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Thoughts on living without a kitchen

Those who have been following the story on Facebook know that Marc and I are in the middle of having our kitchen completely renovated – right down to redoing the drywall and the hardwood under the sub-floor. Consequently, we’ve been living without a kitchen for a week and a half.

Microwave in the makeshift kitchen

Microwave in the makeshift kitchen

We’ve set up a temporary kitchen of sorts in Marc’s office, with a microwave and a crockpot, along with some kitchen pantry staples. We also have a kettle, which we’ve used a lot, and a hot plate, which I don’t think we’ve used once. Marc has been making his morning coffee in a French press. Thankfully, we still have access to our fridge and freezer, which has been helpfully moved into our entryway.

Obviously, there’s been a bit of change in our diets for the last week and a half. We’re usually rice people, but then I realized you can make couscous with water that’s been boiled in the kettle, so couscous has become our staple grain. (Though Marc’s brother has offered to lend us his rice cooker, which would be awesome.) We’ve been eating a lot of stewy/soupy crockpot meals, from the various freezer bags I prepped a while ago. This has been a godsend, because it means we have home-cooked meals without actually needing to do much cooking, but I admit I’m starting to get a bit tired of stews with couscous. And this is even considering that I usually buy all my weekday lunches and eat about half my dinners out of the house.

Breakfast was going okay… until about Sunday. Instead of our usual home-made breads (which are just too inconvenient to make in the makeshift kitchen), we’ve been eating store-bought bread. It’s so terrible compared to the home-made stuff, but it’s convenient. (I swear I’m never going back to store-bought sandwich bread after this.) We have peanut butter, yogurt, milk, cereal, juice… all the typical morning stuff. Marc can’t make his eggs, but we were doing okay. Until stuff started running out and we had no time to do groceries to replace them. I actually bought breakfast yesterday at Tim Horton’s because there was no breakfast food at home except oatmeal. But Marc did groceries yesterday, so we should be okay for a little while.

The thing I’m missing most — more than the stove, more than the rice, more even than being able to bake on a whim — is my sink. Oh, how I miss my kitchen sink. We’ve been doing dishes in a basin in the bathtub. I started very diligently doing them once a day. Then I started sliding a bit. Marc did them a few times, but we’ve been bad little boys and girls. We use paper plates and bowls, but real cutlery and cups… though I’ve started using disposable cups because I’m just too lazy/tired/etc. to do the dishes frequently to have “real” cups whenever I want them. I really, really miss my sink.

Otherwise, we’re doing okay. We’ve been eating out somewhat more than normal, but not unreasonably so. The current time estimate for the renovations are all of this week and a few days next week. In theory they were supposed to end tomorrow. That is not going to happen. This is my surprised face. </deadpan>

So that’s it. Life without a kitchen continues apace. We’ll survive, and it will be gorgeous when it’s done. But I’d really like a sink again. And some rice.

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10 signs you’re becoming a better cook, the newbie edition

A few weeks ago, I stumbled across this post, where a blogger was pointing out some signs that she’s become a pretty decent cook. It’s titled “10 signs you’re becoming a better cook.”

I, alas, am not as far along as the blogger in question. But I am getting better. So I decided to compile my own list of milestones. Call it the newbie edition.

Ten signs you’re becoming a better cook, the newbie edition:

1. You are willing to attempt recipes that once intimidated you.
2. You ask friends for recipes instead of assuming you can’t replicate a dish.
3. You assume your cooking attempts will not end in disaster.
4. Your cooking only rarely results in inedible dishes or injury.
5. You seriously desire a proper chef’s knife.
6. Your boyfriend defers to you when cooking certain dishes.
7. You can cook a stew or chili for D&D night and receive compliments.
8. Your baked goods rarely last more than a day or two before they’re gone.
9. You are willing to experiment with produce that’s on sale at the grocery store.
10. Your primary emotion while cooking is usually calm, not panic.