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Help me to survive being kitchenless for a month!

(33 Posts)
Eclecticmama Tue 31-Jan-17 11:24:34

My husband and I are about to embark on having our kitchen completely overhauled. They reckon it'll take about 3 weeks (so i'm expecting at least 4) and we can't afford to move out whilst the work is being done.

We have a 10 month old who attends nursery and both DH and I work long hours. Thankfully my daughter is fed 3 meals at nursery. I can imagine that coming home to a dusty, dirty flat and scrabbling about for food is going to be -bloody awful- less than ideal!

I've had the brainwave to getting a slow cooker and switching it on before we leave so that there is warm cooked food ready when we get home. My DH thinks -I'm mad- I'm making this up, or that I'm going to burn our flat down.

What do you think? Any other tips on how we can survive? Any experience/recipes for a slow cooker?

Thank you!

4merlyknownasSHD Tue 31-Jan-17 12:21:34

You could buy a small electric hob and cook up stews etc. in a cast iron/aluminium casserole dish. We borrowed a small induction hob from work which worked a treat for four months! Used that and a microwave. Washing up in the bath.

PurpleDaisies Tue 31-Jan-17 12:24:41

We moved our freezer and microwave into another room and used that. I did a huge cook of freezer meals first.

Slow cookers are absolutely safe to leave on all day. It's the equivalent of leaving a tv on or fridge plugged in while you're out.

I really like my slow cooker. You can easily do casseroles that are a one pot meal (with fresh bread on the side).

PurpleDaisies Tue 31-Jan-17 12:27:05

Loads of great slow cooker recipes here. There's also a Facebook group called "slow cooked wonders" which is great for inspiration. You do have to remember when looking at their recipes that just because something can be slow cooker, it doesn't mean that it should. grin

Turquoisetamborine Tue 31-Jan-17 12:27:34

We didn't have a kitchen for about 6 weeks when we were having an extension built. I had nowhere safe to prep food as our baby was just one so into everything. The thing I used most was the halogen oven I bought from The Range for 23 quid. It cooks things like fish fingers etc in less than five minutes. We did actually cook a full roast dinner in it as well.
I still use it now as well as my slow cooker.

Twistmeandturnme Tue 31-Jan-17 12:28:40

There's a lot of slow cooker love on here, and lord knows I love mine, but I wouldn't recommend it in this situation: to make slow cooked things tasty you often need to brown everything off/sear spices etc and you won't be able to do that. Better to precook things for the microwave as pp suggested, have toasties and microwaved soup, a few takeaways.
Microwave, sandwich toaster, toaster and kettle will see you fine for 3 weeks..

Seeline Tue 31-Jan-17 12:30:01

definitely fine to leave the sow cooker on all day. You can even get one of those plug-in timers so that it can switch itself on later in the day if you are doing something that doesn't need so long to cook, or oyu you are going to be late home.
If the kitchen is a no-go area, move microwave, fridge etc to different room.
When we had our kitchen done, we assumed that we would be without all facilities for the duration, but the builders were very good at re-attaching the cooker most evenings so I could cook most days.
Make sure you know which local takeaways are good for when it all seems too much!!

ExplodedCloud Tue 31-Jan-17 12:30:25

Like Purple we made a makeshift kitchen. Our kitchen company had a couple of portable hobs that customers could borrow but we didn't need to. I had lots of microwave rice, portions of cooked pasta, sauces and ready meals and we managed.
The oven went in after a week so technically I could use it of an evening so it m8ght not be that long.

magicstar1 Tue 31-Jan-17 12:31:05

We just did this for 5 months...nightmare! What we found handy was a slow cooker, and a portable induction hob. Microwave too.
The halogen cooker sounds very good too.

Allalonenow Tue 31-Jan-17 12:32:00

Will you have a microwave or a halogen oven? Both/either would help you.
I had a Remoska when I was in a similar situation and worked wonders with it, but they are very expensive compared to a halogen oven.

Packs of microwavable rice (Sainsbury's are only about 50 pence each) and microwavable lentils will give you some variety, as will cous-cous and instant noodles made in a jug.

SorrelForbes Tue 31-Jan-17 12:34:18

We're currently in this exact situation (and will be for at least another two months). We're getting by quite well with a microwave, a gas camping hob, a fridge freezer and a slow cooker. I tend to start things like stews and curries off on the hob and then decant into the slow cooker to cook through. I batch cook and then freeze into individual portions which can then be re-heated in the microwave as needed.

We're not missing the oven as much as we thought we would!

Mehfruittea Tue 31-Jan-17 12:35:25

I'm in a similar position soon so would like to follow this thread. So far I've got batch cooking in the freezer, a slow cooker, microwave, and camping hob. Will be setting up mini kitchen in the living room and pretend we're in a caravan! Building works will be 12 weeks, so 15 ish!

I'll also be without a washing machine... confused

MummyPigIsLost Tue 31-Jan-17 12:36:32

Yes to slow cooker, also if you can, get a combination microwave, we bought a veg steamer & rice cooker to go in the microwave too so we actually could have proper dinners it just meant cooking one thing after another. Get a nice big washing up bowl that you can fill up in the bath & plonk down on the floor to save washing up in a tiny sink or breaking your back leaning over the bath.
It will be worth it in the end!

Fluffy40 Tue 31-Jan-17 12:37:25

Enjoy lots of pub meals !! Hope you have one near.

SorrelForbes Tue 31-Jan-17 12:38:58

I'm very fortunate in that DH has rigged up a temporary kitchen (in what will be the new kitchen space) with a work top and a sink/taps blush

Fluffy40 Tue 31-Jan-17 12:39:14

To be honest it's not worth trying to cook every night, I'm surprised it will take four weeks. Ours was done before we moved in and took five full days.

cheeseandpineapple Tue 31-Jan-17 12:45:01

My husband wanted a slow cooker for Xmas. I got him this as I heard it's a slow cooker, pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer and other things.

Haven't tried the slow cooker part but have tried the pressure cooker which worked well. It has a saute function so you can brown stuff in the pot and then cook it either slow or quickly under pressure. I have a rice cooker so I haven't tried that function either. The overall reviews are very good. Last time I used it, I was thinking how in the absence of a kitchen this is all you would need. Saves on the washing up too. So long as you have somewhere you can do the food prep, you can make a variety of things in this. The only issue is order in which you cook stuff and store cooked stuff whilst your other dish is cooking e.g. the rice once the curry or stew is done. I guess it may mean eating a lot of bread or cous cous as your accompaniments, assuming you have a kettle and can boil water to make the likes of cous cous! Or as others have said can use microwave too for rice.

FritzyMousey Tue 31-Jan-17 12:56:15

It depends how much space you have to work with, it can get very dusty when you have builders in (even in shut off rooms), so cleaning everything down first is the real bind, and having space to chop veg and then the inevitable washing up. As a PP said, I'd stick to microwave and toaster, disposable tupperware and cutlery and paper plates!

MrsJorahMormont Tue 31-Jan-17 15:43:57

Get an Instant Pot. I hardly use my cooker any more. You can saute, steam, stew, slow cook, pressure cook in it and it goes to keep warm when it's done. Lots of other functions too that I never use. Unlike a slow cooker you can rush home from work and have a meal on the table within 20 mins.

mishchan01 Tue 31-Jan-17 18:09:09

I always have a few Ginger & Parsley's meals in my freezer which can be reheated in the oven or microwave. The things I like about them is the quality of the quingredients they used and they taste good. As long as you have a microwave and a freezer, that will work for you.

mishchan01 Tue 31-Jan-17 18:09:41

their website is

Mehfruittea Tue 31-Jan-17 18:32:22

Mishchan They're £10 for 1 meal!! shock
<faints> can't afford the bloody extension if I shopped there!

mishchan01 Tue 31-Jan-17 18:43:05

Their portion size is quite big too, my favourite is their Yellow curry chicken and I usually share that with my husband.

lastqueenofscotland Wed 01-Feb-17 06:32:21

Can you get a baby belling or similar?

Costacoffeeplease Wed 01-Feb-17 07:09:58

I'd definitely get a halogen oven, I have one and use it just about every day. My main oven only goes on for batch baking or a big roast dinner. The halogen is big enough to roast a chicken though

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