We have been going through the process of ripping out our kitchen and having it replaced. A small fire in one of the kitchen drawers was the reason for this major renovation. The fire did significant damage to the drawer and the cupboard walls around it.  We are sure it was started by loose matches laying in the drawer, that we thought were in boxes. Some of them must have gotten under a plastic organizer tray that moved back and forth when the drawer was opened and shut. My husband had gotten the shop key out of the drawer, shut the drawer and went out to the shop. When he returned about 15 minutes later, black smoke was rolling out of the kitchen. He found the fire in the drawer and put it out. The underside of the counter top was very hot and charred. ( Just a thought: Place all matches in fire proof containers.)

The upshot is that, the fire and smoke damage was extensive and we are getting a new kitchen.  The work started last Tuesday with ripping out all the cabinets and some of the walls.  We found out on the Friday before, that the work would start on Tuesday, so, I spent Saturday packing up kitchen supplies and sundries and cooking.  The cooking was the really big event.  I knew we would need enough food to reheat or have minimal prep, to last all week.

I started with putting 5-6 pound Pork Shoulder roast into the oven. I put it in a 425degree oven to get it good and brown and heated through as quickly as possible.  After 30 minutes, I reduced the heat to 350 degrees. I cooked it  another hour at this temperature.

I then added several chopped turnips, and a large coarsely chopped onion. It all went back into the oven for another 30 minutes. I then added a large Granny Smith apple cut into large pieces.  I basted all of the vegetables several times with the pan juices.

Everything cooked for another half hour or until the vegetables were all tender and the meat was falling off of the bone.  This made enough meat to eat and to freeze.

I also made up two pounds of ground beef into  “VEGGIE BEEF BURGERS”.  I ended up with eleven burgers. Since it was so many of them, I baked them in the oven instead of trying to fry them. I dredged each burger in some Cassava Flour and put them in a greased baking sheet.  After about five minutes, I turned the burgers so that each side had grease on it. I cooked them for another 10 minutes at 375 degrees.  The burgers are great for breakfast, especially with some of the “YUMMY, EASY CELERY SOUP”




Since I had the oven going, I also baked several red and white sweet potatoes and roasted some garlic.  I put five big bulbs of garlic in a small iron skillet and covered it with a lid.  I let the garlic roast for 1/2 hour. It’s great squeezed over hot broccoli or added to a vinaigrette.


While everything was cooking in the oven, I made up 4 1/2 quarts of “YUMMY, EASY CELERY SOUP”. I put the hot soup into quart canning jars and let the lids seal as it cooled. It keeps quite well this way for at least a week.  It can also be frozen in the jars, but plenty of room needs to be left at the top of the jar.



The soup can be used just as it is. For variety, I like to add a quart of frozen asparagus. The asparagus is from our garden. I cut it up into pieces, blanch it just until it turns dark green, then put it into freezer containers and cover it with the water that it was blanched in. It makes a great soup in the winter.  For those who are not AIP, I recommend a garnish of fresh grated Parmigiano cheese.

Here is the frozen asparagus thawing out in my pot. Yes, the pot is as old as it looks. I’ve had it for 48 years.


Last of all, I made up a big bowl of “WINTER COLESLAW”. 


Now we had plenty of meat, and vegetables to last us through several days of having a torn up kitchen. Everything was ready to just heat up. It sure made a huge difference to both our diet and our comfort to have all of that food ready to go.

The kitchen still isn’t done but there are new cupboards and we have makeshift counter tops made out of old bookshelves.  I also had the old sink and cupboard moved into the laundry room , where it replaced an old laundry tub sink. It’s been a real blessing to have a good working sink. It will also be a great vegetable sink when we start harvesting garden vegetables.

Cooking with Love in My Nonesuch Kitchen,


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