Friday, June 9, 2023

My Life Without A Kitchen – A Survivor's Story

When we purchased our new house a few years ago, we knew there would be work to do. Since we’ve moved in, we’ve redone the bathrooms and had a new fence installed. The project that we are onto now is our biggest, scariest, most expensive, and most disruptive project of all – our kitchen!

The night before we removed the old kitchen, I went through many of the same emotions that I have in other big days of my life. Excitement and fear, hopefulness and worry. By the time the first cabinet was removed, I knew there was no going back. Through it all, we’ve learned a few things along the way. Here’s what we’ve learned.

Be flexible.

In all areas, be flexible. Be open to try new foods. Be prepared to change meal plans at a moments notice. Have back up meals on hand and ready to prepare at a moments notice. The more flexible you are, the easier it will be to roll with the punches and not stress out when things don’t do as planned.

Disposables are a must!

Paper plates, plastic cups, and plastic utensils are a blessing in situations like this. I couldn’t imagine having to hand wash everything each time we eat! Stock up on paper and plastic products and don’t let them run out!

Have your counter-top appliances ready to go.

A toaster is obviously great for breakfast – bagels and waffles can be easily and quickly prepared in a toaster. Sandwiches can go from good to great when the bread is toasted – caprese and BLT sandwiches are just a few examples of this.

A microwave is perfect for reheating leftovers and cooking prepared meals. It also good for cooking rice and preparing tea and coffee as well.


Finally, over the past few months I’ve started cooking with an Instant Pot. I love what having an Instant Pot brings to the table, and it has been an essential tool for preparing food without a kitchen. I’ve used the saute function to prepare ground beef and used the pressure cooking function for preparing pastas.

Take advantage of opportunities when they arise.

When people offer help, take it. We’ve had a few dinners over at our neighbors during this process and they have been a blessing. Letting someone cook dinner for you when you don’t have a place to cook for yourself can be a great relief.

If someone is in town that you don’t see every day, invite them out to dinner. I usually have a guilty complex about dining out too much and the costs associated with it, but this is the perfect opportunity to indulge a bit. Also, make sure you order large portions and bring home leftovers!


Know your takeout spots.

We generally order takeout from one place – our local pizzeria. As much as we love it there, pizza can get boring really fast. Where we live, we happen to live close to a good amount of chain fast-casual restaurants, such as Moe’s, Five Guys, Panera Bread, and Jersey Mike’s. We’ve had to start tapping into these resources as time has gone on.

It’s also a good idea to see which of your favorite restaurants offers take out as well. Bringing home the smells and flavors of your go-to establishments can bring a new comfort into your hectic home during remodeling.

All in all, kitchen remodeling is a stressful time. Personally, I can’t wait to have a kitchen back! It’s absolutely important to make sure you are still able to eat well and somewhat healthy. Otherwise, you are adding additional stress to a tough situation. Finally, at the end of the day, sit back and relax knowing that it will all be over soon!

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Schuyler Traudt
Schuyler Traudt
I am a father, husband, foodie, and tech enthusiast living in Saratoga County, New York. I have spent the past decade traveling the country working for a software company out of Albany, New York. In my spare time, when not spending time with my wife and two year old daughter, I blog at and enjoy dining out and cooking at home.


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