Brickhouse Hipster

Our Hip Little Home

3:06 PM

Survival of the Fittest

Posted by Leigh-Ann |

While we await the new countertops and figure out when our electrician can come hook us back up, I thought I'd keep the old blog a-goin' with a little background (and maybe some advice for any future remodelers out there) on how we've lived...er...survived this, I'll just say it, intense remodel.

Joni Mitchell and 80s hair band Cinderella sang it best with the words “don’t know what you got till it’s gone.” Such is the case during the dark days of a kitchen remodel. Most of us take for granted the common convenience of a range, a well-stocked cupboard, even counter space. This is why, when planning a kitchen remodel, it’s equally important to plan out your temporary, or survival, kitchen.

The Space: Accessibility is key in the survival kitchen. Assuming you’ll still have refrigerator or mini-fridge access, you’ll also want a place to store dry goods. An old bookcase, stackable milk crates, or sturdy moving boxes make excellent temporary pantries. Another important thing to keep in mind is access to water for cooking and cleaning. Locating your survival kitchen near a bathroom or utility sink will save you from lugging dirty dishes across the house. We are lucky enough to have a little wet bar in the basement that has served us well as the perfect survival kitchen!
The old fridge will stay down here as part of a future project that we're REALLY looking forward to (no, really this time), the bar area!
My crafty mother-in-law found 2 hollow Styrofoam packing ends in our basement and viola, instant shelves. Reduce and reuse, folks!

The Appliances: Those of us who spend a good portion of our time in the kitchen naturally accumulate an army of small appliances. These specialty items are your life-savers in the survival kitchen. Microwaves are the obvious go-to appliance for frozen dinners, steam-in-bag rice and veggies, and the ubiquitous leftover pizza and Chinese takeout. A slow cooker is a lovely little device that can be plugged in anywhere--out of reach of pets and small children, of course. Fill it with some meat, veggies, and broth and in a matter of hours, dinner is done! Think you can’t enjoy a good pasta dish sans stove? Not if you have a rice cooker handy. Most rice cookers can be used to boil pasta and heat sauce, and some come complete with a steaming basket so you can steam your veggies while your noodles are cooking. And if you find yourself remodeling in the summer, there’s no better time to make use of that backyard grill. Since we don't yet have an outdoor grill, we relied heavily on my Cusinart Griddler for grilling fish, making paninis, etc. Worth every penny.
The coffee pot is also a must-have in the survival kitchen. Seriously!

The Dishes: Since most bathroom sinks (or even our tiny little bar sink) aren’t designed for a load of plates and glassware, you’ll want to keep your messiness to a minimum in the survival kitchen. Allowing each family member one plate, cup, bowl, fork, knife, and spoon a piece will encourage everyone to wash as they go. If dish washing space is extremely limited or you just want to take the super-convenient route of disposable dishes (like team Heuer did), opt for environment-conscious biodegradable paper plates and cups. Chinet offers a line of sturdy eco-friendly plates made from recycled paper that are also compostable.

Happy Homemaking!!!

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