Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Not the Camp Cooking I Love

For a few weeks now I have been cooking with a microwave, electric skillet and toaster, set up in a corner of my living room. Sometimes I wash up in the little bathroom sink, and lately I've had my old sink set up on plywood, without counters on the sides.

When I got all organized and ready for the demolition of my old kitchen I thought positively about what I might accomplish with minimal equipment, and was undaunted. After all, I have cooked on a camp stove year after year, and washed up tin plates without any kitchen at all. We often needed to hide our food from bears between meals, but the dishes we ate around picnic tables were tasty and I enjoyed putting them together.

It hasn't been at all the same here. The most obvious difference is that we must cook and eat in a dimly-lit corner of the living room. No trees, no fresh air that whets the appetite. The scenery is also blighted by over-crowding--extra furniture in disarray close by, all the dishes and condiments and dishtowels stacked around instead of stowed away in camping boxes.

But another kind of space is lacking, the mental and emotional refreshment that comes from being away from home and with greatly reduced responsibilities. Some years ago I discovered that when I'm camping outdoors or even in a cabin somewhere, after a few days of rest and relaxation, the creative urges surface and want to be expressed. I learned to bring along some ingredients that might take extra inventiveness or work to make a meal out of.

The ability to focus my mind on cooking at this time is completely lacking. There are too many decisions to muddle over, walls to wash, important papers to hunt around for. A storm has hit my artist's studio, as it were, and the tangible and intangible tools aren't where they need to be; the artist is disabled. If I get through this without getting depressed it will be enough to show for my work.

It's a good thing we are coming to the end of the worst period of remodeling. In the next few days the stove will be hooked up, and the sink. The counters are in, so there will be a place for rolling out pie dough! Next month we'll be kicked out for a few days so that floors can be put in, but I have already started stowing some clutter away in the new drawers.

6 comments:

elizabeth said...

I can imagine that this would be really hard! Too bad you could not of just gone camping during this time :) (a bit to early in the season I am guessing!) :)

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

When you get to the end of all this, it will probably) seem worthwhile!

But yes, what a pain meanwhile. We've only painted our upstairs, and what turmoil! And in a few days, new carpeting upstairs, the turmoil to be repeated.

Left-Handed Housewife said...

I should send you my husband, who will happily set up his dutch ovens in your driveway and cook all sorts of interesting concoctions. He and the boys do that from time to time and it's a big adventure.

I don't envy you your living room cook camp. I hope you get through it without falling into too deep of a funk. Sounds like there's a little light at the end of the tunnel? I hope so!

frances

wayside wanderer said...

I am really sympathizing with you. This would be so hard for me because cooking is not at the top of my list of Fun Things as it is.

My kitchen & computer room/book nook is a bit upside down with laying new tile that is taking about 2 mos. I still have my appliances though, but I do feel your pain to some extent. Coping with the mess/chaos takes a lot of effort for me.

Hang in there!!!!!

Pom Pom said...

Oh my goodness! You'll be a happy woman when it is all finished. I'm sure it'll be lovely. I hope you'll show us a few photos.

Emily J. said...

Puts me in the mood to go camping!