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chefmd

Living without kitchen

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It is time. To redo the kitchen. Not only it is country style which is completely different from the rest of the condo. It also falls apart, literally. It is fun to watch the guests to open the cabinet door only to find out that it one of the hinges unhinged. Oops.

This is the professional picture of the kitchen (taken by realtors when the place was for sale.

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We managed to save beautiful granite but that's about all we could use.

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This is my new make shift kitchen set up:

Refrigerator, induction burner, microwave/convection oven in the foyer. Posters in the background protecting wall from splashes.

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Few plates, glasses, bowls etc. in the coat closet.

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Espresso maker, soda stream, kettle in the guest bathroom. Vacuum sealer under the counter.

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And washing station in the other bathroom.

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I also have easy access to pots, pans, kitchen appliances.

Any suggestions on what to cook while in kitchen austerity mode will be greatly appreciated. What did other members do during kitchen remodeling?

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Oh dear. Remember to keep your eyes on the prize! It will be done - someday - unless your hubby is doing the work himself (glad my hubby never goes on eG).

Looks like you can cook just about anything that requires just one element or will fit in a small oven - I suspect the biggest limitation will be trying to wash the dishes in the bathroom sink. Do you have a laundry room sink for the bigger/greasier stuff?

Do you have a BBQ on the balcony?

Lots of egg dishes I think, kimchi pancakes would work on the induction nicely. Stir fries - cook the rice in the microwave. Thai curries would work - one pot basically. Casserole type dishes in the oven. How about the chicken with caramellized shallots from David Lebovitz?

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Thanks Kerry. My husband does not do the kitchen. In fact, if he tries to do some home project, it costs me more in the end to undo the damage by professionals.

I do have an electric grill on the balcony! Thanks for reminding me. Unfortunately no laundry sink but we do have a bathtub in the guest kitchen.

Chicken recipe looks awesome. Will add it to my list of things to try (very long list, very little time).

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We redid our kitchen several years ago. For me, the grill was a lifesaver, and the biggest challenge turned out to be the dishwashing, particularly of the larger pots and pans that didn't fit well into the small barsink we were using. Much as I hate to use them, paper plates and plastic utensils were a godsend. We ate a lot of sandwiches and salads. And the week I was watching a friend's cat was awesome, as I was able to cook up a bunch of stuff in her kitchen and freeze portions for later reheating.

I couldn't imagine trying to be kitchenless in winter.


MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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Oh, I can imagine being kitchenless in winter, Melissa. We lost our power for 14 days in the middle of January five years ago following a hellacious ice storm. Thank God we have a wood burning fireplace and a generator. I also cooked exclusively on our gas grill and kept frozen items on the porch and chilled items in the greenhouse. Dishwashing was in the utility sink in the laundry room in cold water since we are all electric out here in the boondocks.

I have new appreciation for my pioneering foremothers.

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We were kitchenless for 4 months and had a set-up similar to yours, except we had a bit more storage space, a small counter top and a bar sink. We used the grill (and its side-burner) a lot. I grew tired of grilled veggies (something I never thought could happen). We only did take-out or ate out one or two nights each week, but when we did we often ordered enough Chinese or pizza or BBQ to make two meals. We also made use of some convenience foods (Stouffers lasagna/salad/garlic bread made frequent appearances).

I grilled whole chickens or bought rotisserie and made chicken salad with the leftovers, leftover lamb went into gyros, etc. Basically, I tried to turn each meal I cooked or purchased into two. We live WAY out in the boonies, so calling for delivery wasn't an option. As Melissa said, the washing up was the most challenging part and we did use paper goods for some meals. But, it just felt so wasteful, I tried to minimize it. We kept breakfast simple (toast with peanut butter and honey was the most common). DH ate lunch at the hospital where he worked. I took frozen meals or ate lunch at the food court in my building most days.

A few years later, we were without power for 11 days. Even with two generators, that was MUCH more challenging than the months without a kitchen, because we had no water and a kennel full of dogs to feed and clean up after! After that, we had our well pump wired to run off a generator, but have never needed to use it. Still, I'd much rather do without my ktichen than my hot showers and A/C!

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Thanks for suggestions everyone. I also hate to use disposable plates but will have to do it for at least some meals.

Late lunch today. Leftover half sandwich from work and arugula salad with shaved parmesan. Due to the kitchen austerity mode, salad was mixed directly in the other half of sandwich container.

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Oh, just remembered... I did make use of disposable aluminium pans quite a bit to cook on the grill when we tired of straight grilled stuff. I made beans, pot roast, braised chicken and veg, etc. in foil pans on the grill. I even did a relatively successful pan of corn bread in my cast iron skillet on the grill.

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when my family and I moved into our current home, we had no kitchen at all. What was worse was, our electric was so bad, we couldn't keep our dorm fridge, toaster oven and a burner on. I would have to unplug the fridge and the radio, turn off the ac and occasionally have to reset the fuse.

I had gone to the store and purchased a toaster oven and two hot plates. We have never owned a microwave so, that really wasnt an option. We also had a smoker and grill in the backyard.

We lived for a year without a kitchen and did quiet well. I think the most people we ever cooked for was 20 people.

So basically, i would suggest you get a toaster oven. We made meatballs, chickens, meatloaf, baked fish and roasted vegetables in that thing.

The big annoying thing was, we didn't have even a sink on the first floor. So, i had a hose outside and would wash the cookware out there. Lots of paper plates and plastic forks and things just to toss out.

I have copper pots and cast irons pans and things which I never used.. I ended up purchasing a few non stick pans and a pot to boil water that I eventually tossed out.

The grill is your friend. I would make salads and things and just grill stuff outside for the most part.. I think we would use the grill at least 5 times a week.


Edited by basquecook (log)

“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted" JK

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Just found photos of our old kitchen. It was pretty awesome!

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then they removed the floor and we just grilled for a couple of weeks straight.

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Edited by basquecook (log)

“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted" JK

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It is time. To redo the kitchen. Not only it is country style which is completely different from the rest of the condo. It also falls apart, literally. It is fun to watch the guests to open the cabinet door only to find out that it one of the hinges unhinged. Oops.

This is the professional picture of the kitchen (taken by realtors when the place was for sale.

attachicon.gifIS89kiuqdyo4gz.jpg

We managed to save beautiful granite but that's about all we could use.

What a shame because your kitchen is really quite beautiful. Too bad it doesn't work for you.

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I'm just starting to plan a kitchen face lift, no major demo, so I think I will only be kitchen-less for 3 days. I'm thinking the loss of sink will be the biggest hassle, since I have only a small pedestal sink in the powder room on the first floor. Maybe I'll time it for when DH is out of town so as to minimize use of paper/disposables.


"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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As a lot of you suggested, using bathroom sink for dishes proven to be the major obstacle. But i's amazing what you can cook and serve using one skillet and one plate per person.

Here is dinner

Burrata and tomatoes salad.

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Steak with quinoa and arugula as side dish.

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It is time. To redo the kitchen. Not only it is country style which is completely different from the rest of the condo. It also falls apart, literally. It is fun to watch the guests to open the cabinet door only to find out that it one of the hinges unhinged. Oops.

This is the professional picture of the kitchen (taken by realtors when the place was for sale.

attachicon.gifIS89kiuqdyo4gz.jpg

We managed to save beautiful granite but that's about all we could use.

What a shame because your kitchen is really quite beautiful. Too bad it doesn't work for you.

Kitchen actually looks better in the photo (professionally taken when condo was for sale) than it did in real life. New doors and plastic veneers were attached to old frame and were falling/peeling off. When cabinets were removed, the date on the back was July 23 1975.

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Great looking dinner. Have you tried a family size George Foreman grill? I use mine in motels room so I don't have to eat lousy chain food (or the same restaurant) when my job takes me out of town for extended periods of time. If you have a receptacle on the balcony you can set it up outside and keep the water and grease vapors from permeating your living spaces which is one of the biggest obstacles in cooking without adequate ventilation. It's great for kebobs, chops, salmon, roasted vegetables, potatoes and panini sandwiches. Also get a few corelle dishes. It's much easier to cleanup when you don't have to worry about chipping your dishes or sink.

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When we had more than just a couple of items to wash, I used a Rubbermaid tub for the "wash cycle" and just did the rinse in the bar sink. Of course, it helped that I had a bit of counterspace beside the bar sink.

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Thanks for Rubbermaid suggestion. I have a large plastic container for sous vide and that should do.

Here is how the kitchen looks now. Just realized that light fixtures need to be replaced as well...

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Belated pictures of new kitchen. Very happy not to cook in the bathroom any longer! Please note my special pride and joy kitchen faucet from Kohler.

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Worth the wait. Looks great N!

Anything you'd change or other things besides the faucet you are particularly thrilled with?


Edited by Kerry Beal (log)

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Very thrilled with bookcases. Craiglist find. Formerly used as medical cabinets. Now need to add color with art and little useless things on the counters. When are you and Anna going to come to good old USA to cook? Why should Manitoulin island have all the fun?

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It is. Not sure I love it but the size is perfect for Art Culinaire. Top magazine on each level gets dusty and sticky from exposure to kitchen elements. Thats why I am so happy with surgical cabinets that have sliding doors.

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Amazing kitchen, chefmd!!!! I am sure you have and will enjoy cooking many a meal in there. I love your counter tops. If I could re-do only one thing in my kitchen, I'd take out the counters and do something like you have.

Edited to add:

Holy crap, I'm blind. The counters were the one thing you saved! Anyway, they look great in the new kitchen!!


Edited by Shelby (log)

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