Adaptability is an important lesson I continuously learn in my kitchen encompassing 87 inches in length. We were out of peanut butter, pancake mix and had two eggs. I needed to feed my four hungry children. The ability to jump in the car and go to the store wasn’t an option. Looking at my limited pantry, I choose to accept the challenge to create something yummy with my slim supplies. That’s what mama’s did in the olden days, right? Ma Ingalls, from Little House on the Prairie, is a constant inspiration to me. I marvel how she diligently and dutifully cared for her family with such generous grace and beauty in their one room house. She is a wife and mother I admire and wish to emulate as we live our own Little House on the Water adventure.
How is my tiny kitchen organized? Building our kitchen, which is the central hub of our living quarters, I knew we needed to utilize every square inch of space. I have vertical storage above my three burner gas stove. Four 24 square inch soft close drawers is the majority of kitchen storage I have. One contains a pot, two pans and two casserole dishes. One drawer holds stackable mixing bowels, a hand mixer, immersion blender, and baking things. Leaving two drawers to stuff as much pantry/shelf stable goods and staples. The big drawer under our kitchen sink holds garbage, recycling and cleaning supplies. The 15” drawers hold our silverware, measuring cups and spoons, baking and cooking utensils, plates, bowels, cups and about 36 water bottles. I’m still trying to figure out how to make use of the 4 ½” of space under the cabinets…but that will happen another day.
For the first four months aboard, we patiently stuffed our 3 cubic foot fridge and 1 cubic foot freezer with the bare necessities…one ½ gallon milk, a dozen eggs, a small container of sandwich spread, deli meat, sliced cheese, and thankfully, our four Blue Apron dinner meals! About two weeks ago, in the middle of September, Ryan blessed me with a spacious 10 cubic foot fridge and 3 cubic foot freezer! I bawled. I am so incredibly thankful to be able to store more perishable foods this coming fall and winter!!!! So incredibly thankful!!!! Putting this fridge into our boat, when its made for a spacious house, was pretty funny however. Dismantling the railing, removing the fringe’s doors and port slider window, relocating a bookshelf crammed with books, the fridge slid through our port window with a centimeter to spare! Maneuvering it down our one hallway, it slid past our bookcase and oven handle with a few millimeters of thanksgiving. It fits our space perfectly! Ryan needed to trim our wire closet shelves one inch to ensure it fit. Attaching the fridge’s doors, it will open all the way with a centimeter to spare, barely missing the bathroom wall. The only unfortunate thing, the reviews on this particular fridge that fits our space perfectly, are horrible and estimate a fourteen month life expectancy before something gives out. Hoping and praying that won’t be the case…I feel more confident making it through the winter, providing healthy delicious meals and snacks for my family.
What do family dinners look like on our boat? Answering that question, I am so thankful Ryan found Blue Apron last fall while we still lived in our house. In a “normal environment” I was able to become familiar with the process of cooking gourmet meals from scratch. Transitioning to my much smaller kitchen, I count on Blue Apron to help me provide four healthy dinners for my family. They send me precisely portioned ingredients (perfect for saving precious pantry space!), freshly packaged veggies, organic meats (poultry, beef or pork, fish or shrimp) and four recipe cards with step by step instructions to make these gourmet meals, including vegetarian. My family loves Blue Apron Meals! It’s like a culinary course in my home…now boat! Yes, cooking from scratch takes longer. However, while I am becoming more familiar with my culinary technique, which I know will serve me well in our future plans to circumnavigate, I am finding I’m not as inconvenienced to take the time to do things the long way. In that, I feel very proud of myself and the example I am demonstrating for the children. Best part is, when I invite my daughters to cook with me, they are also learning how to make delicious meals for when they are grown.
Rounding out our kitchen, is our dining table, school table, meeting table, craft table and bed for Ryan and I each night. With the skill of a craftsman, I am so proud of Ryan for making me such a beautiful table…complete with Plexiglas top so I can finally sanitize our eating area!
Little things in my kitchen I once took for granted, have become so exciting and precious, as I continue to adapt and abandon myself to this adventure of living on the water.
Great story! I look forward to more 😊 Does Ryan take orders for custom kitchen tables?
I see the pic of Ryan making like he actually built that table top. ;oP
Seriously though, the joy in your smiles is evidence that God is giving you grace for it. I see throughout scriptures God taking his people from the comfortable thing to the unknown. If God’s grace is with you, you can find joy in a jail cell, a bad job…whatever. The cool thing is that when you thrive in a place where the enemy thought you’d be miserable, it confounds him. We were born to confound the enemy.
But you guys have taken that place and made it SOOO efficient and utterly cool. What an exciting thing!
BTW, thank you for your hospitality last month. Give the kids my best and Trusty a few pets.
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You have such a wonderful attitude about living in such a small space with so many people! Blue Apron sounds so delicious and healthy. I also like that it takes up so little space. I may have to give them a try!
Thanks for joining #WanderingWednesday #linkup with Confessions of Parenting! 😊
Simplicity is a great lesson you are learning while on the water! I love how you keep a positive attitude and face each new challenge with grace.
Thanks for being a part of #WanderingWednesday!
Oh how I love listening to your story, as it so closely mirrors my own right now! I have that same fridge, except black!!! Camper living is so much like what you are doing. We live 20 min. away from anything (I think there is a Dollar Store closer, but…). I used to have a HUGE kitchen! I do miss the space while cooking. I am a cook from scratch kind of girl and have had to give some of that up for space and convenience sake. We also homeschool, though only our youngest.
Your outlook on it all is so beautiful!! Thank you so much for sharing and for linking up with us at #LiveLifeWell!! Hope to see you next week!
What an amazing family adventure! I can remember my grandmother making many a meal in her tiny kitchen of her camper each summer as we vacationed and I was always amazed at how much she could dram into such tiny spaces.
We are remodeling a 1973 cruise a home 31 ft and would love some advice and tips
Congratulations!!! Where are you guys located? We would love to answer any questions you might have!
Where did you guys use to haul out the boat and repair it?! I just bought a cruise a home in ballard and can’t wait to remodel it!
Hello Holly. We towed our cruise a home up to Everett. That is where we hauled it out and did all the repairs and building.
Congratulations on your own cruise a home purchase!! Did you get a 40 foot or 31 foot? Are you going to be able to keep it in Seattle or will you be mooring it somewhere else?