Being new-ish RVers (and inexperienced campers), I have learned that preparing meals for a family goes most smoothly when I cook in an uncluttered kitchen. Things start to get a little bumpy when my tiny cooking area is messy, and become downright hilarious/frustrating when I attempt to cook over the campfire.
Cooking Inside The RV: Convenient and Cluttered
Generally speaking, we do most of our cooking inside of the RV or we take our electric skillet outside to cook. I feel most comfortable having all of my supplies at my fingertips. Like a mini-version of my home kitchen, the RV kitchen is fully functional, with a microwave, a three-burner stove and a double sink. There are cabinets, a refrigerator, and a little counter space, although I sure wish there was more.
“There is a place for everything … and everything has a place.”
This saying couldn’t be truer when 4 people and a dog squeeze into a 28 ft metal box. We have to be super-organized while cooking (or doing anything) in our RV or else the clutter seems to multiply all by itself and quickly becomes overwhelming. I try to keep up with the dishes and put them away so I can cover the double sinks, which helps to expand my meager counter space. Some day I will think of a way to expand my counter space, which will be a day of celebration for the entire family. Hooray!
Cooking Outside: Singed Arm Hair and Ash-Flavored Burgers
Cooking outside is a different story. I am not a happy tent camper and I’ve never made a true campfire until we bought Bessie. For me, cooking outside consisted of firing up a gas grill. Therefore, I am awed by people who effortlessly cook their entire meal over a fire. I see them when we camp and study their activities with curiosity/jealousy. They are laughing with their families, enjoying a beer, strolling over to the fire from time-to-time to gently rotate their evenly cooked food. Clean-up is a snap for these brilliant campers. They throw most everything away and VOILA!… Time for smores!
I am slowly learning the art of cooking over a fire, but it’s not something I do all that often. We probably should invest in some special cookware and long utensils to prevent singed arm hair, but I always forget. So I struggle along, crouched over the hot fire like an inept caveman, sweaty and sooty, with a towel tied around my arm and the under-sized utensil. We use lots of aluminum foil in place of pans. I lose at least 2 hotdogs/burgers in the fire (and only serve the ones that I can retrieve without chunks of burned wood embedded in them!). When the meal is over, we transfer all of our dirty dishes, pans, condiments, extra food… back into the RV and do the dishes. Paper plates help with the dishes, but I still have to wash pans and utensils, so what’s a few dishes more? (Whew! I get tired just writing this.)
I’ll get better at the whole campfire cooking thing. Eventually.
Until then, I’d love to hear how you prepare your meals when you are RVing. Do you cook outside? If so, what tools and tips do you use to evenly cook your food and keep your arm hair? If you cook inside of your RV, what have you done to cope with the teeny-tiny counter space?