Friday, September 19, 2014

How to Survive without a Kitchen

I can think of a few scenarios that might land you in a kitchenless situation, such as:

- some sort of natural disaster destroyed your kitchen
- maybe that natural disaster was your own underestimation of how long the demolition and reinvention of your kitchen would take
- you are living in a hotel or traveling for an extended period of time (summer sales? roadtripping around doing a concert tour? since Selena Gomez definitely reads my blog....)
- your husband sees a documentary about this photographer nature lover rock climber guy who has been living in Yosemite for a few years, just camping there and occasionally going into town to shower and go to the bar and stuff, and he thinks that lifestyle sounds cool and has somehow convinced you that it would be fun to follow in that guy's footsteps. Don't worry, this one isn't about me. And never will be. 

Anyhoo, if you do find yourself without a kitchen for several weeks, you have a few options:

1. You can become one of the Six Sisters and prep 40 freezer crockpot meals in a few hours, and then while you don't have an oven, you can just pop open your freezer, choose one of the pre-prepped gourmet meal-in-a-bags, and throw it in the crockpot. 

{Or if you're me, you can optimistically say you'll do this, and wind up having just one freezer crockpot meal the entire time your kitchen is under construction.}

2. When the crockpot meals don't pan out exactly how you had hoped, it's time to start stocking your fridge with the necessities. 
- Milk goes with cereal
- English muffins can be toasted in any room of the house
- Deli meats and provolone cheese, because the husband could happily eat sandwiches err meal of err day
- Cheddar cheese goes with Ritz crackers
- Apples, so you can include some fruit in your well-balanced diet

3. The microwave is going to be your best friend. Do you know what you can make in the microwave?? EZ mac, Ramen, Pastaroni, and any number of steam-in-a-bag-in-the-microwave vegetables. 

4. Take-out and fast food are other options. 

But, if you're anything like me, they will leave you with a sense of annoyance and fat, and you'll have to get the most expensive thing on the menu just because it looks the freshest while your husband is happy with two 50-cent sandwiches that probably got sat on. 

But, people have to eat, and sometimes take out and fast food are the only options. 

So, sue (persize) me. 
5. Free food is better than no food, and no food is better than free food. This is my personal motto for life, actually. I like free food more than some people like their brand-new puppies. 

During my kitchen hiatus, I took advantage of every free food I heard of. I cashed in on the free meal on my Cafe Rio card, used up the rest of a Zupa's gift card, used up the rest of a Coldstone gift card, went to Tucano's for a free meal for Stephen's birthday, got a muffin and a banana from some retirement people who came to my school, got a granola bar from some JEA people who came to my school, and asked my students to bring in apples for Apple Week. We used some of them in cinnamon apples (it was supposed to be applesauce, but we didn't cook it for long enough, so we just ended up with some bomb-amazing cinnamon apples instead), and then tasted some of them fresh. If there is a meeting during this time where they will feed you, you should absolutely take advantage of it. If someone brings in a box of donuts and leaves it in the faculty room with a note that says "Eat me," you should definitely oblige. Farm to School is in full swing right now, and you better believe I have taken my share of the raspberries and yogurt / fresh peaches / watermelon they offer at my school.

6. Try to go over to your in-laws' house as often as possible. They will feed you! And they will even let you use their oven / stove / sink, and after spending a weekend over there, you will feel almost back to normal.

7. Really, you need to accept that you are not going to be eating the greatest during this time. And then lower your expectations, and try to still be happy. 

The struggle is so real. 
Happy remodeling!

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