So far during our life in the van I have been leaving the cooking to my culinary King of a husband. He blossoms when we cooks and has jumped straight into the ‘open fire’ cooking method. He whips up piping hot caveman miracles using only meat and fire! So I have been happy to let him take the reigns and hungrily await my dinner. So far he’s grilled, roasted and basted a variety of scrummy meat and veggie samples.
However today it was my turn! While purchasing a gift for my Cooking King (Food from the Fire by Niklas Ekstedt, to help encourage prolonged fire feasts), I got myself James Wong’s ‘How to eat Better’. It’s a healthy eating cook book that teaches the best way to store and prepare your food for maximum health benefits (five stars). Blasted by inspiration I pro-claim to by Husband – “I’m cooking tonight”! His Highness passes the Royal Spatula Baton on to me. I take on the ‘All in one pot Mac and Cheese’. It’s a healthy take on a comforting favourite, replacing a lot of pasta with vegetables. One pot recipes are a fantastic idea for van life. Minimal clear up and minimal cooking space required. Yes, the cooking pot only took up one hob and yes, I can wack it all in the same pot. However there is still one hurdle. Preparation space.
There are minimal surfaces in the caravan and most are being used. So with time and patience I manoeuvred and found space for food preparation all over the van! I got into the pattern of clearing items once they’d been used and very calmly cutting the vegetables. It felt like a little reward every time I was able to remove an item from my minute preparation surface. I realised a secret of van life is not designating any specific space (apart from the loo!). I had to be ok with the garlic box on the sofa, asparagus in the sink and the recipe book slowly making its way all over the van! I’ve always liked things have their place especially when cooking. During general van life I think that it is important to be organised otherwise there would be chaos. However when it comes to van-cooking, in order to keep your cool and keep all your fingers you must spread out like smooth peanut butter. Remember; everything can be cleaned. Put dripping items straight in the sink if nesessary. The main thing is to remain calm and allow chaos to take over but staying chilled amongst it.
Needless to say the meal was delicious and full of love. The kitchen is still intact as well as all my fingers. Thankfully I will continue to cook in the van!