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Thursday, June 6, 2013

How To Survive Meal Time When Renovating The Kitchen

I wrote some menu ideas of meals I could cook over the 6 weeks I'd be without a kitchen and stuck it to the fridge for those nights when I was a bit daunted about how I was going to satisfy two rumbling tummys come dinner time.

Turns out we survived much better than I thought we would. We've only gone out once a week for dinner and even entertained friends and family a couple of times and apart from a few "It's just like camping" comments it all went well. There was a lot of wine and beers consumed at these dinners too so that probably helped!

Turning the laundry sink into a washing station and the garage into a makeshift kitchen really worked because they are all close together and fairly easy to go from one space to the other. Plus keeping the oven/stove plugged in until the last week when we redid the electrics so I could still use it in an otherwise demolitioned kitchen space definitely helped.

The main thing was cutting down on the preparation at meal time because bending over chopping on a little outdoor table that wobbles with each cut is not the most comfortable way to prepare a meal. I've succumbed to frozen vegetables so I don't have to chop which has helped too. And tried to keep meals simple - peeling prawns in the laundry sink was not a simple meal not sure what I was thinking there for my Special Fried Rice! But it's experiences like these that will make me appreciate the new kitchen even more :-)

I don't normally buy frozen meals but a few frozen pizzas landed in my trolley for those lazy nights when I didn't feel like hanging out in the garage under the fluro lights chopping vegetables. But I wish I hadn't I was so disappointed with them, there's just no substitute for making your own bases and creating your own pizzas so I'll be glad when I can skip the frozen section again!

I stocked up on tinned soup thinking it'd be an easy mid week meal that just needed reheating in the microwave. Man was I wrong they all tasted so processed and salty there's nothing like a fresh pot of home made soup. I've tried to make a pot of soup like my tasty Man Soup every weekend in my slow cooker which has been a nice lunch on these cold days and an easy dinner served with fresh bread lavished in butter or cheesy toasted sandwiches.

As I thought my sear and slow cooker was used quite a bit on the weekends because I couldn't use the oven/stove with most of the work being done in the kitchen then. Some of the dishes I made were my easy but tasty Pea, Zucchini and Bacon soup, Spaghetti Bolognese and Chinese Chicken Hotpot. I also used the sear function on it as a fry pan to brown off onions and meat to make casseroles, stir frys, pretty much anything.

I was given a rice cooker for my Birthday which was perfectly timed because I've been able to use that heaps to make rice and use the steamer for veggies and made a Chicken and Pea Risotto using leftover BBQ chicken which was delicious and I didn't need to stand and stir it until I had a sore wrist that was a big winner!

The BBQ Weber has had a good work out on Sunday nights for a delicious roast dinner well earned after all the weekend renovations.

Honestly it wasn't as bad as I thought cooking without the kitchen but having everything organised so you can access it easily definitely helps come meal time.

How did you survive at meal time when renovating your kitchen?
[All images my own]
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  1. Is that spag bol above? Whatever it is, it looks SUPER tasty!!

    1. No its my man soup - sausage and barley soup its really hearty and filling :)

  2. I'm so impressed that you're still making meals at home during the kitchen renovation! When we did our kitchen, we ate out every night, and got tired of it very quickly.

    1. Some nights it was pretty trying but when I look back I can see we've managed pretty well.

  3. you are very resourceful. I am in love with my rice cooker, we are on to our second one and use it several times through the week, steaming sweet corn in the basket is a winner. I am hanging our for a Thermomix, as apparently that is the tool to end all tools. xx

    1. Im onto my 2nd rice cooker too! Ill have to try steaming corn sounds delicious :) Yes the Thermomix is all the rage but very expensive.


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