When we bought our house in Woodacre two years ago we knew we wanted to do some work to it. Take a few walls down, put in a new kitchen, bump up the ceiling...see how casual and easy it all sounds? We now know that the lightness of those ideas does not reflect reality in any way, shape or form. After a year of planning, demo began in September of 2016. Nine months later, broken and broke, we are finally using our new space. I won't say it's done, because all the little details will likely drag out through the summer, but it is fully functional and glorious.
I attribute my lack of focus on this blog to my falling further and further into the black hole of despair as the months rolled by. Apologies for the disappearing act. But we had guests last night and I made lamb meatballs with herbed einkorn and my favorite grilled kale salad with yogurt dressing and toasted hazelnuts and I feel like more than just a glimmer of my former self. So before I get too annoying with shots of our new kitchen I want to talk about what the hell we have been eating for the past nine months.
Nick and I are not much for take out or eating out. I find I can always muster something that we enjoy far more than spending lots of moola on a mildly satisfying meal in a restaurant (says the woman who cooks in a restaurant for a living). To that end my two best friends during these dark days were the Toaster Oven and the Camp Stove. I already waxed poetic about our unparalleled camp stove back in December so I won't get all gushy again. And the poor Toaster Oven is going into retirement now that I have squeezed every last drop of oomph from its soul. So it's good bye for now friends.
Aside from my buddies the appliances, the key elements to help us function in the garage kitchen were a work table and a sink. Nick got this single basin commercial sink for free off of a bakery who had no use for it, and the plumbing costs were well worth it to have hot running water for our dishes (the bathroom sink being the alternative as a dish washing station). With this set up I can say that I cooked dinner from scratch at least five nights a week. At the start of the remodel we thought we would be going out much more, but what with the rough winter and our general homebody natures, that was not the case. We got a system down and stuck to it. The worst months were those when the sun set at 5pm and we had zero electricity downstairs, leaving us traipsing in the dark through the construction zone with our food to get upstairs to the "living quarters". Miraculously we escaped with only a few stubbed toes.
So in no particular order here is a list of our go to meals. Most took no more than 20min and very few pots and pans.
- Ramen Bowl - bone broth, buckwheat soba, roasted mushrooms and steamed greens.
- Pasta with Pesto (usually bought pre-made from Good Earth)
- Roasted Vegetables with a Rotisserie Chicken (also bought pre-made)
- Polenta with Slow Roasted Broccoli
- Roasted Asparagus & Fingerlings with a Poached Egg
- Nicky's Omelettes
- And my personal favorite and most repeated towards the end of the project when I found myself totally f-ing over it: Scrambled Eggs, Tortillas, Roasted Broccoli
It's been real. But the dark days are officially over, we didn't starve and I'd like to think I grew as a cook. Now time to get my mojo back and work my new eight burner stove like it's my bizness.