Saturday, January 26, 2013

the new kitchen

The other night I had a vivid dream. I was on a camping trip with my family. For some reason, I arrived at the campground before the rest of my family, with the tent and other gear in my car. The owners of the campground directed me to a spot among a bunch of other tents, inside a large building with wood floors and giant windows overlooking the water. I set up our camp, wondering, why are we camping inside a building?

Later the next day I thought about the dream, and realised that I was preparing myself mentally for our kitchen renovation. Currently we are camping inside our own house. Andy and his brother gutted the kitchen on Thursday, so it has a floor and a ceiling, but no wallboard, counters, appliances, sink, or hooked-up plumbing.

Our campsite is in our dining room. We have a microwave oven, a toaster oven, a coffee maker and our refrigerator, plus a plastic tote with basic dishes and cups, and another with cutlery. For water, we run to the bathroom or the laundry tub downstairs. It really does feel like camping indoors.

I know "what I ate" is at the top my list of top boring things to talk about:

Boring things to talk about:

5. How much I exercised
4. What happened in the bathroom
3. What happened on a TV show that I watched
2. How much I slept
1. What I ate

The exception, of course, is if you are talking about a great restaurant where you ate something really good, which is really saying, "what you might eat if you go there." The other exception is if cooking instructions or experiences are included. "What I cooked" is not boring whatsoever. But all of this is subjective.

I think I will blog some of my indoor camp cooking adventures. It they are boring you can skip these posts and go look at facebook (which is often boring but not always).

So Thursday, Andy and his brother Dave demolished the kitchen right down to the studs. They put the refrigerator in the dining room and disposed of the dishwasher and stove. I was excused from figuring out what to cook for supper, because I went out for supper with the Ladeez for Doris's birthday. We went to Aroma Restaurant on Queens Street in Port Moody. We did my favourite thing, which is to let the server choose our supper. It was super yummy. Back at home, Andy and Alex ordered from Bella Pizza in Coquitlam, which has the best pizza around.

Friday morning I had an apple and yogurt and toasted almonds for breakfast, which was easy even in a camping kitchen. I think this may be my steady breakfast through the 4 or 5 weeks that this renovation is likely to take. So I won't say anything more about breakfast unless something remarkable happens.

Alex visited me for lunch at work on Friday. I knew he would be working a long evening shift at the movie theatre, so we went to Paros Restaurant, where he chose a steak sandwich with fries and a Caesar salad. He also ate my pita bread and the baklava they so graciously provide as a complimentary dessert whenever you eat there. Andy says he also had 2 pieces of leftover pizza at home before he left for work around 5pm, so I'm sure he did not go hungry! I had the lovely augolemono soup, which is chickeny-lemony-eggy with orzo pasta in it, and a Greek salad. Mmmm

For supper for Andy and me on Friday, I made hearty tuna fish sandwiches and cut up raw veggies (carrots, jicama, cucumber). Andy and I like our tuna sandwiches with lots of celery and green onion and a bit of green relish mixed in, and lots of fresh ground pepper. Andy had his with whole grain bread. I chose Ryvita crackers. We drank beer with our supper. It was good.

We are using the microwave oven to heat water for tea, hot chocolate, and instant chicken broth (which Andy likes). I have a large and a small pyrex cup for use in the microwave. If we need to boil a pot of water for any reason, we do have a one-burner hot plate. We bought it years ago at Home Hardware in Osoyoos, when we arrived at our campground to discover we had left our campstove at home! We also have a propane barbeque on our porch. The barbeque has a side burner, so we can boil a pot out on the porch if we want to.

Friends and neighbours are very encouraging and sympathetic. Those who have experienced kitchen renovations are telling us to hang in there, it may take longer than advertised. Our dear friends Dave and Doris have invited us over for supper on Sunday. Our lovely friend Karen emailed me to say, "Come use our stove or oven any time." Karen had a kitchen reno this summer, so she is especially sympathetic.

When it's all done we will have gorgeous new cupboards and counters and brand new beautiful and efficient appliances. We hope that we will live in this house for a long time, and we plan to love this kitchen for as long as we live in this house.

In the meantime, most of the things that normally live in the kitchen are packed up in boxes in the basement, and you know you never pack up just the right things and keep out the things you will need. So far we have regretted packing the microwave egg poacher (I know where it is, and will rescue it!) and the matches (Andy found them Friday afternoon, so he could light his propane torch).

So far, so good. Alex has just gone to work this afternoon, and Andy and I are planning to visit the pub for supper tonight. So this blog may have some home camp cooking experiences, and some restaurant reviews, who knows?

question: did you ever camp out in your own house?

mompoet - living in the construction zone

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