For those of you closely following our cooking habits via Instagram, you already know that we are eating really well in the Airstream. We definitely seem to have cooking and preparing really solid meals down to a science at this point in our travels--so much so that we are making a goal to cook our way through this month's Cook's Illustrated while on the road. So far for this trip we've prepared--momofuku Ramen (ie Ramen from scratch), brats, multitudes of kale salad, French toast, shrimp tacos, homemade bread, and any numerous creations of eggs, pasta, spaghetti sauce, the list goes on and on.
Lots of people assume that we eat most of our meals out while we're traveling, but that's actually the opposite of true--we eat about 90% of the time in the trailer (or around the campfire) and there is no need for our eating habits to change or suffer just because we're on the road. This kitchen can do anything--really. There really isn't anything that you can't cook in an Airstream without some proper planning and a little bit of flexibility.
Below is a quick little list of the must have items for our trailer--with these key 8 items, you can literally prepare any meal you would want to. I promise.
1) A French Press--Truth be told we don't use our French Press as often as we should (we have a standard coffee machine too), but the FP is a wonderful tool to use to enjoy long mornings at a picnic table with a steaming pot of coffee. The French Press really encourages a leisurely breakfast--a must when on vacation as far as we are concerned.
2) A serape--while not techincally a kitchen item, the various serapes we brought on this trip have been invaluable. From acting as a makeshift beach blanket, to seat covering for the dogs, to a kitchen table cloth, each serape has been really well appreciated. They are large enough to use as a tablecloth, and they are heavy enough to wrap up in after the dinner in front of the fire.
3) Ball jars with lids--These are critical. We use these for everything--drinking wine, drinking coffee, drinking water, storing coffee, storing leftovers, making salad dressing--you name it. The fact that you can put a lid on them and they keep food and such fresh for days is probably the best part of these bad boys. We have 6 that we bought in a pack and we use them every day.
4) Wood spoons--Having 2 wooden spoons is critical. They help toss salad, scrape out pans, and act as serving utensils. They take up a small amount of space and they are well used.
5) Electric tea kettle--This is a must have. We use this at least 3-4 times a day. We use it to warm up water for dishes to soak, or to make tea, or for hot water for ramen. We are constantly putting it away only to take it out again several hours later. Without this, I honestly don't know what we would do for hot water.
6) Le Cruset Dutch Oven--This one should have been #1 on the list. We cook EVERYTHING in this. Potatoes, greens, meat, soup, eggs--anything and everything goes into this dutch oven. Last night I made homemade bread in the oven using this. Yes. For real. We also can throw it on the grate over the campfire too if needed. Bringing this on the trip was one of the best choices we made.
7) Cast iron skillet--Almost as valuable as the dutch oven, the only main difference being that this is a bit smaller and does better in the open fire. It also doesn't have a lid, so it's great for food that needs to be watched closely.
8) Pyrex Nesting Bowls--These are also invaluable. We use them for salads and serving dishes, but they are also very sturdy and we don't worry they will break easily. I feel totally fine leaving these in the fridge while we travel too. The various sizes allows for all sorts of options, including the times we actually eat directly out of them.