Make plan. Change Plan. Throw Plan in the Garbage.
Cooking in a Tiny Home
So much of camping culture revolves around eating and drinking! When you live in your RV, however, you need to adapt your vacation-mindset to your permanent lifestyle. Man can not live on grilled meat and s'mores alone! (Challenge.....extended.)
My 'sticks and bricks' home had a relatively large kitchen with upgraded spacious storage cabinets and drawers. When it was time to start choosing items to move into the RV, a Sophie's Choice scenario played out with all my favorite kitchen tools, pots, pans, and decorations. (🚨Spoiler alert🚨-- no decorations of any kind from our entire home, especially our kitchen farmhouse signs announcing various ridiculous kitchen-related statements: "Y'all Come Eat," "It's not what's on the table that counts, but who's around the table," "Made with love," etc. My apologies for calling these signs ridiculous if they adorn your walls.) I truly enjoy the process of preparing meals for friends and family, and as the plastic bins bound for Goodwill began to fill up with all my handy kitchen appliances and tools, I began to realize I would need to make some changes to the way I cook.
My former home, which I thought was tiny before I moved into 17 feet!
I said goodbye to my Kitchenaid mixer and all its glorious attachments, my pressure cooker, toaster oven, electric knife, bread-maker, ice-cream-maker, pasta maker, dehydrator, juicer, and other gadgets. My Vitamix blender made the cut into the RV, as did 4 drinking glasses, 2 coffee mugs, 4 plastic plates, a few small mixing bowls, and measuring cups. One big pot, one small pot, one big pan, one small pan. One 8x8 glass baking pan came with me; my oven is so small, there isn't a single other item of my existing bakeware that could have come along. That's all she wrote! I know lots of RVers who swear by multi-use tools, like a toaster oven/air fryer in their kitchen. We'd rather have the counter space and get creative with the cooking.If you are wondering what to bring into your RV kitchen, my advice to you is: Less is more!
When I cook now, I focus on kitchen efficiency in a way I never thought about before. Instead of dirtying five prep bowls to season, marinate, cook and serve a meal, I condense my planning to one dish.... because that's what I have available. When the weather isn't sweltering and a grill is available at our campsite, we'll grill vegetables and veggie burgers and the occasional steak for me. (My partner is a vegetarian, but ironically makes a pretty mean New York Strip.) We do have a camping grill in the back of the truck, but we have never, not even one time, removed it from the bed of the truck, as there are usually grills available to us in most of the parks we use. If you plan on doing more boondock camping (for you newbs, this means camping where there are no electric/water hookups) then bringing along a grill would certainly make more sense.
"What can you cook in there?" I've heard this a few times when people see my tiny trailer. The answer is... everything! If we were taking off for the weekend to travel in the RV, it would be tempting to stock the kitchen with DiGiorno pizzas and PBJs. Come to think of it... that sounds like a glorious vacation. We've been making a really strong effort to eat healthy, and this is our full-time lifestyle, so I try to be conscious of not wasting any of my tiny space with junk (or else we'll eat it!) I often make a salad with a hot protein component. (By often... I mean pretty much every single day.) Fill bowls with veggies, then top with sautéed chicken, taco meat, or whatever is handy. I make lots of soups and chili, cauliflower pizza, (and cauliflower rice, cauliflower buffalo "wings", etc. You'd be shocked what you can make cauliflower taste like!) Stuffed peppers, ratatouille, zucchini noodles with sauce, stir-fry... it all comes out of this tiny kitchen.
Ratatouille and Cauliflower Pizza: small but mighty!
The tools may be fewer, the pots and pans may be smaller... but the secret ingredient is still love. What are your favorite things to cook in your RV kitchen? Do you have any tips or tricks to maximize space and flavor in your kitchen? We'd love to hear them!