The Chippy household has been without a kitchen this week. Don’t worry, no disaster had occurred. This is a planned kitchenless experience; we are having a new kitchen fitted.
This gave me an excuse to revert to my scouting days (of which there were few) and bring the camp kitchen into use. It’s been great fun. It’s like camping but without the discomfort of having to sleep in a tent.
Early attempts were simple
Later in the week I graduated to heating up chilli (from a tin) – with a side of freshly stir-fried leeks
And then to a fully prepared-from-scratch vegetable soup (parsnip and apple, if you are interested).
We’ve used the lack of kitchen as an opportunity to eat out at places we’ve not been to before. One evening we visited the Good Companions in Leigh Road, where we had an excellent meal. Freshly prepared, and good-sized portions. On Sunday we visited the carvery at Sherwoods Restaurant at Eastleigh Football Club. I would thoroughly recommend this for Sunday lunch. The meat (four roasts) was tasty and succulent, and there was a very extensive selection of vegetables. Probably the best carvery I’ve been to for a long time. The desserts were good too.
Apart from the lack of the cooker, most cooking utensils and store-cupboard items have been packed away. This and the lack of food preparation and washing-up space has meant that we must think about what we will cook, and how easy it will be to prepare and clean. The bathroom sink is smaller, and the plug hole blocks more easily. The shower is inconvenient to reach, and the thermostat means that the water isn’t as hot. Neither have a draining board.
Meanwhile, the rest of the house has been filled with boxes of new kitchen and contents of the cupboards. Crossing a room involves walking three sides round a square, if not five sides round a hexagon. Having a fridge in the living room is convenient for mid-evening snacks, but inconvenient when you have to walk around it every time you want to go anywhere.
We’ve also been without a washing machine, so the camp laundry also came into play, in order to wash some running gear.
But it is only temporary. People can cope with most things so long as they are only temporary. Good progress is being made on the kitchen fitting, and we hope to be back in there within a few days (though it may take several more days to find new homes for everything).