The lack of kitchen comforts

I haven’t worked a regular job since September 2013…and the 3 years prior to that, I worked from home.  I really have no excuse not to cook dinner most nights of the week.  And I have no problem with that.  I like cooking and I know if I cook, I can cook healthy (ier) than eating out.  But here in temporary housing kitchen…it’s harder than one might think.

Another mistake that was made…even after reading blogs about packing some basic kitchen tools in your air shipment (measuring spoons, food scale, can opener, wine opener) I didn’t.  Not that it helps now because my air shipment still isn’t here.  A post on the mistakes of the air shipment later.

So I need to meal plan with meals that require vey minimal utensils, condiments, and sous cheffing.   Here was my haphazard thrown together plan for the week.

  • easy breaded pork chops
  • skinny sloppy joes
  • lemon feta chicken
  • beef stir-fry

Since we only have 1 car and I had to wait to do grocery shopping until after 7 the first night…we had Chinese take away.  The second night we did pork chops and while not my best effort…they got the job done.  Now for Thursday night, night 3: Skinny Sloppy Joes.

I realize I don’t have a can opener, any measuring spoons (regardless of measuring system), or vinegar.

I did find Worchester sauce and even was able to conclude that sieved tomatoes passata was tomato sauce and double concentrated puree was paste.  Score!


My knives here are awful so I literally grated all the vegetables- include mushrooms and onions.  I threw in some lemon juice and red wine to substitute of red wine vinegar.    But crap!  I need a can opener for the tomato paste (the sauce on the other hand is in a box?).  I call E but he’s already passed the ASDA (UK Wal-Mart) on his 1 hour/5 mile drive home.  He calls me back and he’s stopped at 2 gas stations and an express food stop without any luck.  I tell him to forget about it, but I know E is a man who delivers.

All the grated veggies look great with the ground beef in the pan.

All the grated veggies look great with the ground beef in the pan.

20 minutes later- Erik walks in with new can opener in hand!  Ta daaaa!

Almost exactly 47 seconds later, E opens a drawer and finds the can opener that was apparently sitting there the whole time.  Whoops.

Dinner turned out all right.  I vaguely followed this recipe by Skinny Taste without any measuring.  I always try to double up on vegetables in any recipe so I can eat more with less guilt.  I do have to say it seemed a little bland compared to my regular dish, I’m going to blame the Worcestershire sauce and the lo-sodium salt (because there is no Morton’s and I saw was half sodium salt)

sloppy joe


  1. sandra glatthorn

    Shredding mushrooms? You are one determined cook. Is finding dogfood as difficult as finding tomato sause and tomato paste?

    1. Lauren (Post author)

      No dog food is easier to find, but it’s not the brand Stella is used to. Our air shipment is hopefully coming to our door on Monday…it’s a race to the finish- she’s about to finish the food that came on the plane with us.

  2. Jo Winey-Babcock

    Is Stella still eating as much as she did when you first arrived?

    1. Lauren (Post author)

      Yes! It has slowed a little bit but definitely still eating way more than she ever has in the states.


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