Panic Cooking


I just roasted a duck.

This would not be extraordinary except for the complicating fact that I was also packing boxes for our move. WHO ROASTS A DUCK IN THE MIDDLE OF PACKING?!

Other people eat sandwiches and snarf pizza and drink beer while moving, but we not us. Nope! We’re eating roast duck and lamb shanks and short ribs and steaks. Because I’m cleaning out the freezer. And packing. And panicking. Because tomorrow, the professional movers are coming, and my kitchen, as I know it, will cease to exist.

I spent a few hours with the stove, oven, and slow cooker running simultaneously, cranking out grub so that we’ll have food to eat — with paper plates and plastic utensils — while we endure enjoy what Dave has dubbed “Home Camping.” We aren’t able to fly to Vermont until Sunday, so we’ll be in our house, “camping” for three nights with our bed, the fridge stocked with pre-cooked food, a few kitchen essentials, and our laptops and Kindles. When I type it, it doesn’t seem that bad but the thought of my spices and food processor and serving plates and giant salad bowl and microwave being gone sent me into a little bit of a tizzy. Hence the panic cooking.

In case you’re curious, this is the complete list of what I made:

Plus, I’ve also got emergency Primal Pacs and YAWP! Bars, along with carrots, cucumbers, two heads of butter lettuce, and a batch of homemade mayo.

I’ve got a back-up stick blender (doesn’t everyone?!) so I’m taking it in my suitcase to help us with Home Camping in Vermont; our stuff doesn’t arrive until at least July 12! To keep my kitchen running between now and Sunday, I’m also keeping a wooden spoon, one of my good knives, a 1/2 tablespoon measuring spoon, and two 2 crappy non-stick skillets that were headed for the junk heap until I salvaged them to help us through Home Camping. Everything else will be packed tomorrow and loaded into a truck.

I just got a little lump in my throat when I realized the kitchen where Well Fed and Well Fed 2 were created is no more. But I’m also excited about new cooking adventures in Vermont. After all, we are working on the next installment of Well Fed!


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  • Laura says:

    Amazing that you are cooking all that food while doing your last bit of packing! I would so have caved to the pizza and beer by this point! 🙂

    Hope the move goes well. Looking forward to hearing about your Vermont cooking adventures and Well Fed 3!

  • Sarah says:

    We are in the same boat! I’m digging the term “Home Camping”. 🙂 We don’t officially move until Tuesday, but the gas company could only get here today to shut off our propane…so no stove. Plus, we’re pushing 90 degrees with no AC. And we sold our gas grill. And yet, thanks to the big egg-shaped barbeque on our deck, we’ve been Well Fed all week. Eating straight from the cookbooks and never once feeling deprived. (We are also in freezer cleaning mode.) Good luck on your move!

  • Janine says:

    Love love love the casual mention of another Well Fed! I’m now fully invested in you having a speedy move!

  • Kiersten says:

    We “home camp” anytime my husband gets stationed somewhere else so I know what you’re going through. Sounds like you are way more prepared than I have ever been! I’ve learned it’s all about perspective. It can either be scary and stressful or it can be a fun adventure!

  • Jennifer S. says:

    I can’t wait to well fed 3 or well fed, again.. or whatever you title it! 🙂

  • Bon says:

    Good luck with the move! Your continuing adherence to clean, healthy foods while in the middle of packing/moving hel….er, um. Heck. Moving HECK, 😉
    At any rate, I am doubly impressed and inspired.

  • Mel says:

    CONGRATS! The transition is always annoying, but the food part sounds delicious!

  • Annie says:

    Best of luck to you on a new chapter in your life! I say bravo!

    A got a duck at the local farmers market a few weeks ago because it was on sale and I’ve been wavering on what to do with it as I have NEVER attempted such a feat. But now you’ve inspired me, once again! THANKS! 🙂

  • Jessica H. says:

    We had to do something similar when we moved, although all of our stuff was in boxes packed around us. We slept on sleeping bags on our floor, the movers came the next day and we had to the same thing at our new house until I got the kitchen all unpacked, lol. It was a wild week to say the least! I should have thought to cook ahead like you, but I only had about 3 days worth of food in the fridge!

  • vaskeklut says:

    Weeell. Roasting and slow cooking is genious when moving because it cooks it self and one can do other things like packing while the food cooks. I think you are a lot smarter than the sandwich people ^ ^

  • Chia says:

    Vermont + you = Well Fed 3… Wicked awesome. Can’t wait! Welcome to the East coast! 🙂

  • Roni says:

    I think I just decided that what I’m doing is not “hard”. 😉 It sounds like an exciting time in your life and what an inspiration you are! Did you talk about the move in another post? I think I’ll go wandering your archives this morning. Thank you doubly much for responding so kindly to me yesterday, especially in light of all you are in the midst of! Day 11.. going strong!:) Happy moving!

    • You must be almost halfway through your 30 days now, right?! Hope you’re starting to feel the magic.

      We ate dinner in our new kitchen for the first time tonight. It was really fun and I’m SO looking forward to all of our boxes being unpacked.

      • Roni says:

        I am, yes!:) Just finished day 13. I admit to rolling my eyes on day 0, thinking, yeah right.. whatever. Fun? I don’t think so. You’re taking my creamy Fage yogurt drizzled with honey for breakfast, my gooey cheese at dinner, my desserts and my wine (eek!) for a whole month.. that is NOT fun. (I know, bad attitude!) I ordered your first book, desperate for help and the first recipe we tried was for the best ever stir fry sauce. Heaven in my mouth! Then I came over here and visited your blog. I love your down to earth style and how encouraging you are to others who are giving this a go. It’s not only doable with your help, it really is actually fun being in the kitchen again. I remember reading that as a blogger, you need to offer something of value to your readers in order to really grow your blog. You’re such a great example of how that actually works. Because of you, I am actually considering making this a Whole 60 instead of a Whole 30. That’s HUGE! 🙂

        I hope you’ll share some of your new adventures in Vermont with us! I’d love to get up there this fall some time. Enjoy all these new moments, Mel. It really seems like you’ve earned them!

  • Lauren says:

    I’m so excited that there will be another installment of Well Fed! I don’t think I’ve ever delved into a cookbook as deeply as I have WF and WFII! I just thought it couldn’t hurt to throw out this request – I often cook using the WF PDF on my ipad (and my ipad stuck to the fridge using the smart cover) and am often making a couple WF dishes at a time (usually making a recommended side dish). Therefore it would be so awesome if the electronic version of WFIII (or whatever it is) could have active links so that I could browse the recipes in the TOC, click/touch them to go to their page, the same going for mentions of other recipes throughout. I’m sure that’s a lot easier said than done, of course. Thanks for considering!