Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The joys of RV cooking

At least these pancakes didn't get burned!
Cooking in an RV’s small kitchen is proving to be a challenge. Not only is there inadequate preparation space, storage space for pots, pans and ingredients is limited. No siree, cooking is not a lot of fun these days.

The stove has a cover you can put down and sink covers that are supposed to provide additional counter space, since the counter space is in inches, not feet, like a house’s kitchen. In theory this sounds good, but in reality it’s not. If you’re cooking one dish while preparing another, you can’t have the stove cover down. Not to mention that I hate this stove; it runs on propane, and only one of the three burners has an adjustable temperature. When I have to use more than that one burner, I frequently end up burning a lot of food. (My apartment at China Daily had a gas stove, and I never burned so much food in my life. It probably didn’t help any that the temperature dial notations were in Chinese!)

I suppose I could cook one dish at a time, but that means the first-cooked dishes would be served cold. I suppose I could warm them up in the microwave, but running the microwave at the same time the air conditioner is on trips a breaker in the fuse box and we have a trailer-wide power outage. It’s such a hassle to go back and reset clocks, computers, etc. We have the AC running most of the time because of Yuma’s triple-digit temperatures. (109-degrees in April? You better believe it!)

I also don’t do as much baking as I used to, mainly because you have to get down on your knees, stick your head in the oven, and wave a lighter around to ignite the pilot light. I can usually sweet talk Jon into doing this, but that means I can’t surprise him with treats.

As I was packing up my kitchen in Kennewick, I organized my spices, herbs, flavorings and other ingredients into plastic boxes by the frequency with which I used them. I then placed them in the trailer cupboards in that same order. This turned out to be another thing that sounded good in theory, but in reality doesn’t work out. It is such a hassle to get the boxes out of cupboards I can barely reach unless I stand on a shaky step stool.

Even if the ingredients were more easily reachable, I don’t have the necessary pots and pans for cooking like I used to. At home in Kennewick, I had two woks and six frying pans, each used for a different purpose, and the same amount of sauce pans. Due to limited storage space in the trailer, I was only able to bring three frying pans (two small and one medium-sized) and two sauce pans. It just isn’t enough to do the type of cooking I want to do.

We eat a lot of sandwiches for dinner.


  1. It sounds like you could use the sidewalk to fry your eggs. That'll give you more stovetop space. Tina

  2. ps Sandwiches sound good. You don't really need a hot meal on a scorching hot day/eve. Actually, I would probably have ice cream (soup) for dinner in that kind of heat. (Well, I wouldn't prepare the ice cream to be soup. I just happen to know what ice cream does in the desert in summer.)