<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> Tips for RV Cooking
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Topic: On-the-Road Food with the Opinionated Cook

Presenter: Joan Taylor

This class included not only tips for on the road cooking, but also for RV cleaning and storage. Among the many helpful web sites Joan mentioned were sites to assist in making up a kitchen supply list, sites to show where to find farmer’s markets in both US and Canada, and sites with meal ideas and recipes.

Some of Joan’s tips: When shopping, be careful buying canned goods, they can be heavier than you think, and you don’t really need to “load up”, as they are easily replaced along the way. Organize supplies and equipment by frequency of use; the ones you use daily should be easily accessible.

Use disposable cutting sheets in preparing poultry or meats. Use them once, and then toss them. Non-stick skillets are the choice of many RVers, both because it uses less oil and because it’s easy to clean. “Simple Green: or baking soda will clean just about anything in the RV – Joan cautioned against using “toxic” cleaners.

In packing and storage, store the most frequently used everyday food items on the lower shelves of cupboards, with heavier items on the floor level cupboards. Wire bins are good for inside or outside storage. Line a bin with paper towels to absorb moisture, and use it to store vegetables.

Store eggs in their carton, it keeps them from absorbing the odors from other foods. Also, store them large end up; this keeps the egg’s air pocket, a good growing area from bacteria, away from the perishable yolk.

You can store low-starch potatoes, the thin red and white variety, in the refrigerator, but not the bakers. The cold turns the potatoes’ starch to sugar. The reds and whites are also better for use in salads.

Cook ahead. Prepare enough of an item or dish for use a second night. You can often prepare and/or cook foods, (casseroles, etc.) at home, saving time on the road.

When shopping, avoid impulse buying. Don’t shop when you’re hungry. Bag salad can be a good option if the store’s produce section is poor.

Joan’s “Food Stuff” tips: when a baking recipe calls for adding dry ingredients to wet ones, mix all the dry ingredients together on a sheet of wax paper before adding them to the wet – saves dirtying a bowl.

Peel bell peppers to reduce their “gassy” qualities. Wear gloves when peeling and seeding chilies. Remember, the smaller the chile, the hotter it is.

Wash berries of all types just before using, they mold if washed before storing. She recommended washing all fruits and vegetables to remove any pesticide residues, dirt, etc. Even melon rinds should be washed, since cutting can transfer outside bacteria into the fruit.

For meats: The thicker the meat, the lower the temperature should be for sautéing/browning/frying. Start bacon and link sausage in a cold pan, bacon shrinks less, and sausages stay plumper and moister. If you don’t have an empty can, make a fat discard container by pushing a piece of foil into a paper cup to line it. Pour the fat into the cup and fold the foil carefully over the to discard.

Foods served room temperature or cold require more seasoning than foods served hot.

Joan listed several recipe sites and RV cookbooks, stressing they only constituted a small part of what can be found on the Web. She also recommended the “America’s Best RV Cookbook” by Joyce Ryan, as well organized, incisive and with many good recipes.

She included a few of her favorite recipes in her class outline, items ranging from “School Days” sandwich spread (a delicious variation on a tuna sandwich), icebox cookies and several interesting sounding sauces. Each sounded more delectable than the last, and I’m sure her class will have a great time, as we RV down the road, learning from her many tips and trying out her recipes.