Dinner in the Basement Kitchen!

When we first moved down to the basement, we had planned on doing our cooking upstairs, on the stove. But there was one big problem with this–it was too cold! It’s fine for quickly putting something in the oven, but I found that we were ordering take-out, rather than spending the time freezing with a pot on the stove. And coffee–that just wasn’t happening, which truly is a tragedy.

So, enter our hot plate. We found this at Rite Aid, actually, for $20. Not only does it heat water for our coffee, but, sitting on our washing machine, it makes the perfect minimalist stove. The burner is a Proctor Silex fifth burner. Because it is made completely of metal, it should be easy to replace any of its components, if they should break.

Tonight’s dinner? Mushroom risotto!

Our new knife, a Weusthof, 8 inch, found on sale at a local shop. Definitely worth the $$$!

And yes, that mocktail is in a mason jar. You drink out of one too. Admit it.

Before I go, I would like to address our plate situation, as I have gotten a lot of questions about this. Yes, we have three plates, and three sets of silverware. No, this is not the required number of place settings for every minimalist to have. You might be happier with service for 12, and we won’t kick you out of the club for that. But here’s why 3 works for us.

We have no discipline. When we had service for 8, we never washed a dish, until all 8 were used. This led to a pile-up in the dishwasher, which didn’t get run until it was full. And owning a dishwasher means, rinsing, loading, unloading, and putting away all of those dishes. And if we procrastinated on a step–which we did–it led to an unsightly pile-up.

So, with three dishes, the worst we can do is have to quickly wash them before dinner is ready. And that takes a whole 3 minutes. A much better solution, I think.

What do we do when we have company? Well, first you have to realize that anybody who is going to come and visit us already knows that we are…well…us. So they are not expecting an experience that resembles mainstream, in any form. Our parents like to bring their own dishes. As for everyone else–we’ve got bowls, storage containers, lids from storage container, and the cutting board! Parents usually share a plate with their kid, or the kids will all share a plate. The guests always get the real plates, and the forks, if necessary. Rob and I will eat with spoons or chopsticks.

And we’ve got plenty of mason jars for everyone.

6 thoughts on “Dinner in the Basement Kitchen!

  1. I love it! I have thought about downsizing the number of plates and bowls I have, but I have company too often and my excess floats around to my son’s home when they need extras for company so it all gets used. I had seriously planned to buy a hot plate, until I realized I could cook in the rice cooker. With such a small space here I worried that the little one’s might touch the hot burner and kept putting it off. Now I don’t even think about getting one as I am so used to living like this.

    Confession time, I don’t have any mason jars any more. I passed on my jars when I moved to Arizona thinking I wouldn’t bother to can anything as I would be able to get fresh all the time, but if it helps me stay in the club, I have been watching for used ones lately for lots of purposes. I recently emptied my one drawer in the kitchen of the silver to store towels and other utensils and want a couple mason jars to store the silver in on the counter for starters.

  2. My new apartment doesn’t have a stove. Just an induction stove hob and a toaster oven. The induction stove thing is pretty cool! I just have to plan ahead when I’m making something that requires two hobs since it’s a single. Luckily, I eat a lot of buddha bowls that require only cooked grains and fresh veggies! And yes, mason jars rule!

    • That would be nice–less cleaning! I hate cleaning our stove (during the short time of the year when we use it). We so rarely use two burners, and when we do we can modify it so we only use one at a time.

  3. I love this! So simple and easy. I told my husband last night that I wished we could shut off the rest of our house, move Emma into our room, and just use the kitchen, our room and bathroom. He laughed at me and called me a hermit. : ) Our house is 1200 square feet and just feels too big to me most of the time.

    • Oh, closing off part of your house is a great way to get used to living in a smaller space…But, take it easy on your poor husband! It often (but not always–I know a few men who got into minimalism before their wives did) is the woman who is more gung-ho about minimalism at first, probably because us ladies are really conditioned to be materialistic, from day one. Sometimes it takes our hubbies awhile to get on board, fully, but it will happen!

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