Excerpt from “Downsize your home and regain your freedom’
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If you were stranded abroad, were suddenly invaded, besieged at every port, or rejected the Monsanto monopoly you would have to adapt the way you ate and to another cuisine, so adept.
Except this time, its another kitchen and perhaps a fraction of the size. Its same thing.
No person who cooks longs for a smaller kitchen, full of basic cheap alliances and no work space. No one. But if is the new situation I approach it mentally first.
It’s a ‘galley’ and your on a boat, it’s a ski studio and you are on a mountain, it’s a wooden lodge, caravan, in a tent, up a tree or in a cave but mentally, you CANT BE IN A SMALL KITCHEN. Its too stressful and no fun.
Put up some kind of ‘symbol’ to remind you and get your mental approach worked out first. A fish, a photo, a shell, a postcard, a mosquito net, something to give this space a theme and some humour. It will save your mind and save you drinking the cooking brandy.
You will be eating differently as food is very dependant on tools, skills of the chef and expectations of the dinner. All three of these are probably now diminished but you still have to eat and gleen some pleasure from it.
The Dinning Table.
Obviously you are getting a smaller table, or one that tips up straight after use and stores against the wall. Ikea do a ‘corner tables’ that open up for 4 people. I remember the top was terrible quality but a nice thick plastic highly coloured table cloth hides a lot.
A slab/piece glass with menus, newspapers, photos or postcards underneath is cheap and fun and covers so much.
If you have less space only use the coffee table to eat off. Get a couple of cheap wooden chairs, paint them bright colours and chop of the legs to make them shorter and stubby which looks cute and trendy.
If you paint them white tie on ribbons, add cushions, hammer in coloured studs, entwine beads, spray on mural so they are bespoke and cheerful. Think Momos.
Fix up a Food Bar table from Ikea with 2 legs, 2 brackets, 1 piece of Formica and 2 high bar stools. It looks great and
Saves so much space. Blend in the wall, pictures, seat and plant pot and create a theme.
Pull out canvas aluminium framed camping/fishing chairs from Argos are practical, light and cheap and you can throw them under the bed later.
Padded wooden lap trays are not that bad and complete the TV supper experience. You won’t die from eating off a tray, better than a magazine, and its good for the core muscles and balance.
Sit on the floor. Why not? Get cushions, take off the shoes, use a low table and sit on the floor. Our ancestors bonded on the floor and look what happened.
Spread out a washable cotton sheet as a mat and shake it outside every time or get a mini vac so you’re not sitting in crumbs and attracting the bugs. Do not eat onto thick carpets its unhealthy and are difficult to clean and will smell. Cover them or remove them first.
Eat outside as much as possible, eat at lunchtimes before you go home, take home doggy bags, get invited out, get invited over and stay friends with women that have dinner parties. Its better for you and will save the energy trying to cope.
You are going to be changing your diet as the roast pig, stuffed birds, soufflés and fresh ice cream look like they are off the menu:)
PUT ON THE OVEN.
Turn the knob. Its no big deal. We were not born to eat microwaved food and I would never never waste the kitchen space on that ghastly black box.
Get one good oven dish with lid and think French. Sauté and chop and put everything into the dish and cook on low-preferable in the morning. Wash a lettuce etc and make a salad with real olive oil dressing and theres a family meal. delicious simple and not expensive.
Most bed sits don’t have gas ovens and electricity is very expensive on a meter so ovens are a luxury. So its a good hearty soup made on top burner and slowly.
I never to cook at night. The thought of chopping onions at 7.30 pm makes me ill and i’m no longer hungry.
Cook in advance and in the mornings before you are too tired. Like they do on the continent .
Hungry people order take out!