Cabinet refacing: maintaining mealtimes minus a kitchen
by Karl Fendelander
Face Your Kitchen Columnist
If you're committing to refacing your cabinets, chances are good that you already know and appreciate the value of your kitchen--which is exactly why losing it for even a week can be a terrifying prospect. Nightmarish visions of fast food, greasy paper plates, and high tempers come to mind, but it doesn't have to be that way. You can avoid eating out and eating poorly with a little bit of preparation. You not only can survive your kitchen remodel; you can thrive in it.
Cabinet refacing survival: living well without the kitchen
Don't panic. It's actually possible to make it through this time without your kitchen, without ruining any relationships, adding inches to your waistline or breaking the bank eating out.
- Identify the must-have items. Keep a list of things you absolutely need to start the day off right and stay on track). Focus on things that you can use without any special hookups like a gas or 220V line. Your list might include the coffee maker, a way to boil water, the toaster oven and/or microwave, a rice cooker and a place to clean and dry dishes.
- Fill in the gaps. Dig out those niche electronic cookers (or ask your friends to). Maybe you got one of those toasters that cooks eggs and bacon at the same time but never use it. Do you have a neglected indoor grill sitting in its box in the garage? Hot-dog cooker? Waffle iron? Panini press? All of these can come in handy and help diversify your diet. A camp stove or hot plate can stand in for your stove--and a crock pot can be a lifesaver for dinner. In reasonably clement weather, the barbecue can grill or bake (in aluminum foil) a huge variety of dishes.
- Get cookin'. Once you know what kind of cookers you have at your disposal, it's time to prepare your food. You want to avoid the messier things to make and prepare--like meat and baked goods--and get things ready in advance, whether that's ready to eat or ready to cook. Spend a day making meals that can be frozen, and make triple or quadruple servings for easy, healthy food you can make up quickly.
- Set up your mini kitchen. You may need to move the fridge into another room for access, but this isn't usually the case. In your mini kitchen, you want to make sure you have some prep space, water (a refillable jug works nicely) and a place to do dishes. Minimize the amount of dishes you use to cook and consume, and keep a tub handy for transporting your dirty dishes. Using paper plates the entire time gets old and wasteful. You can clean dishes outside with your garden hose in nicer weather or set up a dish drying rack in the bathroom. Make sure you've got food storage taken care of, too.
And consider hiring a professional. A cabinet refacing contractor with ample experience could help minimize the time you and your kitchen are separated.
About the Author
Karl Fendelander cut his teeth on web writing in the late nineties and has been plugged in to the newest technology and tuned in to the latest trends ever since. With an eye for design and an ear for language, Karl has created content and managed digital media for startups and established companies alike. When he unplugs, Karl can be found biking about town and hiking and climbing throughout the West.
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