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Cooking in the Camp Kitchen

WOW, I have learned a lot about “camp cooking”, kitchen remodeling, general contracting, stress management and much more since my last kitchen remodeling update nearly a month ago. Last time I posted,  I showed before kitchen demolition pictures, demolition pictures of the kitchen down to the studs, and my “camp kitchen” pictures.

Although I thought after 3 months of planning I was over  the hump in the decision making process, I have discovered that I was just beginning.

My new part time job, these last twelve weeks or so, has been meeting with contractors, reviewing bids, coordinating workman, making countless design and material decisions, troubleshooting the construction “surprises”, hiring and coordinating countless contractors and learning to live in the “camp”.

My meal management  strategy, while relying on a hot plate and microwave/convection oven for most of my cooking is to use up what’s in the freezer and pantry while supplementing with fresh fruits and vegetables.

Our menus have actually been far better than I imagined.  Here is a selection of simple meals we have enjoyed:

  • Baked potato bar with canned chili and shredded cheese
  • Fried Rice
  • Hot dogs, beans, homemade applesauce
  • Chicken Patties with baked potatoes and salad
  • Stir Fry chicken and vegetables
  • Spaghetti sauce over spaghetti squash with Parmesan cheese
  • Beef Stroganoff with mushrooms over Rice
  • Homemade Chicken Soup and crackers
  • Taco Sundaes
  • Sloppy Joes
  • Split Pea Soup
  • Lamb Roast with baked potatoes, gravy, and honeyed carrots (Our Easter Dinner)
  • Marinated Elk Steak with baked potatoes and steamed Kale
  • Subway sandwiches

Sounds pretty great, right?  That’s because I am using up bits of “this and that” out of my pantry and freezer.  It’s surprising what you can find tucked in the various corners of the deep freeze and above the refrigerator when you start  digging around and cleaning out!

Some other advantages of “camp cooking” in your house besides planning simpler meals are:

  • You have a real refrigerator rather than an ice chest.
  • Hot running water even though it is at the other end of the house in the bathroom.
  • Drastically fewer dishes to wash if you use paper plates and bowls.
  • The opportunity to be creative and use up what you have.
  • What you see on tables and shelves is what you have to work with.

The main disadvantages of this simpler lifestyle that I discovered are:

  • The lack of a handy sink for getting veggies and dishes washed.
  • Clutter everywhere  with no cabinets and very little counter space (it’s easy to find stuff though.)
  • Circuit breakers readily flip off if I use two or more appliances at once.
  • Working at table level instead of counter level.

All in all I would say the “camp cooking and living space” in the garden level of my bi-level home has proved to be cozy and functional, and the least difficult part of of remodeling.  More about this adventure with pictures when I find my camera….

You can follow other blog posts from my kitchen remodel progress at the following links:

Old Kitchen- ” before” remodeling pictures,

Pictures of the plans for the new kitchen.

Moving to my “camp kitchen.”

What a Mess, Kitchen Demolition Continues.

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