Cooking Without a Kitchen

Although “cooking without a kitchen” might conjure up mental images of camping and open fire cooking, our situation is actually a little more unique than that.

My husband, two sons, and I live with my husband’s grandmother in what is basically a glorified bonus room.  The family that lived here before his renovated the bonus room to separate it into three bedrooms and a living area, and my husband’s family finished out the bathroom/laundry room.  This means that we almost have our own separate small house up here, but it’s missing one key component: a kitchen!

We almost never use the kitchen downstairs (for a lot of reasons) and we make the best of what we have upstairs, without the benefit of full-size appliances.  We make it work with a few key components and a hell of a lot of patience:

  • Mini fridge
  • Coffee maker
  • Toaster oven
  • Microwave
  • And the real workhouse of our “kitchen,” a pressure cooker with a browning function (thank you Uncle Richard & Samma!)
  • A weird cabinet that used to be a desk that we use as a pantry and to set our small appliances on

Since we are missing full-size appliances, we are also obviously missing a dishwasher.  We make this work by keeping as few dishes as possible, and keeping everything boxed up until we are in a good enough position to have our own house (with kitchen!).  We keep around two or three of most items, to make sure that the dirty dishes never pile up too much.  We do have to wash them in a tiny bathroom sink, after all!

So, whether or not you are unfortunate enough to be in a similar situation, kitchen-less cooking tips can be helpful to anyone.  The less appliances, dishes, and ingredients you use, the less cleanup you have!  For us it’s a necessity to cook and eat this way, but some day when we have a kitchen again, these lessons will surely stay with us.

Stay tuned later today for quick and easy BBQ “sloppy joes” from a pressure cooker.

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