Tag Archives: in the kitchen

In 3 Days We Get Our Microwave and Toaster Oven Back!

I call this a necessity because we have become so dependent on these appliances in our day to day life.  The funniest part about not having a microwave was that in the welcome basket that the apartment complex left for us when we moved in, there was a bag of microwave popcorn!  It is still un-popped in our cabinet, because the apartment did not come with a microwave.  But it’s one of those things that we just assume everyone has.  I also bought some oatmeal that has very specific directions in ALL CAPS that you must ONLY USE THE MICROWAVE for this product.  No cooking it with hot water or on the stove.  I cook it on the stove.  It works just fine.

We’ve been heating up leftovers in a pan with some water in it and a lid.  It takes about a thousand times longer than the microwave, but it’s worth it when that’s your only option!  We make toast in the oven under the broiler.  This mostly results in burnt toast, but we have gotten better at judging how long it takes.  We make popcorn by my favorite oil-in-a-pot method.  I prefer it, but it also takes longer.  I think we could do without the microwave and toaster – we’ve become pretty good at returning to the old-time methods of cooking, you know, on the stove and in the oven – but they will be nice to have back!

3 Days

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In 5 Days We Get Our Spices Back!

This one kills me.  I now have time to cook and explore new recipes (Nate is THRILLED, I assure you) and not only does every new recipe require some crazy kitchen gadget that, even if I do own, I did not bring with me, they all require different spices.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I love spices.  In fact, I have a huge collection of spices!  We got a huge spice rack as a wedding gift, and that only accounts for about 1/4 of the spices that we have.  I’ll take a picture for you when we get them unpacked so you can see.  But, except for the salt and pepper mills, spices were not prioritized for the trip here.  So, as I’ve been trying new recipes (because, of course, I don’t HAVE any of my usual recipes) I’ve been making tradeoffs between which spices I’m going to purchase even though I already own them and which I will go without.

My saddest purchase was dried oregano.  You have no idea how much dried oregano I already own.  It’s one of the spices my Dad grows in his garden, and one that Erin and I grew on our deck.  Plus, the spice rack came with some, and I had a (very large) tin of it from some prior recipe.  Alas, I use it all the time so I bought more.  If you ever need oregano, let me know.  I have plenty.

But, seriously, I don’t know how people cook without spices.  I can totally understand why kids don’t like their (bland boiled canned) vegetables.  I wouldn’t either.  But cook it up with some garlic and butter, or sprinkle a little chile powder on it, it’s a whole new species!

5 Days

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In 7 Days We Get Our Pots & Pans Back!

I would even settle for just a small portion of our pots and pans back – maybe one small pot and another lid or two.  Right now we have only one lid (OK, so we only have one pot and one pan also) so I can’t make two things that need a lid at once.  Or I have to watch my food spatter all over the stove, which is usually what happens.  Fortunately, if you clean it up right away, it’s not too hard to get it off the stove, even if its pretty burnt!  I’ve learned so many little cleaning tricks from this one.  If I ruin my one baking sheet (which I have, several times) I have to figure out how to clean it off.  My newest and best trick?  Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide left in a paste for as long as I can manage (I think I found this one on Pinterest. Also, I refuse to pin cleaning tips and workout plans. FYI).

Yes, I routinely burn stuff to the bottom of my only pot

It’s hard to make a meal with one pot, one pan, one baking sheet, and one baking dish.  It’s taken some creative planning, as well as some creative dinner eating.  Not only do we eat on the floor, but sometimes we eat in shifts!  Although I have become pretty good at planning either one-pot meals (jambalaya is Nate’s current favorite) or meals that only require as many cooking vessels as we own.

I am looking forward to not having to think about that when planning dinner.  Want to make two things that require pots?  No problem!  Look!  I have two pots!  Fantastic.

7 Days

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In 10 Days We Get Our Knives Back!

I remember my Grandma complaining about my parents’ knives when I was a little kid.  I think she eventually got so fed up with them and bought them new ones, or my parents finally just bought them on their own.  It was a long time ago, so I don’t really remember.  But I thought it was funny that she cared so much about the knives.  This same Grandma also thought we needed new plates and bowls, and bought them for us too.  Which, maybe we did, I don’t know, but now we use both old and new sets at my parents’ house.

I did eventually figure out why knives were important, and, when I was old enough to begin cutting vegetables, my Mom taught me that dull knives were more dangerous than sharp knives, and to be very careful.  With all knives, for the record.  When we bought our first nice knives, I was adamant about them being good quality.  It was one of the things I wanted to spend more money on to get a higher-quality product that would last longer.  But when we were packing to move down here, I obviously couldn’t pack the whole knife block in my suitcase!  We were already over our 50 pound limit (I can’t remember, have I told this story?  The one where we put our suitcases on the scale and they were both over 50 pounds, so we had to put the extra weight into our carry-ons, and Nate’s was already full of books and paperwork, and his handle broke before we made it through security, and we were already late for our flight, so he had to carry the thing through the airport while running?  And then our baggage didn’t arrive with us and Nate almost had nothing to wear for his first day of work?  True story.)

Refocusing.  My other Grandma gave us this cute picnic set when we got married and we basically cannibalized it for stuff to bring with us.

Something like this picnic basket

We took the plastic plates and cups, and with it (although I don’t think they actually came together) was this little knife set in a little carrying case.

Our knives in their wood, leather, and blue velvet carrying case

Perfect!  So those were the knives we took with us.  Two knives that turned out to be mostly dull when we got here.  Because I didn’t think to actually USE one before we left.  Those are still the knives I use most often, BUT, during our first trip back to Cincy, Erin SAVED MY KNIFE SANITY.  Seriously.  She had a knife set she’d gotten for free with something, and, since she also prioritizes good knives, she didn’t need.  So she gave them to me and they basically changed my cooking life.  The knives aren’t high quality by any means, but there are many of them, which means I can cut up vegetables and meat at the same time, and they come with a sharpener!  Which means I could rescue the knives that I had and keep the new ones in good working condition.

While my knife situation has certainly improved since we first got here, I’m very excited to have good knives back!

PS: I had no idea I had so much to say on the subject of kitchen knives.  Sorry 😦

10 Days

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