As we all know, I really like to travel, and part of that is because I really like to eat and try new things. It doesn’t have to be exotic, and it doesn’t have to be ‘ethnic,’ it can just be things that I am not used to cooking at home. In America, there are so many regional foods that we may not know about them if we don’t live there. I’d never cooked crawfish until we were driving our EarthCruiser through the south. I probably won’t do it again because they were really fiddley, but I’m glad I did. Sometimes it’s just things like different cuts of meat. We were in western Canada in our EarthCruiser, and the supermarket had lamb backstrap and lamb loin, both cuts that are difficult to find in my grocery store. I had to buy them, but unfortunately, US customs had a different idea and took them from me before I had a chance to indulge. Something about a long-running spat with Canada over lamb.
As you can probably imagine, Lance, being Australian, is pretty much a red meat eater by preference, so we do a lot of grilling when we travel—lamb, beef chicken on our Weber Q. Inclement weather doesn’t stop him. Still, sometimes I just like to cook inside. We try really hard to have dual-purpose tools, like the salad spinner that is also a colander and salad bowl. I like my Oster stick blender with a small food processor attachment, and I am a very big fan of my rice cooker. A rice cooker can not only make rice but also steam stuff and can become a one-pot cooking wonder. I’ve made salmon bowls by cooking the rice (with sushi vinegar), and when it was nearly done, I steamed some salmon and veggies on top. We love a curry, so we cheat by using jarred red or green Thai curry paste from the store to liven up some chicken parts. Rice being the best complement to the dish. We also make dishes like chicken thighs with chickpeas and harissa, which can be made on the stovetop. Shelf-stable gnocchi can be made into one-pan dinners really easily with some cherry tomatoes, sausage, spinach, and, of course, cheese. Just because one is technically ‘camping’ doesn’t mean you need to do it tough.
But there are some things that I just will NOT cook in my EarthCruiser. I am probably one of the few people that doesn’t appreciate bacon very much and absolutely detest that lingering greasy smell at home or anywhere. It will not be cooked inside my EarthCruiser, EVER. I also try to stay away from any fish on the stove. I try not to eat cabbage at the best of times, so it too can stay away.
The bottom line is, be as creative on the road as you are at home and never miss an opportunity to try something new.