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May 30, 2013 08:58 AM

My summer cooking challenge. All suggestions welcome!

We are renovating our condo this summer which is going to require us to move out for approximately six weeks. We have made a reservation at a long term hotel. The kitchen consists of a full size fridge, sink, microwave, and two stovetop burners. There are also gas grills available.

I would appreciate some of your thoughts and suggestions on meals to plan. I do most of my cooking now in the oven or on the grill.

Also, I'm starting to pack up my kitchen (everything will go to storage during construction). What would you take with you under these circumstances? Obviously, skillets, plates, utensils. But, would you consider taking a dutch oven, pressure cooker, slow cooker, food processor? I don't want to go overboard, but I also don't want to end up cooking convenience foods.

Unfortunately, we can't just rent a beach house and call it a day! We're stuck in the daily grind of work and life in the Southwest summer!

Thanks in advance for your thoughtful suggestions

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  1. Wow, first of all, you have a great HOA to allow a 6 week reno!

    This thread might help you:

    It's about using an even more sparsely equipped hotel room. I would not take a crockpot if I had access to a grill. That, and rotisserie chickens, should be your friend re meat-based meals.

    6 Replies
        1. re: MGZ

          Says the Realtor, 'Home Owners Association."

          1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

            Duh! I thought it was kinda like a "DH" given the context of pinehurst's comments.

            There are HOAs that wouldn't allow a 6 week renovation? Terrible.

            1. re: MGZ

              Yes...not to threadjack. Some HOA's will just say "Don't touch a weight-bearing wall." But most will have all sorts of caveats about not disturbing the neighbors, types of flooring you can/can't do, making sure that all of the units are comparable in layout (and thus pricepoint) to each other, etc.

              As for what to take utensil wise, super ideas here. I'd definitely take my favorite pots/pans.

              1. re: pinehurst


                And, for what it's worth, there's one rule I have always maintained - "Have knife, will travel."

      1. I don't think I'd take the extra appliances. I can't think of anything I would do with a food processor that I couldn't do by hand, except for maybe making pesto (yes I know you can do it by hand but what a pain), but if it's just 6 weeks, and if you really needed pesto, store bought would be fine. I don't even own a pressure cooker, and I've used my small slow cooker one time ever, so I wouldn't bring those.

        I would make sure you bring enough cooking utensils... spatulas, spoons, tongs. Also think about what you really think you'll want to cook. Would you need stuff like a microplane and a cheese grater? Take those if you think you would.

        I would also bring my big wood cutting board, and at least one plastic one. And a dish drainer. There might be one there, but it's probably pretty small.

        Also, kitchen towels, Ziploc bags and food storage containers.

        2 Replies
          1. re: juliejulez

            Definitely if they aren't supplied. Also little prep bowls and storage containers for leftovers.

        1. I agree with pinehurst on your luck, however I would definitely take a slow cooker. Between a grill and that, you can eat well for a long time. You might like this link:

          1. I'd definitely take a salad spinner and anything you might need to steam veggies. I like the idea of salads, augmented with beans, rotisserie chicken, tuna, etc.

            I'd probably skip the food processor. I use my pressure cooker regularly for beans so I'd consider taking that. Slow cooker, no, since I tend to use that mainly in the winter. Take your favorite omelet pan since odds are the one in the unit will be scratched/icky.

            When I had a similar, shorter duration, kitchen exile, I found that my mini Forman grill was great for quesadillas, quick grilled veggies for salad, and chicken breasts when you don't feel like trekking to the gas grill.

            1. I was in a long term hotel with a similar set up for 5 weeks. It had the basics but I brought along my chef knife, a wood cutting board, my favourite wooden spoon, microplane and cheese grater. What I wished I had brought along was my good sauté pan, a steamer basket and my immersion blender. I would have murdered for a toaster oven.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ChervilGeorge

                Toaster oven fires are usually why rentals stay away from offering or allowing them.

                When we had our kitchen remodeled we moved out 3 months to a bungalow (NJ summer) and it was so hot we didn't eat anything more than fresh produce, cold prepared foods and cocktails. We wound up eating out a good deal more than I anticipated and the minute we got home all I did was use that new oven!!

                Good luck pagein!