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  • FIRST POST
    furrypig
    HELP!! Kitchen Help - cooking without a kitchen
    • #1
    • 11th May 05, 11:09 PM
    HELP!! Kitchen Help - cooking without a kitchen 11th May 05 at 11:09 PM
    As some of you know, after my slug invasion I found out I had a major problem with damp in my kitchen! Now we have to have all the floating floor removed along with all the lower part of the kitchen cupboards etc and dehumidifiers put in to dry it all out.This is happening tomorrow which means no kitchen for 3-4 weeks!


    So my first cry for help is what can I cook without my kitchen?? I have just got a slow cooker (delivered yesterday) but do I have to brown all the meat to go in it first?? I have a microwave, a bradmaker and still have a little George Foreman grill in its box that I think might be useful at this time!! Obviously there are loads of 'ready meals' I can use but would rather not if poss!! This has all happened really fast so I have not had time to make and freeze etc etc. Any ideas???? Thanks in advance.

    Edit by Board Guides: We have moved your second question to a new thread in "In my Home" which can be found HERE

    Looking forward to all your replies and help!

    Thanks in advance
    Last edited by Galtizz; 12-05-2005 at 1:57 PM.
Page 1
    • apprentice tycoon
    • By apprentice tycoon 11th May 05, 11:22 PM
    • 3,286 Posts
    • 2,939 Thanks
    apprentice tycoon
    • #2
    • 11th May 05, 11:22 PM
    • #2
    • 11th May 05, 11:22 PM
    Can't really offer advice on replacing your kitchen, I haven't done it for 12 years so I'm really out of touch with the 'must haves'. In the interim you might want to look at a 2 ring electric table-top hot plate that Argos sells for around 40.00 and perhaps you can claim it back on the insurance
    • Xbigman
    • By Xbigman 12th May 05, 12:54 AM
    • 3,146 Posts
    • 1,382 Thanks
    Xbigman
    • #3
    • 12th May 05, 12:54 AM
    • #3
    • 12th May 05, 12:54 AM
    Can't really offer advice on replacing your kitchen, I haven't done it for 12 years so I'm really out of touch with the 'must haves'. In the interim you might want to look at a 2 ring electric table-top hot plate that Argos sells for around 40.00 and perhaps you can claim it back on the insurance
    by apprentice tycoon
    I've also seen a mini oven. Small over with two hot plates on top. But when I moved in my current house three years ago I did the kitchen up myself and to have a working cooker I simply bought some 30 amp cable and a 30 amp connector and had the cooker at the bottom of the stares on a long lead.
    This might seem like a big disruption but having no kitchen ain't gonna be easy no matter how you cut it.

    Kitchen wise. First find out what the insurance will pay out, then work out what you can add to it and then you know what you can spend. Granite work tops, very pricey. eek.
    Regards




    X
    Xbigman's guide to a happy life.

    Eat properly
    Sleep properly
    Save some money
    • squeaky
    • By squeaky 12th May 05, 8:16 AM
    • 13,808 Posts
    • 15,843 Thanks
    squeaky
    • #4
    • 12th May 05, 8:16 AM
    • #4
    • 12th May 05, 8:16 AM
    So my first cry for help is what can I cook without my kitchen?? I have just got a slow cooker (delivered yesterday) but do I have to brown all the meat to go in it first?? I have a microwave, a bradmaker and still have a little George Foreman grill in its box that I think might be useful at this time!! Obviously there are loads of 'ready meals' I can use but would rather not if poss!! This has all happened really fast so I have not had time to make and freeze etc etc. Any ideas???? Thanks in advance.

    Looking forward to all your replies and help!

    Thanks in advance
    by furrypig
    Hi,

    You might get a better range of answers if you were to split your post into two parts.

    One to ask in here how to survive without a kitchen,

    And the other part containing your building questiions in In My House

    That way you should get the best of both worlds.
    Hi, I'm a Board Guide on the Old Style and the Consumer Rights boards which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly and can move and merge posts there. Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. It is not part of my role to deal with reportable posts. Any views are mine and are not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.

    Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.
    DTFAC: Y.T.D = 5.20 Apr 0.50
    • FrankieM
    • By FrankieM 12th May 05, 8:42 AM
    • 2,118 Posts
    • 19,441 Thanks
    FrankieM
    • #5
    • 12th May 05, 8:42 AM
    • #5
    • 12th May 05, 8:42 AM
    Hi Furrypig,
    I managed without a proper kitchen for about a year. I used our camping gas cooker. It has two rings and then our a microwave. I was feeding 6.
    I don't have a slow cooker but I imagine you could do your main meal bit in that and then your rice/ pasta/ potatoes in the microwave. It takes a bit of thinking about but it is doable.
    In poorer days my hubby and I used to cook the pasta in the kettle....I'd advise descaling beforehand though...

    As far as replacing kitchens...we went to MFI but also looked in B & Q.
    I agree with xbigman though and it would probably be worth finding out what the insurance is going to pay and then budget accordingly.
    • Magentasue
    • By Magentasue 12th May 05, 9:06 AM
    • 4,201 Posts
    • 2,671 Thanks
    Magentasue
    • #6
    • 12th May 05, 9:06 AM
    • #6
    • 12th May 05, 9:06 AM
    I had more or less exactly the same thing happen a few years ago in our old house. Major difficulties were stopping toddler opening kitchen door and falling in to abyss and where to put allthat kitchen stuff.

    Can you get a neighbour or use a dry garage to store stuff? Preparing meals without a kitchen is hard enough, doing it without any space is hell.
    • Chipps
    • By Chipps 12th May 05, 11:00 AM
    • 1,543 Posts
    • 4,802 Thanks
    Chipps
    • #7
    • 12th May 05, 11:00 AM
    • #7
    • 12th May 05, 11:00 AM
    Hi furrypig
    I can't answer your questions about a new kitchen, as it is something we will be tackling later this year, I hope. So I will be looking at the replies you get, as they will probably be helpful for us.
    But about the slow-cooker, you do not have to brown meat first. I think this is mainly done for appearance. It would be a good idea to make sure everything is hot when it goes in the slow cooker, so use hot stock (I usually use stock cubes with water from the kettle) and/or heat everything up in the microwave first.
    I hope it all goes well for you.
    • Curry Queen
    • By Curry Queen 12th May 05, 11:59 AM
    • 5,482 Posts
    • 3,081 Thanks
    Curry Queen
    • #8
    • 12th May 05, 11:59 AM
    • #8
    • 12th May 05, 11:59 AM
    Have you got a barbecue? I know it will depend on the weather, although it does seem to be getting a bit warmer, but when I had my kitchen refitted (around May/June time) I resorted to cooking a lot of stuff on the barby and having salads with it. I didn't have a slow cooker back then and only had the microwave as back-up which was handy for heating tins of soup/beans etc and cooking veggies/pasta/rice.

    If it's just for a couple of weeks it's surprising how well you can adapt and manage with just basic foods, especially if you look on it as an adventure and imagine you're on a camping holiday
    "An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will"
    ~
    It is that what you do, good or bad,
    will come back to you three times as strong!

    • catznine
    • By catznine 12th May 05, 12:03 PM
    • 3,187 Posts
    • 24,544 Thanks
    catznine
    • #9
    • 12th May 05, 12:03 PM
    • #9
    • 12th May 05, 12:03 PM
    Hi Furrypig

    We have just come thru this situation and now have a new fitted kitchen. We were having a fair bit of structural work done too and now have a utility room and downstairs cloakroom so was quite messy for a while (lovely now though so worth it)

    Anyway we moved the microwave, slowcooker and kettle into our dining room and managed to cook most meals using that combination. Often main course in microwave e.g. bolognaise, curry, stew, casseroles etc and a pudding in the slowcooker (once so busy we forgot we had baked apples in slow cooker for 2 days they were lovely and melted in mouth when we did get to them )

    I did miss being able to bake though but main problem was the dust so you won't want to do anything too complex. We did open a lot of tins during that time As for where to put contents of kitchen while the work is going on well we were lucky our daughter was at uni so everything went in her room! lol Did have a bit of a problem finding her bed though on the odd weekend when she wanted to come home


    As for units we had fairly cheap beech ones MFI but from Howdens the company that our builders like to use. You can choose from several different handles to get the look you want. We had a dark colour laminate worktop, cheaper - we have pets, and we can always change the look of the kitchen at a later date just by changing the worktops! But I really like them at the moment as they don't show up every mark and I just dettox them (I know vinegar in some form would be more MSE ) everyday.

    Good luck with your kitchen!

    Hth
    Our days are happier when we give people a bit of our heart rather than a piece of our mind.

    Jan grocery challenge 35.77/120
    • squeaky
    • By squeaky 12th May 05, 2:15 PM
    • 13,808 Posts
    • 15,843 Thanks
    squeaky
    Stocking up the freezer while you can is an obvious one, taking care to label things unless you deliberately want to play "Freezer Surprise".

    If you have a suitable long extension lead you might consider plugging the freezer into a power point that is not in the kitchen so that if the work crew need to cut the power you won't get defrosted.
    Hi, I'm a Board Guide on the Old Style and the Consumer Rights boards which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly and can move and merge posts there. Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. It is not part of my role to deal with reportable posts. Any views are mine and are not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.

    Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.
    DTFAC: Y.T.D = 5.20 Apr 0.50
    • Bogof_Babe
    • By Bogof_Babe 12th May 05, 5:27 PM
    • 10,159 Posts
    • 16,590 Thanks
    Bogof_Babe
    I would treat it like an adventure. I'm a bit weird and have these fantasies of living in a bedsit or student digs (probably not much fun when for real, but I've always been fascinated by small space living and would love a caravan).

    Move a small table upstairs near to a power point, and take the kettle, microwave, slow cooker and toaster if you have one.

    Then try inventing different meals that you wouldn't normally have. I think it merits a whole thread of ideas that could be concocted with these few appliances, and I'm quite sure I'd be more than happy - the slow cooker is a luxury that isn't in my usual fantasies!

    Simple things like ordinary or toasted sandwiches and microwave chips, with a tin of veg (yeah I know, but it's only temporary) or bought coleslaw, would be lovely now that the warmer weather is (allegedly) coming .

    Another fantasy/wish-list I have is turning our under-the-eaves upstairs (it's a dormer bungalow with doors off from our bedroom) into an en suite, plus a tiny kitchenette. I have it all planned out in my head - small sink unit with fridge underneath, and worktop with microwave and kettle and a little cupboard for storing the tea-bags etc. It would mean we didn't have to go downstairs to make the morning cuppa! Ah well, I can dream on. The roof slopes far too sharply to be of any use without a full-scale, planning permission job .
    I haven't bogged off yet, and I ain't no babe


  • furrypig
    Thanks everyone for all these top tips!!

    I now have no kitchen BUT they left the cooker for me to use whilst the floor is drying out!!!! Yipee not as difficult as I initially imangined. (Does that mean all the fantasy camping games etc etc are off??)
    The garage is rather full with food/ crockery etc but it all seems to be working out (this is only the first day though!!). I think the kids will have to be banned from the kitchen for the next few weeks as there are only a few boards down for us to get across!

    Thank goodness I came to Ol style before this happened as 1) you helped me find the problem and 2) I have not just been buying 'any' food but trying to budget and menu plan, thus I didn't have loads of food to store!!

    Thanks everyone and looking forward to more fun and games chez furrypig!
    • Marmiter
    • By Marmiter 13th Jun 05, 12:12 PM
    • 332 Posts
    • 798 Thanks
    Marmiter
    Challenge - no kitchen for 2 weeks!
    We're having our kitchen/dining room re-jigged starting Monday 20th, so we won't have a kitchen for 2 weeks.

    The fridge, freezer, microwave and kettle are being moved into the lounge, so apart from that cooking is going to be tricky!!
    But I want to avoid microwaving in the lounge too much cos it might be a bit stinky!

    Does anyone have any suggestions for evening meals?
    We might BBQ a few times, but I expect the novelty will wear off, even if the good weather holds out!

    Also, to make things more complicated, I'm a veggie!!!

    Thanks guys
    • squeaky
    • By squeaky 13th Jun 05, 12:34 PM
    • 13,808 Posts
    • 15,843 Thanks
    squeaky
    We had a thread about coping without a kitchen a little while back, so I'll see if I can find it for you.

    In the meantime I'm sure a whole bunch of good tips will come flooding in any time now

    Edit: I found the other thread. To see it Click Here.
    Last edited by squeaky; 13-06-2005 at 12:38 PM.
    Hi, I'm a Board Guide on the Old Style and the Consumer Rights boards which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly and can move and merge posts there. Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. It is not part of my role to deal with reportable posts. Any views are mine and are not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.

    Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.
    DTFAC: Y.T.D = 5.20 Apr 0.50
  • KTFrugal
    Been there, done that, what a palaver.

    Top kitchenless tips:

    1. Slow cooker heaven - pre fry and freeze an onion, garlic, celery mix which you can then use in soups. Uncooked onion always tastes a bit strong to me in a slow cooker recipe.

    2. Serve veggie stews with nan bread which you will have stocked up your freezer with.

    3. Lakeland has toasted sandwich bags with which you can make toasties in the toaster if you don't have a fancy panini grill. Lifesaver at lunchtimes.

    4. Try using the bbq as a gas ring, by cooking with your cast iron frying pan over it. This way, you can do frying pan pizza (scone dough cooked on one side in the pan, flipped over, add sauce and cheese, cook again), fried eggs, pancakes etc. Hope for good weather.

    5. Non cook dinners eg couscous, which you only have to soak with boiling water from the kettle, then fluff up and add chopped tomatoes, cucumber, pine nuts, beans etc for a quick and tasty meal.
  • henhog
    There is a brilliant book called Cooking in a Bedsitter by Katherine Whitehorn. I used it all through my college days when I didn't have a real kitchen as such. She covers everything, like how to make soup in a flask, recipes for when you aren't really meant to cook in your bedsitter at all, no cook 'cooking' etc. Here is the recipe for no kitchen risotto.
    You need
    1 tin of ready cook rice
    1 egg
    1 tablespoon of grated cheese
    1 small onion
    1 slice of ham
    salt pepper

    Finely chop onion, put that and rice and chopped up ham in a bowl. Beat egg. Boil up a pint of water. Quickly pour the boiling watewr on to the rice mixture and let it stand for two mins. Pour off the water. Add the salt, pepper, egg and stir. Finally add the chesse. Eat at once. This does work, or at least it used to back in the eighties when I needed to cook in this way!

    Another money saving book I can recommend from the same era that I still use today is Grub on a Grant by Cas Clarke. Don't know if either of these books are still in print but if they are they are worth getting.

    Good luck.
    • chika
    • By chika 14th Jun 05, 2:35 PM
    • 833 Posts
    • 5,158 Thanks
    chika
    I couldn't afford a fridge and cooker when i first moved out. I bought a cheap microwave and a george forman and I was given a mini deep fat fryer. Check your fryer - i used my mini one to cook pasta in boiling water, you can also do pasta in the microwave and make a decent sauce. Cook meat on the George Foreman, look for chicken breasts, and decent chops. I also bought loads of veg that could be done in the microwave.

    It's amazing how creative you can get. Have fun!

    Chika
    There are many things in life that will catch your eye, only a few will catch your heart. Pursue those.
    • Tianguis
    • By Tianguis 15th Jun 05, 9:00 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    Tianguis
    Don't know if this helps but I can vouch for the results!
    If using your slow cooker, the most important thing...I can't stress this enough...is to PREHEAT the cooker for at least 20 minutes; then put in your ingredient(s). The biggest mistake is to lift the lid before your cooking time is up, as this not only cools everything down rapidly but also wastes more energy reheating etc. I have an old style Cordon Bleu which cooks meat joints straight out of the freezer in 5 hours; together with great tender meat (even with the cheapest cut) I also have a great supply of meat stock with nothing added...bargain!
    If spending a few pence less than 100 is worth the great results, then buy the 'Remoska' from Lakeland. It does everything from toasted sandwiches to roasts (chicken is truly unbelievable) and works only from 650W for the 'grand' Remoska. It is really worth looking on the Lakeland website to find the true value of this item. It is worth noting that I'm a new convert to the Remoska, but cannot find fault with it as yet. Despite not having a building problem with the kitchen, I am still saving lots of money by using this one device.
  • Edinburghlass
    Thanks for that post Tianguis I have often wondered about the Remoska, now I know a bit more about it I might just consider it.

    Welcome to MSE as well
  • Queenie
    Welcome to MSE Tianguis, a very informative post too! Thank you
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