I’m nearly 3 weeks into surviving a 6-7 week kitchen remodel. And there’s also the minor detail that we had a baby 3 weeks ago today. #nbd When I told people about this grand timing, I got a lot of looks. It wasn’t by choice, however. “THE” contractor we want on the job is finishing up his last few kitchens before retiring and so it was now…or not with him. We chose him.
I’ll update soon on what the kitchen actually looks like because as I type, cabinets are being installed and things are really beginning to come together. Oh, and did I mention things are running on time and even AHEAD of schedule? Wait, brb. I gotta go knock on some wood.
Okay, I’m back. But in all seriousness, the cabinets were slated to arrive today and installation to begin Monday. From the sounds of it, they could be nearly all installed by Monday. Pinch me. We’re not in the home stretch just yet, but “surviving” this kitchen remodel has been quite doable. Not ideal, but doable. I think being on maternity leave has actually been helpful in a sense – I’m here to field contractor questions, and I’ve got time to think and plan what we’re eating and when…and to do the prep without the chaos of work and the daily grind added in. But let me be clear that there is nothing fun or convenient about doing dishes in the laundry room. Or the banging and pounding.
Mmmkay, let’s get to it. What the heck have we been eating? Nothing glamorous, but we’re making due just fine. Hopefully this post gives some ideas.
First, what are we working with as far as a “kitchen”? See below.
We’ve set-up our “kitchen” in our formal dining. Our fridge is located in our formal living room (which is also where all my kitchen contents are, piled in boxes and Tupperware). I borrowed 2 card tables from a friend, as well as a microwave from a friend (ours was built-in). On top of the microwave, you can see we have some pieces of wood and on top of the wood is the toaster oven. We’ve got hot pads, salt and pepper, and olive oil off to the side of the microwave (can’t see it pictured).
In the upper right picture (above), you can see the second card table which has our sippy cups, blender, paper towels, and a large bin of pre-portioned snacks/lunch items for Shea to take to daycare (we supply lunch). On the wine fridge in the corner, you can see we have our knife block and the large utensil caddy. We’ve also started keeping wet wipes for cleaning hands of little ones and for easier clean-up ourselves.
In the bottom right picture (above), you can see our utensil tray is on the table, as well as a fruit bowl and some other random food. In the back, you can see the storage tower that we purchased for non-perishables, as well as paper products, baggies/foil/parchment, bibs, and our last piece of “cooking equipment” – an electric griddle.
As it ends up, no two pieces of equipment can be running at once. This gets trickiest with the microwave and toaster oven, so timing can take some creativity.
If you’re curious, here’s what the living room looks like with all the boxes..
Alright, what have we been eating?
- Smoothies (yes, made on the floor so the toddler can help!)
- Oatmeal made in the microwave (old fashioned oats + unsweetened almond milk + a pinch of raw sugar + cranberries + unsweetened coconut – yum!)
- “Mommy juice” (coffee) in a solo cup 😉 – I’ve taken to buying the Starbucks iced coffee from the grocery store so I could eliminate the hassle of a coffee pot
- Banana “sushi” – whole wheat tortilla with almond butter/peanut butter and banana…roll-up and slice
- Breakfast items like breakfast cookies or muffins from the freezer
- Zucchini bread (generously dropped off by my coworker)
- Al Fresco chicken sausages
- Bagels or toast with butter or apple/pumpkin butter
- Fruit (I’ve taken to buying it pre-cut to make dishes all the less)
- Cottage cheese
- Eggs and hash browns on the electric griddle
Lunch and Dinner:
- Burgers on the grill
- Grilled pizzas on naan
- Fajitas on the grill
- Pasta made in the microwave – cover with several inches of water in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave according to package directions for boiling, plus several minutes more (check often for desired doneness) with jarred sauce or pesto (jarred or homemade defrosted from the freezer)
- Sandwiches – duh 🙂
- Pre-cooked nitrate-free chicken sausages (such as Al Fresco brand) with sweet potato coins (thinly slice sweet potato and toss in a large ziplock with EVOO, s&p, and cinnamon…arrange in a single layer on parchment and bake for 30 minutes at 350-400 F in the toaster oven)
- Quesadillas on the electric griddle – add apple to the quesadilla for some added nutrition and flavor!
- Pancakes on the electric griddle
- Eggs and hash browns (can you tell we like breakfast for dinner…?)
- Salad – add pasta and rotisserie chicken to make it more substantial
- Grilled cheese or turkey and cheese with soup (microwave a canned variety)
As you can see, we’re most definitely not starving. And truly, we’re getting along just fine. Yes, a little more creatively and less nutritiously than our norm, but that’s okay. It’s making me all the more anxious for our finished kitchen and one of my toughest decisions to make is simply what will I make first in my new kitchen?! Such a problem to have, I know 🙂
That’s all for now!