The 'Why?'

To find out what this journey is about, start with the beginning, the 'Intro' post.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Wannabe Bitchin' Kitchen

Although I haven't gotten all of this into the van yet, here is how I hope to outfit the kitchen.

I did find a really well made desk the other day, bought it for $60.  It's still inside my little car until I get the van back home.  No sense moving it more than necessary.  It has 3 drawers on one side and one short wide drawer where like pens would go.  Very well made, has some brand name burned into the sides of each drawer, attesting to it's awesomeness.  What's cool is they made the top of it with wood strips.  Laid out like you would lay a wood floor.  And it's real wood, not cheap particle board.  The top is almost butcher block and actually I can cut on it.  The only iffy part about the desk is.. well..   they covered the front of the drawers with cowhide.  Tacked it on.  Not glued, thank goodness.  But real cowhide, hair and all.  Hmm..   yeah...   those tacks might come off and some cowhide might go missing to be replaced with whatever motif finally reveals itself for the inside of the van.

So, I have a sturdy desk that I will be able to use as a kitchen area.  The drawers will hold the cooking stuff, to be put away and only brought out as needed, so as to free up the desk area for other uses.

Cooking wise, I bought this Coleman butane single burner stove as a means to cook food. 

It uses single bottles of butane, which sits inside there on the right.  Easy peasy to use, built in ignition switch, I have extra butane bottles for when needed, and can find more at most Walmarts.  I like how when putting it up into it's carrying case it automatically releases the lever that engages the butane, so when it's stored, the butane isn't engaged, less chance of it leaking out.

For pots and pans I had to think small.  When you only have about 56 square feet of living space, you can't carry a whole kitchen with you, so you have to think creative.  Since most of the trip I'll be going solo, I can feed myself pretty easy with a pot and a one burner stove.  I wound up getting a nesting set that has small fry pan, a pot, and two different sized pans, that all nest within itself to save space.  This is what I'll be cooking with:

I have a few cooking utensils such as a spatula, spoon, slotted spoon, ladle, couple knifes, peeler, can opener, cutting board..   pretty basic stuff, not too much.  I have only a set of four each of forks, spoons, and butter knifes bought from a dollar store.  A few plastic plates and bowls, but mostly will be using paper plates for easy cleanup. 

Cleanup, since I have no sink, will be a couple plastic bins that I will keep stored away, only brought out when needed.  I have some spray bottles that will be filled with a soap and bit of alcohol solution for washing (just squirt on dishes), and bottle with water for rinsing.  I could do the whole heat up water on the stove route, fill up the basins, submerge said dishes into very hot soapy water to kill germs..  blah blah blah...   that is what the bit of alcohol in the dish soap solution will accomplish.  Heck, they used to wash dishes in a cold stream in the river way back when, I think I will live without scalding hot dish water.  Just wipe out dish of everything with paper towel, squirt with soap solution, wash it, then squirt with water solution to rinse it.  Done.  Toss water outside or into a gray water holder until I can dump it.

Food storage shouldn't be too bad since I have a lot of plastic bins that are going to go in.  I know I won't be able to stock up a lot of things due to space.  But that is okay, as the more stuff you put in the van, the heavier it gets, which reduces your miles per gallon anyways.  Just means I'll have to shop more often.  Since my main places I aim to sleep at will be Walmart parking lots, won't be much trouble to run in for food before hitting the road.

I won't have a fridge, just a small cooler, so I want to try to keep the perishables down.  And yes, I am one of those weird individuals who doesn't have to have a cold drink at all times.  I mostly just drink water, and it doesn't have to be ice cold, actually don't like water that cold.  The cooler will be mainly for perishables like lunch meat and the like.

Speaking of food, still working on a workable menu for road tripping.  So far this is what I've been planning on:

Cereal (I'm weird, I eat it dry)
Oatmeal (if I feel like cleaning up after)
Egg n sausage burrito (I have some dehydrated I want to try, again, only if I want to clean up after)

Tuna mix on crackers
Beef jerky
Trail mix
Soup (if I wanna clean after)

Dinners:  (this is the hard one for me)
Soups or anything from a can
Dehydrated foods
Pasta dishes
Stir Fried veggies
Rice dishes

I'm still working on the menu, just going to go with this for now and play it by ear.

Well there you have it, my Wannabe Bitchin' Kitchen.  Bitchin' because by day it will look like an ordinary desk.  By night the cape comes out and it transforms into Kitchen Batman!  haha

While not in kitchen mode, though, the desk will serve double duty as what it was made for, a desk.  I'll be able to use it for my laptop or writing or whatever.  Will have to wait to see about the seating for it.  Never know, I may use the potty with it's glued round cushion on its top cover as it's seat, haha!  Just push it under the desk when not needed.  Hey.. that might just work...

(goes to measure...     Hassock portable potty just under 15" diameter..  opening of desk 21"..  ummm  yeah!)  I can use it as a desk chair, and free up space on the other side of the van.  Now to refigure a shower set up, hmm..

#VanConversion  #Camping

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