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Temporary Kitchen during Remodel


wonderbread
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I have to vacate my kitchen for two months during a remodel and set up a temporary one in my dining room. (Side note: I have enjoyed Dave The Cook's and MelissaH's threads immensely.)

I plan to move the fridge, some base cabinets with a small length of counter, a microwave, toaster oven and portable butane burner. I'm not sure what I will do about a sink, other than washing them in the bathtub.

Anyone have suggestions on how to set it up? Also seeking suggestions for meals that are easy to make in a makeshift set up like this. Thank you!

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No running water makes the entire enterprise problematic, in my opinion.

Eat out, take out, and stick to microwave reheating and/or toasting in disposable containers, served on disposable plates. If you don't like plastic utensils become proficient at using chopsticks.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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Two and a half months into my kitchen reno, the easiest meal to make is takeout, yeah.

My first dish on my new range will be scrambled eggs!

I have a fridge, espresso machine, and microwave in a corner of my living room. It's been swell :rolleyes:

gallery_24715_2913_68091.jpg

Edited by *Deborah* (log)

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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Two and a half months into my kitchen reno, the easiest meal to make is takeout, yeah.

My first dish on my new range will be scrambled eggs!

I have a fridge, espresso machine, and microwave in a corner of my living room. It's been swell :rolleyes:

[

Hey, it looks like my first apartment!

Wonder, you really do need a sink to do what you want to do. Go to paper plates, takeout, and relax. That first meal in the new space will taste sooooooo good.

Edited by FabulousFoodBabe (log)
"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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Anyone have suggestions on how to set it up?

We recently completed a four month remodel of our kitchen and main bathroom. The house is small with one spare room and a small half bath, shower, no tub.

We got along just fine. I set up a camp kitchen in the spare room. It has bookcases, so I emptied one bookcase and turned it into empty shelves for my electrical appliances (skillet, crockpot, grill); stacks of paper plates, glasses, cutlery and utensils. We moved the kitchen table into the room and set up the coffee maker and the microwave. I emptied some of the hallway linen closet to use as a pantry with lots of canned items. The refrigerator had to be in the livingroom...yes, a bit of a distance from the spare room, but I considered it part of my fitness program. It actually was nice. You could almost reach the door while sitting on the sofa...and grab a cold drink while watching TV! We washed whatever we couldn't throw out in the tiny bathroom sink. It was fine. But then we did not have children and we knew that it was only temporary. We had take out often and microwaved leftovers. It was actually an adventure and we are enjoying our new kitchen immensely.

Cooking is like love, it should be entered into with abandon, or not at all.

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No running water makes the entire enterprise problematic, in my opinion.

Running water? That's just for wimps!

Seriously, I don't know if you ever go camping, but it's perfectly possible to cook a decent meal with one butane burner and no running water close to hand. Just think one-pot, quick cook meals (which have the added bonus of not actually creating much washing up).

So, eggs are definintely your friend, since they cook in no time - omelettes, fritatas, scrambled, etc, etc. Do you like chicken livers (or any other liver)? - pan fried for about 30 seconds, 1min tops, on toast, with a dash of balsamic, a good grind of pepper and a green salad, dinner sorted.

Ditto steak/chops (minus the toast), though this is when the carbs bit of the meal becomes a bit more tricky with only one burner. So either get a second burner, or cook the potatoes/rice etc first, then do the meat bit, salad on the side, you're away.

There's a middle-eastern dish called 'shakshouka', which involves cooking red peppers and fresh tomatoes in a pan until soft, with garlic (though for this, I prefer without), adding chilli flakes, then when it's all just about cooked, break in an egg or two per person, cover until the eggs are cooked to your liking. Drizzle over extra olive oil and eat with bread or toast. Strangely, this is particularly good with a little thick yogurt on top. It's one of my favourite standby 'I'm starving and I need to eat now' meals. If I'm really in a rush, I leave out the peppers; it's still yummy.

Then there are more substantial one-pot meals - anything that starts of with, say, a base of softened onions and garlic, tinned kidney beans / fava beans, that kind of thing thrown in, adding in tinned or fresh tomatoes, fresh or dried chilli, coriander (ground seeds, fresh on top at the end), perhaps some paprika, say some thinly sliced red peppers, bacon if you want to add meat, butternut squash, other veggies, etc. You can vary this in all sorts of directions, depending on your tastes and what's in the fridge and spice cabinet. Eat with bread/toast, or rice/potatoes if you have a second burner.

Basic thai curry simply involves frying up a little bought curry paste, adding in coconut milk, then add whatever meat / veggies you want, cut into strips so they cook quite quickly, deposit on a bowl of rice, and voila.

Then you've got stir fries - use those instant noodles that come with suspicious little packets of flavouring, and you can stir fry your meat/veggies while the noodles are 'cooking' in a bowl with boiling water simply poured on top. Drain the noodles, add into the stir fry, voila.

Oh, and how about Puy lentils? Cook up a batch (they take about 25mins from dry, no need to soak), stir a vinaigrette dressing through, and add in just about anything you like - chopped/sliced cold meats/salamis/chorizo, quickly fried, thinly sliced vegetables, such as peppers and aubergines; torn bits of mozzarella plus fresh basil and extra olive oil. The list goes on - you can add just about anything. And they're great as cold leftovers (I think).

And, finally, pasta. Pasta with simple, quick-cook sauces - from really basic olive oil and parmesan, to cream-based sauces such as cream and ham/mushroom/asparagus/peas (or just about any combination of those). Cook the pasta, pull off the burner, drain, return to the warm pan and stir through some olive oil to prevent it sticking together, then put on the lid and cook the cream-based sauce in all of 3mins. Mix and eat. Of course, if you have two burners, you can do this without the juggling.

As far as the washing up is concerned, just get a big washing-up bowl and dump things in it as you need, then take them and wash them up in the bath tub / bathroom basin. Not ideal, but it can certainly be done for a couple of months. And you can reduce it by using paper plates if you want to.

Hope that helps.

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.

Virginia Woolf

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We moved our fridge and microwave into the dining room. We used paper plates when ever we could and we washed dishes in the laundry room tub. We grilled a lot.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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This got us thinking and we just decided we'd clear off the workbench in the garage and set up the nuclear oven and coleman stove out there.

Got the deepsink by the washer, room for the fridge.

God, I hope we never actually have to do that!

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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We moved our fridge and microwave into the dining room.  We used paper plates when ever we could and we washed dishes in the laundry room tub.  We grilled a lot.

Yeah, and try not to break your back in that deep sink *groans*

Having no grill, I've been eating a lot of frozen Stouffer's etc.

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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I agree with Therese-it's a pain to try to cook and wash dishes. During our 2 month remodel, we had our fridge and the microwave in the living room (the mr. could reach from his chair straight into the fridge to get a beer-he was pretty happy). I thought I'd buy a hotplate and cook simple meals (like the poster above, I go backpacking and am pretty skilled in those kind of meals). But, I just got used to eating takeout and Trader Joe's frozen meals (not exactly the thrill of my life, and I can't even look at them now, but it worked) and so never needed one. We grilled sometimes and always used paper plates and plastic utensils. I felt bad about the waste but not bad enough to use real plates. Washing dishes in the bathtub is just gross, in my opinion-it's not like there is a disposal there to deal with the bits of food. I had actually been dreading this so much-I didn't see how I'd survive without cooking-that of course it wasn't nearly as bad as I'd figured.

I also ate breakfast at work (I kept cereal, yogurt, fruit, etc there) and ate lunch out everyday, like I do anyway.

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Haven't remodeled my own kitchen yet, but when I was about 13, my family remodeled our kitchen/family room/dining room over the course of one summer. We had the fridge, toaster oven, and microwave in the garage, and the workbench set up as counter space. There was a card table and chairs in there, and I think we mostly used paper plates, but I do remember stacking dishes in a washtub and carrying them to the tub to wash.

I ate a lot of frozen meals that summer. I don't remember what we did about dinner; mostly I remember pulling frozen pot pies out and heating them in the toaster oven (this was before they could be microwaved) for lunch most days when I was home.

Good luck, and keep your eyes on the prize - a new kitchen! :smile:

"I just hate health food"--Julia Child

Jennifer Garner

buttercream pastries

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I remember standing in front of the frozen food section in the grocery store looking with a blank stare at the assortment of boxes of frozen dinners that I knew would look nothing like the package. The lady next to me had the same look on her face. I spoke up feeling embarrassed and said I don't have a kitchen. She replied I don't have counter tops. We both laughed.

I couldn't deal with the frozen food thing. Luckily we are in a warm climate so I grilled out most nights. We ate well during the remodeling project but the lack of a kitchen sink was hard. Washing dishes in a bathroom sink was the pits. Disposable plates, utensils and foil pans were our salvation. Other essential equipment was the microwave and a toaster oven. Good luck on your project.

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