In my first couple beers, I had the Mr. Beer keg fermenter which is about 2.5 gallons. I used to boil a gallon or so of water add a half a 3lb can of Liquid malt extract and a half oz of hops. After an hour, I'd add the rest of the can and the hops.
I would cool that in an ice bath and pour in Mr. beer Fermenter and top off with cold water. I got never did boil the cold water.
Thats how I managed small batches with a small boil pot. Of course, I quickly moved up to 5 gallon batches, because it takes the same effort and time, but you make so much more.