The time has come for us to begin packing up the kitchen ready for it to be completely ripped out. Since we have more to do in this room than simply just replacing the units, we're going to need to be without a kitchen for some time. We need to remove the old lead pipe, install a gas line, remove walls, add more electrical sockets and fit a french door, to just name a few. The kitchen units are in the way for most of this work, so it kinda makes sense to just remove them early (save myself the daily scrubbing of dust) and live kitchen-less.
As well as removing the units and worktop space, we'll also have no kitchen sink and no chopping space, meaning our normal method of cooking (a halogen cooker, since we don't have a proper one) is no longer going to be ideal.
So instead, we're going to have to switch our cooking and eating habits up to accommodate the fact we are in fact, going to be kitchen-less. We've done it before for an entire month in our last house and surprisingly it wasn't half as tough as I expected. Granted, I missed a home-cooked meal, but not having to actually spend time over a cooking stove or washing endless pots was a massive time-saver and rather free-ing.
So, here's how to survive without a kitchen:
So, here's how to survive without a kitchen:
1. Create a Mock-Up Kitchen
This is so important. I'm sure you'll still want to drink tea, coffee, maybe make the odd crisp sandwich, so you'll still need somewhere to do all those things. Whether it's a table in another room with everything on, or a pile-up of boxes as a makeshift table, definitely create a corner of your house that you can still call a kitchen. A strangely odd version of a kitchen.
2. Pre-Make Frozen MealsBefore you rip apart the kitchen and and dump any old appliances in a skip, try to pre-make as many meals as possible, pop them into freezer bags and freeze them. Things that you can cook in bulk like chilli or vegetable curries and then re-heat will save you heaps of pennies. Plus, it means you'll still be able to enjoy your own home cooked food and know you're still eating a good diet.
3. Stock Up on Microwave MealsUnlike home cooked pre-made meals, microwave meals aren't the healthiest, tastiest, or best to be living off every single day, even for a short space time. But, needs must and your pre-made meals aren't going to last forever. The great thing about microwave meals is that it all comes in its own plastic dishes, so you don't even need plates. Things like pot-noodles and microwaveable soups also count here, don't just slimline your choices to frozen lasagne for an entire month. If you don't have a microwave, get one. eBay and gumtree offer bargain second-hand prices. We recently purchased a microwave and kettle bundle via gumtree for just £12. What a bargain!
4. Stock Up on Plenty of SnacksBuy heaps of fruit, dried fruit (if you like that kinda thing... yuk!) crisps, chocolate, (a must in every diet, right?!) rice crackers, biscuits, basically anything and everything that will get you through the day. If you're used to eating little snacks throughout the day like egg and toast that require access to a hob, you'll need to get inventive with other foods to take its place. We've purchased loads of ready made sandwich-fillers to keep up full throughout the day. Microwave meals aren't exactly filling, so bulk-buying snacks is a must.
5. Use Only Disposable Tableware
If I could advise you on just one thing - it would be this. Buy disposable cutlery, plates, bowls, cups, everything. Cleaning pots will become a thing of the past and the ease of disposable tableware is a must. It will make your life so so much easier. After all, where were you going to pile up all your dirty dishes anyway? There's no counter-space, remember! I know many people opt for washing their dishes in the bath... But, save yourself the effort - go disposable.
6. If you can, Cook Outside
When you're really missing a home cooked meal, get the BBQ on. Not so ideal if you're going to be kitchen-less in the winter, but being able to cook outside will allow you to nourish those meat cravings and makes being kitchen-less far more interesting and enjoyable. After all, who wouldn't want a BBQ daily for an entire month?! Oh how I wish it was summer already.
So that's how we survive without a kitchen. I'd love to know if you've ever had to do the same, and if so - how did you cope?
....to put the above 'mock-up' kitchen into perspective, I leave you with this rather chaotic photo of our hallway.