Coping Without Your Kitchen

Whether you’re decorating, renovating or simply installing new appliances, there can be occasions when your kitchen is unavailable. Or, perhaps, you’ve suffered an emergency such as a fire or flood and your kitchen is suddenly out of action.

It can be difficult to live without your kitchen – particularly if you have a family that needs to be kept well fed. But with a little forward planning, you can make sure you handle the situation with as little stress as possible.

If you know in advance that your kitchen is going to be unavailable, there are a few things you can do to prepare. In the days or weeks before your kitchen is out of action, you’ll probably want to scale down on your shopping and, instead, use up the ingredients that you already have in your home so that they aren’t wasted. This can mean coming up with some creative combinations and recipes to use the items you already have.

If the electricity is going to be turned off for a period of time, you’ll need to use up anything that’s normally stored in your fridge or freezer. Take a good look through the shelves and make a plan of everything you can eat. If you can’t get through everything yourselves, consider donating items to friends and family rather than throwing them away.

Coping without your cooker

Carefully plan any redecoration or renovation programme so that the kitchen is out of action for as little time as possible. Then think about the meals you will need to prepare on those days and choose recipes that require little preparation and cooking for the days when you’ll be without a kitchen. Many dishes such as cous cous, noodles or porridge can be made simply by adding boiling water so a strategically-placed kettle can be a big help when making simple meals. For something a little more substantial, you may be able to temporarily put a microwave in a different room for heating pre-prepared meals – just make sure it’s in a safe position first. And, of course, salads or sandwiches can be created at a moment’s notice without needing a cooker.

Dealing with the unexpected

It’s easy to plan ahead when you are redecorating. But what about those times when the unexpected occurs and you need to deal with an emergency that puts your kitchen out of action? If there has been a power cut, it’s important to check that the food in your freezer hasn’t started to defrost. If it can’t be rescued, you may need to throw it away. Equally, you should carefully check the items in your fridge to make sure they are still safe to eat.

If you have had a more serious event such as a fire or flood, your entire kitchen might suddenly be unavailable. While it’s hard to plan for these situations, it’s always a good idea to keep an emergency store of provisions in another part of the house or in a garage. Items such as bottled water and tinned goods, that can be eaten cold, can keep you going for a few days until you’re able to put longer-term plans in place.

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