I like a lot of things about our travel trailer, but the thing I like the most is my kitchen.
Obviously, it isn’t fancy. It certainly isn’t large. Nonetheless, as a food writer, I cherish having my mobile kitchen with me as we travel the highways, byways, and bumpy roads of the Pacific Northwest. In a way, I think my galley kitchen has definitely paved the way for culinary freedom, creativity, and exploration. When traveling and trying new foods, there is no comparison between staying in a hotel room and eating restaurant meals compared to having your own kitchen and crafting your own creations. Of course, a hotel room and restaurant meals are easier, but they are also more expensive and not necessarily better.
Because I love to try local and regional foods, I’ve found that my kitchen plays a key role in letting me prepare and cook those items that I’ve purchased, caught, plucked, or gathered in our travels. By having a stove, sink, oven, freezer, and fridge always at the ready and often chugging along right behind me (!), I can create and indulge with confidence. I’ve purchased fresh oysters a stone’s throw from the oyster beds at Brady’s oyster farm in Grayland, Washington and prepared them with ease in the kitchen. I’ve made pancakes with huckleberries plucked the day before at Fort Stevens State Park in Oregon. I’ve cooked local wild king salmon caught by my husband and sons in the rough waters off Ucluelet, British Columbia.
When purchasing and discovering these local foods, I also find myself learning about their history and their lore. I talk to the growers and ask questions. I often walk away with a few tips on how to prepare the items at hand. In essence, I always feel like I walk away with a true taste of Americana and a clear path to culinary freedom!
I might consider you a cook traveler with all those tasty experiences and having a creative mind to prepare dishes using locally grown food from where you pass by. What’s the best thing you’ve ever cooked while you travel?
THATZ A 5***** IF I EVER READ ONE!!! AND TO HAVE PATTI ON THE COMMENTS IS ANOTHER 5*****
BETWEEN THE TWO OF YOU I’M AGONNA GAIN ANOTHER 50#… MOST OF THE TIME I AM LIKE YOU
AND GET A BIG KICK OUT OF PATTI’S ARTICLE…
Melissa A. Trainer
Patti, That’s a tough one to answer…I’ll have to think about that. I’ve cooked so many different ways over the year. Before we drove the Al Can from Anchorage to Seattle in August 2006, I made a lot of things and froze them beforehand. That worked great. Pre made spaghetti and meatballs was a huge hit on that trip. I even cooked the spaghetti ahead and just reheated it at the campsite…It can take a long time for a big pot of water to boil on my small stove so precooking spaghetti is great. Caesar salad is always a hit, especially when we are at the Washington Coast in August. I’ll think some more and get back to you, Patti. I love reading your posts…they always make me laugh!!
I think you’re absolutely right about having our own kitchens; the more I think about stories my high school students have told about their antics working at restaurants, the less I want to eat at restaurants. Sigh.
Melissa, if you were to choose your favorite (and easiest) thing to make while camping, what would it be (and how do yu make it) ? I abhor clean-up so please factor that in your response! Never mind…I’ll make the boys clean up. Go for it. Patti
Melissa A. Trainer
Corey, That’s a great point. By buying directly from farmers and small purveyors while camping and traveling with our camper, I am indeed supporting the local economy and hopefully helping to preserve a little local heritage too. Cheers, Melissa.
Great points Melissa. You get to not only experience different flavors and dishes, but also having that camper kitchen is a great way to eat fresh, local food, and support local farmers.