I love to cook – at least most of the time. Invitations to our home generally include dinner, usually fairly gourmet and made from scratch. My cookbook library is large and items for the kitchen are fun to shop for. In my pantry I have more spices waiting for intriguing recipes than some grocery stores.
So with some nervousness I embraced the challenge of gourmet meal preparation as a minimalist vegetarian in our tiny trailer. Currently my kitchen consists of a portable one burner butane stove by Iwatani, a counter height refrigerator, a bar sink with a faucet that is too small, and a tabletop Weber propane grill.
I chose not to have a microwave oven because I rarely use the one at home except for leftovers. Most leftovers can be reheated on a stove; it is just easier in a microwave. I have considered a toaster oven but so far I have been creative with the grill and burner for any toasting, roasting, or baking needs. So the space for a microwave or toaster oven serves as a fresh fruit and vegetable storage area, wine rack, and a convenient place for utensils.
We picked the Iwatani butane gas burner after Denny thoroughly researched portable gas burners. This burner is a beautiful piece of machinery and works perfectly. It is quite a bit more expensive than other burners but worth it. PS: It’s not made in China.
We may get an induction burner in the future because the gas burner adds water vapor to the air, causing condensation on the windows when it is cold or damp. Most sites have electric power for an induction burner and we have to purchase butane cylinders and dispose of them for the Iwatani. In addition, there are times I would like two burners and having gas or electric gives us options dependent on the type of site we have.
We use the Weber grill outside on the picnic table. It works great and is small, but with a decent size cook surface. The heat is variable enough so that we have not burned anything yet.
The refrigerator being small is a challenge for a vegetarian. I use an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables when I cook. To solve this problem I just shop more frequently, like most of the world, and make creative use of any leftovers or the stray carrot.
This week we plan to install a larger faucet so we can wash dishes without splashing all over the countertop.
I snuck one cookbook on board and of course I have the Internet for recipes and inspiration. For those of you that are curious I brought Heidi Swenson’s Super Natural Cooking as my cookbook of choice. Some of her recipes can be found at 101 Cookbooks.