12 Use what you have and go with it.

This can be one of the biggest excuses for not cooking at home. I know because I’ve used it. But
if you walked into your kitchen space and attempted to organize it with what you have now;
without going out and purchasing one single thing, do you think you could make it work for
you? Do you think you could work with what you have until you know what you really need to
make it work better? Could you create organization tools from what you have? And could you also make it aesthetically pleasing?

Does it take a gourmet kitchen to produce a gratifying, sustainable meal? No, of course not. I
lived on boats for seven years and didn’t even have an actual kitchen. I had to create my own: I
had a small refrigerator that meant I needed more frequent trips to the market. A microwave, a
small convection oven and a hot plate; it was really not that difficult. I had a lot of kitchen on a
very small boat. I baked many cakes on that boat, for my son’s birthdays, work parties, sports
parties and family.

My convection oven had a timer. Many times I’d have my son put dinner in the oven when he got
home from school, pick him up at home after work and go to soccer or baseball practice to be
able to go home to dinner. The fact that I loved where I lived so much made it all the easier to
deal with a small kitchen.

I bought many cooking items from thrift stores, especially bakeware. I found lots of smaller pans
that would fit into my convection oven for less than a dollar.

I had plenty of downfalls in trying to make this work. There were many nights going to the
market only to buy premade deli food and microwaveable meals. One morning a week we
drove through a drive through for breakfast to be eaten as fast as possible on the way to school. I
had the insight to know this wasn’t good for us. I stocked up on cereals to make breakfast easier.
Dinner would be meat seasoned and wrapped in foil, baked potatoes set to bake in the convection
oven, lots of baked pasta dishes were a tried and true favorite. Eventually I made it work for us.

We all have to learn to be resourceful. It’s up to you to make it work. Use what you’ve got, see
what works and use it.


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