It's been one month since I last enjoyed a fully functioning kitchen. I have to say, it hasn't been as horrific as anticipated. Maybe it's because my husband is so dedicated and has worked hard to keep the project moving, I don't know, but the end is in sight, and I couldn't be happier!
When we decided to gut the kitchen, I worried about meals during the renovation. Eating out frequently would kill our budget, not to mention my waistline, so I knew I'd have to get creative about cooking.
We have a working refrigerator in our garage, and our new house has an upstairs laundry room with a wash tub. Two problems solved right there! Cold storage and a sink. :) We set up a temporary kitchenette in the formal dining room. Until last week, a microwave took up half of our table, and I stacked my small appliances (electric skillet, crock pot, and griddler) in a laundry basket on the floor.
Our coffee maker and toaster stay on a small folding table, and I keep the handful of dishes we use there too.
One choice we made based on the lack of sink on the main floor was to use plastic silverware and paper plates. I confiscated a few cheapie shelves from my kids' rooms to store a small assortment of dry goods and the paper plates and such.
I found it challenging to cook meals for a month without the use of an oven or stove. Thank goodness the refrigerated section offers such a wide variety of ready-made foods. Here is a sample of some of the meals we enjoyed:
- Crock pot roast beef with ready-made mashed potatoes (we all decided the ready-made mashed potatoes must be full of cream and butter because they are delicious!)
- Hot dogs or brats on the grill w/baked beans heated up in the microwave
- Grilled pork chops, sliced cucumbers and tomatoes, deli pasta salad
- Grilled chicken tenders marinated in Italian dressing, large green salad
- Caeser salad with breadsticks
- Lasagna from the freezer section, salad, breadsticks
- Shrimp stir-fry with ready-made rice
- Chicken rice casserole (this was the only meal we all hated!)
- Grilled cheese sandwiches, chips
- Steak or Chicken tacos using frozen, cooked meat
Using ready-made products added to my overall food budget, but it still was a quarter of the price of eating out. Plus, we saved time, and we tend to eat less portion-wise when we dine at home.
Although our kitchen isn't 100% finished (next up--installing the sink, dishwasher, and stove!), I'll be unpacking our dishes this week. I'm so excited!
Have you ever had to live without a fully functioning kitchen? How did you do it? Any tricks you care to share?
Enjoy your Wednesday!