Cooking

My caravan cooking has been a steep learning curve. It was a challenge to create delicious food in a small space without creating the condensation which is always a problem, especially when the weather is damp and cold as in a typical English summer. I had expected to do lots of BBQs but the weather quickly put pay to that idea!

My caravan came with 4 gas rings and a gas cooker with a top grill and lower oven plus a microwave. I rapidly realised that I needed an oven thermometer for temperature critical items e.g. cakes as the number on my knob are at 6 o’clock meaning I have to stand on my head and make wild guesses as to the temperature. Because I shall be spending lots of time in my caravan, Kim in the owners’ office at Haven’s Perran Sands Holiday Park, introduced me to the amazing pressure oven by Wolfgang Puck. It is a table top oven which cooks in double quick time under pressure, retaining the moisture in the food with minimal steam. My husband does NOT cook and I left him in charge of a large raw chicken surrounded with raw vegetables in my brand new cooker for one hour with 8 people coming to lunch. I returned to a moist perfectly browned bird, and perfectly roasted vegs. Phew, the system works to perfection! My other outlay was a more modest slow cooker which cooks without steam. This is the opposite as far as time is concerned but I found that doing a stew I had enough left over next day for soup, two meals in one. Meals prepared first thing were ready when we got home. Fast food is great but what a treat to get a slow cooked meal full of flavour and no pans to wash up!

Deprived of instant internet access and my cookery books I started writing Caravan Cookery in my “Work it out in a week” series on Amazon. This will be completed shortly.

Also deprived of my kitchen gadgets I simply had to make do. No food processor or liquidizer so soups were fine with vegetable chunks in them. I purchased a cheap electric hand whisk for cakes and found that baking potatoes on metal tent pegs cooked them fast. I hand-grated and purchased a hand julienne-maker by accident with my potato peeler!

Non-cooked cakes with a digestive biscuit base set in the fridge are favourite. If I bake I make cupcakes which cook quickly especially with Mr Puck’s oven.

For entertaining, bread canapes, filled with cream cheese and topped with anchovy, red pepper, pepperoni, grapes etc are impressive and fast. Take a sliced loaf, remove crusts, roll out thinly (with a bottle of wine) and using a tumbler cut into circles placing each in a greased bun tin. Brush with melted butter and put in a hot oven for 10 minutes or until browned. Allow to cool and fill. Pour the prosecco and start your caravan party!