Do you live in a tiny house? Or would you like to someday?
Our family of 5 has been living in a 300-square-foot tiny house for almost 3 months.
I expected to love living in a tiny house. And I did, as soon as we moved in! Even our teenagers love it.
I didn't expect to be taught anew how to love well in small ways, in small spaces.
What do I mean? Given that we aren't distanced by a large house, we are more often confronted with opportunities to scoot over, back up, move in, or step aside. In other words, to be kind and gracious to one another.
How To Cook Real Food In A Tiny House
Cooking Real Food has received a similar transformation — it has condensed all I know about cooking for a family into more efficient truths, lived out every day, every week.
So here's how we're cooking Real Food in our tiny house…
Tip #1 — Batch Cooking!
Are you familiar with batch cooking? If you aren't familiar with it, it simply means to choose 1 to 2 days a week to cook larger portions or pre-prepare foods. This makes them easier to grab and serve throughout the busy week.
Many of us already practice this advice! It does make the week run more smoothly.
So what does batch cooking look like in a tiny house?
I cook up several pounds of chicken each Sunday. I usually choose a whole chicken to roast for Sunday dinner so I can make bone broth from the carcass during the week. At the same time, I bake about 3 pounds of chicken drumsticks — great for easy lunches! — and boneless, skinless thighs which work well sliced on top of a big salad for dinner.
On Sundays, I also make an egg-free baked good for my son who can't eat eggs. This little treat goes alongside sausages or bacon for his week's breakfasts, and makes my life sooo much easier!
When Monday rolls around, I make high-protein waffle batter for the whole week. I keep it in a quart-size canning jar in the fridge, where it doesn’t take up a lot of space, so it's easy to grab and make into a quick, healthy breakfast.
To avoid big kitchen productions continually throughout the week, once or twice I open up our fold-down dinner table and spread out all of my baking sheets and pans. Then I carefully store what I've made so that it fits in our half-size fridge.
There are more examples I could give, but you get the idea!
Tip #2 — Paring Down Kitchen Appliances & Gadgets
What to keep and what to give away?
I gave away a lot of kitchen tools — and actually loved the process of getting rid of less-necessary items, lightening our load, keeping only the invaluable.
So, what remained when all was said and done?
I also kept (with tightly clenched fists 😉 ) my waffle iron! This is my favorite kitchen tool. I love making waffles for breakfast because they don’t need to be monitored or flipped like pancakes. So easy (and delicious).
The final item I kept? My blender. It’s big, but it’s worth the space it takes up… kind of like teenagers! 🙂
What did we give up?
A dishwasher! We tried a small one out for a while, yet all of us decided we prefer hand-washing in a tiny house. Not a meal goes by when we don’t wash and clean up completely. So the kitchen stays sparse and neat after every meal.
I also gave up my clunky Cuisinart food processor. I am looking for a little one though — mostly for pastry dough.
We also gave away our salad spinner, Crock Pot, toaster oven, and lots and lots of small pots and pans and gadgets that filled drawers in our old home.
Working Hard In A Tiny House…
A few years ago I worked with an energy practitioner. My job was to teach her clients about healing food protocols like the GAPS Diet. Her job was to work with them on breathing and movement techniques to complement their healing process.
An architect friend of hers designed homes for clients, incorporating her concepts into their living spaces. The purpose? To increase clients' range of motion each to day. To increase movement!
The architect accomplished this by designing homes in such a way as to require reaching up, reaching down, reaching in, squatting, and twisting, more like the lifestyle of primitive, traditional cultures.
This kind of movement promotes wellness, in contrast to the more stagnant lives that many modern families live.
For example, most American homes orient kitchens so the appliances and dishes are easy to grab. Counter tops have cubbies where blenders can be pushed forward or backward when in or out of use. This adds convenience.
My husband designed pull-out drawers everywhere in our tiny house — under our cutting board counter and under our couch! There are shelves for dishes behind our kitchen table, which folds up onto the wall like a Murphy bed.
Our counter tops are not deep — there's no room for cubbies! So instead of lamenting that fact, we lean and reach for items we put away after each use, embracing the extra work.
It brings me so much joy! Does that sound funny?
…To Stay Young
Let me explain… Work is hard. It is labor. This is the reality of the world we live in.
Early in our lives, we feel mild pain as we are forced to exert ourselves to get jobs done. Our parents teach us to persevere through this pain cheerfully.
As adults, we love our rest. But we wouldn't enjoy our rest without work. We choose, in our spare time, to exercise and garden and help friends.
Choosing to do extra work in one's home is no different. The purpose? It's healthier!
I feel delight to put away my Instant Pot after every use. I have to pull out the heavy base of my blender every time I want to use it. I must squat down and reach deep into a shelf to get out my pie plate. All of this is good!
I am 44 years old, staying flexible by necessity but also by choice! I even must climb a ladder to get into our tiny bedroom, then climb a tiny set of stairs to get to our actual bed.
Yes, it's like playing house. It never ceases to be exciting and fun. The extra work of living small is keeping me young, both in spirit and body.
So that's what tiny house living, loving, and cooking is like for my family! In a year or so, I'd better write an update to let you know how it's going all over again and give you a full tour!
Do you live in a tiny house? Do you hope to one day? I’d love to hear!
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