One of the things that attracted us to this tiny house experiment was that it was back home, back where we grew up and where we still have lots of friends. But as that old cliché goes, “Time flies when you are having fun.” And it sure did. It took us nearly four weeks to set a date to have Ken and Ruth in for dinner.
A little backstory here, our relationship as couples started during Jim’s senior year of high school, well, at the end of his senior year, a very long time ago. His senior prom to be exact. The four of us shared a table and the evening and a lifelong relationship was born. Ken and Jim would later go to Bible college and be classmates, and over the years of their pastorates and ministry life, we would spend many hours together.
And here we were again! The weather had been glorious and I anticipated a comfy evening at the picnic table, and later maybe roasting marshmallows under the stars. We roasted, well, Jim roasted for me, a lot of marshmallows over that last few weeks.
But if you remember how last week ended. The temps dropped, and rain threatened, and an outside picnic was definitely not going to happen. So, the test had arrived, how could we entertain another couple inside for dinner?
First off, I simplified the menu and called in my crockpot to save the day. Ham slices went in first, then cabbage cut into eighths, baby yellow potatoes and chunks of carrots with plenty of water to about cover the veggies. Meanwhile I made a salad of cut grapes, cubed apples and sliced celery dressed with light mayonnaise, almost like dessert.
But I did have a real dessert baked in the toaster oven, and I think you will love this versatile recipe whether you live in a tiny house or not. You need 1 cake mix (chocolate for this one), 1 can of pie filling (cherry, but you could use apple or peach or berry – depending on the cake mix used) and 2 eggs. That’s it. Mix it together and pour into a greased 9×13 pan to bake at 350 til done, about 25 minutes, but check. All ovens are not created equal.
Now, I did not have a 9 x 13 pan in the tiny house, only an 8 inch square pan, so I poured about ¾ of the batter in and baked it. The rest I dropped as cookies on the pan that came in the oven. It made great soft cookies, but that’s for another day or kitchen emergency.
I beat some heavy cream and added a little sugar and vanilla to top the cake…not bad if I do say so myself.
Now about the place to eat: I turned our table/entertainment center/desk 90 degrees and was thrilled to find space to walk around it to fit everyone at the table. Originally, I had hoped to take some photos mid or after the mean, but honestly, we had such a great time reminiscing that I completely forgot to take any photos – so slim pickin’s today.
But the point I did want to make is that though your dinner parties may be smaller in a tiny house in every season except summer and the late spring or early fall, it can be done, and with lots of fun.
PS You can find more about vacationing in one of Crain’s Tiny Homes by checking out