Please send help! (And recipes)
Hello dear Meals in the Mail friends. We’re back! Melanie and I are so excited to share more letters, stories and recipes with you this year.
Things will start to look a little different around here, as we take stock on what worked, and what needed tweaking, since we started this project in October last year. Melanie and I are still ironing out the kinks, so if there’s anything you’d like to see more of, less of, or if you have some other ideas, we’d love to hear from you - either leave a comment below, or simply hit “reply” to this email.
We also have lots of new ideas of our own in the wings, both creative and culinary, that we’ll share with you in the coming weeks. So keep an eye on your Inbox for goodness coming your way.
The kitchen debacle
I am in all kinds of kitchen debacle, and in desperate need of your culinary creativity (details coming below). We have started renovating our 140 year old house, and this is my temporary kitchen:
Last month, we wheeled our old ‘fridge into the hallway at the bottom of the stairs, covered the antique hall-table with a waterproof tablecloth, and that became our “kitchen”.
It’s not exactly practical, but it works a lot better than my original kitchen, which is being gutted as I type. There’s a lot of drilling, banging, cursing, and hard rock music going on in the background, and the power has gone out twice.
(This morning, the man in charge of ripping up the tiles told me the floor sounded hollow underneath the tiles at one point. Which is surprising, given that it was supposed to be a concrete slab. Could we have found a cellar?)
The entire rest of our household furniture has been packed up into the lounge room: tables, chairs, shelves, sofas, carpets, paintings, boxes of books and clothes and cushions and kitchen pots and pans… even the piano. They’re all piled on top of each other and covered in drop-sheets to keep out the dust.
Meanwhile the six of us (three adults, two children and a big, smelly dog) are living upstairs, sharing the three bedrooms and study between us, and I’ve rigged up a kind of table (though it only seats three) and two chairs, on the landing. By night it’s our dining table and by day it’s my office, pictured below.
To wash up, I have to kneel on the floor of the 1980s spa-bath in our upstairs en suite. It’s the least fun part of this entire process.
And this is how we are going to live for the next four-to-six months (fingers crossed it’s only four-to-six months).
Urgently seeking recipes
To get to the point.
My makeshift kitchen is seriously challenged in its culinary capacity, and that’s where I would very much appreciate your help. So: will you send me any recipes or cooking tips you have, that will work in the temporary kitchen?
Here are the limitations:
I don’t have an oven
I don’t have any kind of stove-top or burner on which to boil or fry
I don’t have a sink or taps or running water (but can carry water from upstairs)
I don’t have a lot of space
Here’s what I do have to work with:
I have a fridge
I have a microwave
I have a two-slice toaster
I have a small panini press
I have an electric kettle
It’s a challenge, to be sure! I hope you have some ideas, and that you’re more creative in the kitchen than me…
And as this is “Meals in the Mail,” not “Meals in the Email,” I’d love it if you’d post them to me!
If you write and send me your recipe(s), I promise to write back to you. Maybe Melanie and I could share your recipes and letters on here if you’d like, or even make a mini e-book of them, if enough were sent. A handy kind of “What To Do If You’re Renovating And Don’t Want To Live Off Frozen Microwave Meals For Six Months” guide, for anyone else in a similar position. What do you think?
Please send your recipes to me at:
“The Kitchen in the Hallway”
PO Box 191
ps. Do you want to know about the renovation? Do you want me to share stories and progress and inspiration and photos and befores and afters? I don’t want to bore you, but if this interests you, let me know and I can share the occasional story here on Meals in the Mail.
ps2. Happy New Year!