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Three Kitchen Appliances Worth The Storage Space

As Published In WBCCI Blue Beret Magazine
Three Kitchen Appliances Worth The Storage Space

It always cracks me up — the way non-RVers view life on the road. They really don’t understand that a travel trailer is a fully functional home, with a fully functional kitchen, that can cook fully functional meals. I’ve actually had people ask me if I live off of ramen noodles and canned soup!

The Only Difference

Yes, I own a “real” stove and a working refrigerator — I eat exactly the same in my Airstream as I did in my house. I broil salmon and stir-fry veggies. I bake lasagna and roast potatoes. I churn ice cream in the summer and whip up big pots of soup in the winter. I juice and dehydrate and freeze leftovers — just like NORMAL people.

The one thing I don’t do is own 187 different appliances like many folks living in houses — I’ve learned to be happy with fewer pieces of equipment, ‘cuz I just don’t have the room for bread machines and quesadilla makers and coffee bean grinders. That having been said, I’ve discovered that I can accomplish 90% of my kitchen goals with just three important tools — tools that have become instrumental in helping me eat well on the road with less mess and effort.

Mutilating Veggies

First, let’s talk food processors. I brought a smallish cuisinart with me when I hit the road, not entirely sure it wouldn’t end up in the “donate” bin. Well I love it! This might seem like an extravagance in such a small space, but that darn thing’s worth every square inch it takes up. Each week when I load up on veggies at the grocery store or farmers market, I take half an hour to chop-dice-slice-shred everything up (according to the applicable recipe), and store it in containers in the fridge.

Getting dinner ready rarely takes more than 15 minutes, since my cuisinart cuts (pun entirely intended) food prep in half. The “slicer” blade is much faster (and less likely to injure me) than my kitchen knife — the “shredder” blade juliennes veggies for stir-fry or slaw (without grating my knuckles into the dish I’m preparing). I make less mess than I would chopping by hand, and clean-up is super-quick. Plus my little cui-cui takes up very little room once disassembled, and I can store it in that “what-the-heck-do-I-keep-in-here” cabinet under the fridge. A valuable addition to any mobile kitchen.

Let The Pot Do The Cooking

Next comes the crockpot. Whenever I used to think “slow cooker,” I pictured this huge six-quart monstrosity my mother always pulled out for family gatherings — it could hold enough stew to feed every starving person in Ethiopia. No way did I need anything that size in a house, even more inappropriate in a less-than-200-square foot trailer!

I also associated crock-pots with overcooked meat-oriented dishes that I just don’t eat, so I blew off the idea of slow cooking while in transit. Then I found some great veggie-fishy-grainy crockpot recipes, and realized how handy this little gadget would be in an on-the-road lifestyle. A one-dish meal means faster clean-up, it runs off of a single plug (so I don’t burn up my LP gas as fast), and these kinds of self-regulating meals don’t require extensive “babysitting” (browning, whipping, folding, covering with foil, basting, etc.) – which frees me up to do anything other than cook. Fabulous!

When All Else Fails, Nuke It

And of course, you can’t live in an RV without a microwave! (Well you can, but life’s a lot harder.) One issue I’d never considered (until I hit the road) is how much heat a traditional oven can generate. Of course in a house, you have more space and the heat dissipates pretty quickly — not so in a 29-foot long trailer. That sucker heats up by 15 or 20 degrees every time the oven is on. This isn’t a problem in the winter (in fact firing up the stove every night keeps me nice and cozy) — but in the summer when the temperature is already 80 or 90 (or a record-breaking 116 one summer in California) degrees outside, dinner time shoves me right over the edge from “warm” to “sweltering.” Not enjoyable!

I hadn’t owned a microwave since college — the ancient dinosaur that lived in my dorm room self-destructed one week after I moved into my first “grown-up” apartment. It didn’t seem worth replacing (especially when I only ever used it for heating up leftovers, which I could easily do in the oven). But the trailer came with a com-pact microwave installed, and I’ve been quite thankful for that convenience in the warmer months. I’d hesitate to cook real food in the summer (probably living off of cold cereal and popsicles), if it weren’t for the microwave. But nuking some veggies and fish instead of turning the house into a sauna suits me just fine. Incidental radiation be damned!

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Copyright 2001

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Ramona Creel is an award-winning 15-year veteran organizer and member of the National Association Of Professional Organizers. As well as having birthed “The A-To-Z Of Getting Organized,” Ramona is also the author of “The Professional Organizer’s Bible: A Slightly Irreverent And Completely Unorthodox Guide For Turning Clutter Into A Career”—and the creator of more than 200 “quick-start” business tools and templates for use by productivity professionals. She writes seven different blogs, has worked with hundreds of clients, and has delivered scores of presentations on getting organized. Ramona resides on the roads of America as a full-time RVer—living and working in a 29-foot Airstream. Learn more at and

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