Holiday Meals in the RV

We’ve experienced many changes from living in a house to living in an RV, but nothing tests one’s metal like preparing a holiday meal.

The first issue is scale. Our mini-kitchen has a mini stove, mini oven, and mini convection/microwave. We have next to nothing prep, stovetop, and cooking space. Worse, we discovered that our oven doesn’t maintain a consistent temperature. Hello. So, in addition to getting creative and organized about space, we had to think differently about cooking, baking, and roasting.

The next issue is scale. We used to hand raise our holiday turkey. We bought our chicks in the spring, raised them through the summer, and harvested them in November.

Isaiah feeds the new chicks.

They ran all over the ranch and got fat on bugs- especially grasshoppers.
Holy Cow Turkeys

Inevitably, we grew some very big birds. They ranged from 35-55 pounds. Our record turkey was 64 pounds-dressed! We had to use a commercial oven to roast it.

Turkey

This year, we bought a 10-lb turkey. Ivan cut it up into pieces, seared the meat, crammed it into a pressure cooker with an onion, tossed in some seasoning, and cooked the whole thing in less than an hour. My eyes twitched the whole time, but it turned out GREAT!

The next issue is scale. The stove top has three burners, but two pots barely fit on it simultaneously (Never three! Forgetaboutit!). I made stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, and caramel sauce in multiple stages (two food items at a time), by sliding pots back and forth over the burners. I used the microwave to make green beans.

We broke all the rules… we even used ready-made pie crusts and disposable pie pans.

The next issue is scale. Limited refrigerator space precluded us from making food ahead of time.

Our meal turned out great… but we had to be strategic to overcome limited counter, cooking, and storage space.

Bigger on the inside, our very own TARDIS!

Groovy RV123

Here’s our kitchen, living room, dining room, library, office, family room, storage room, guest room, pantry, and foyer! 1. Watch for how we repurpose this picture frame! 2. We love this chicken wire basket- sure miss our yard birds. 3. Amos’ man-cave! Despite his new deluxe bedding, Amos would rather sleep in mud outside the sheep pasture. (insert dog frown here)

Cowboy Boots As Treasure

Downsizing should be easy, right? We’re only taking our clothes, toothbrushes, and laptops. Wrong. The sort piles are maddening. Here they are:

1. To the Dump. Easy. This stuff goes in the back of my truck. Broken, beyond reuse, I’m still shocked at the size of our dump footprint;

2. Give Away. Clothes, tables, chairs, toys, books, old videos, extra pots, pans, etc. As rewarding as it is to give things to others, staging has been a nightmare. Delivering even worse. But we’re determined to make work.

3. Goes to Seattle. The smallest pile. Minimalist living applies. Ivan is the only one who naturally fits this category. The rest of us are sentimental sillies; we can (and do) justify saving something as dumb as a candy wrapper if it reminds us of something, or some one, or somewhere that we don’t want to forget (I ate this candy in Wrigley Field when the Cubs lost again, and before they added lights!). CRUNCH TIME: We each get to take a medium sized Uhaul box. How to decide what goes to the 5th wheel? Here’s the make or break question: Will you use this more than three times everyday? If not, return item to pile 1, 2, or 4.

4. Storage. What would you store if you thought it might not see the light of day for a long time? (No dead candy wrappers allowed) Isaiah’s beloved boots come to mind. We’ve saved every pair he’s ever worn.

Well now. Can you feel the freedom coming on?

Last Days on the Ranch