How to cook without a kitchen

There are some people, and I may be one of them, who have a sick desire to face certain challenges that they might not actually HAVE to face just for shits and giggles. So far, my Seattle neighbors have been quite kind about offering me cooking supplies, furniture, and all matters of household items one might need if one’s moving truck were, say, two weeks late and perhaps lost in Argentina. But until now, I’ve sort of enjoyed the challenge of cooking without a kitchen.

Okay, so that’s sort of a lie. I have a kitchen, I have a new cast iron pan (far inferior to the ancient one I’d been borrowing from our Cape Cod landlords for the previous three years), and I have a spanking new 5” santoku. I’ve also borrowed a wooden spoon, a spatula, and the pot holder that one of my new neighbor’s kids, Tolia, made me.

Here are some pointers I’ve acquired for how to cook without (most of) a kitchen:

1) Cook in layers. So far, I’ve been very successful roasting things in succession in the cast iron pan, adding things that cook more slowly first an following with more fragile ingredients later. Example: roast potatoes and onions, then add green beans, then add tomatoes and salmon for a huge hot healthy dinner. Schmear store-bought tapenade over everything for maximum effect.
2) Think through the entire dinner before you start. Things that are normally simple to cook (i.e. pasta) might not be (if you don’t have, say, a strainer).
3) That’s it. Good luck.

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