I would probably try to concentrate on salads (it helps if some of them contain no-cook grains like couscous, or canned chickpeas or beans), simple braises in the slow cooker, and perhaps a few simple one-pot dishes (soups?) for the camp stove (do you have a camping-cookbook?), or use the camp stove to fry things. If possible, I would probably also try to get a water cooker.

    While we had a few nice dishes, we certainly didn't always eat brilliantly while our kitchen was being remodeled; part of that was that even easy things became incredibly difficult. So we were just all the happier when the kitchen was done. We didn't have any of the things you mentioned; instead, we had a raclette-grill, a tiny bucket-style barbecue, a rice cooker and a microwave which we only used for it's oven function, so I can't really point you to helpful recipes we used back then. But I have collected a few recipes we make a lot when we're traveling and staying in places were we can cook. They include recipes like my DH's pasta salad (pasta, fresh and dried tomatoes, avocado, sardines, fried bacon, cucumber, artichoke hearts, simple dressing), or these ones: chowder with whisky grown in britain&f=false

    Good luck!
  • Thanks, Friederike. Great looking recipes,etc. I found waffled mac & cheese on serious eats today that would make my kids really, really happy ;).
    The big load-bearing wall came down 2 days ago, and its unbelievable what a difference it makes! Am I sick to be in love with my 8-inch I-beam?
  • I'm missing cooking! Just thought I'd say that. The camp stove doesn't have much umpf, and tomorrow I lose the kitchen sink.
  • Hi Queezle, how's your kitchen coming along? Any idea yet how long it will take?
    Have you managed to do any cooking so far? In any case, good luck!
  • Thanks for asking, friederike,
    With spring coming, we've been able to grill out a bit, and I managed a killer cole slaw, using my food processor in the basement bedroom. Today we moved the refrigerator downstairs -- if we can get all the food-related things into the same general area, it will be much easier.
    Right now the "kitchen" is a big empty area, but the plumbing has been done, and we've hired a guy for the floors. Still deciding on the electrician, etc. I'm figuring it will be done in June. Had been hoping for an end date before my son's high school graduation (June 5th), but with floors not being installed until May 5th, I just don't see it as being possible.
    The cooking is certainly a challenge, and the teenagers seem quite challenged by the situation. But tomorrow I am going to try for making waffles - yeasted one - the batter is in the refrigerator. And I broke down and bought an electric skillet, thinking that might make things a bit easier to cook.
    Thanks for asking!
  • Good to hear you're coping. It will probably help a lot having everything in one space. Good idea to get the electric skillet - I was also wondering whether a microwave with an oven-function would be helpful for you. I had one of those while I was a student because the place where I stayed didn't have an oven, so I used it nearly exclusively for the oven function, for pies, roasts, casseroles, cakes, etc. It might be something your kids would love to takeover from you in a few years... :)
  • Been mighty quiet for a while ... how is the renovation going?

    One of the benefits of our do-it-yourself approach was that we managed to keep the kitchen in working order, if sometimes a bit inconvenient. Even the days when the new sink and counters were installed, I think I managed to get dinner out.
    The major disadvantage, of course, is that the work stretches out for much much longer. Says she, still awaiting the installation of backsplash tiles and under-cabinet lighting.
  • My appliances are finally ordered, and they should arrive in 2 - 3 weeks. I'll be out of town nearly the entire month of august, but I believe the kitchen will be back to the normal cooking business in September. Its a good thing, too, as I will host our cookbook cooking club that month. Its very exciting realizing that this very slow remodel will eventually come to an end.

    The temporary kitchen has been difficult because things are spread in stations throughout the downstairs rooms. Its slow when trying to find something because there are so many places to look. The most useful survival tools have been (1) dishpans (to corral the dishes); (2) the electric frying pan (everything from "baking" meatballs to grilled cheese sandwiches to tapioca and panna cotta); (3) credit card so we could go out when everyone was simply too tired to face the difficult cooking situation. All that, plus a sense of humor.
  • I might have an oven and cooktop after tomorrow! Countertops are in, cabinet/drawers nearly all assembled and installed, and I'll get running water in my sink, garbage disposal, and dishwasher on Thursday.

    So happy!

    And now to decide what to cook first. For the oven it will probably be my trusty old oven pancake. Will try to make a photoalbum on flicker to share.
  • How wonderful!! Can't wait to see...
  • I put a couple images in my review for this recipe, but promise better photos to come. My speed oven cooked 3 large sweet potatoes in 5 1/2 minutes! Boy am I impressed.

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