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My Kitchen is Smaller than an Eggroll

Note: This is a first. No one has ever guest authored on MyOldRV but I guess there is a first time for everything. I can only guess y’all are getting tired of my anarchistic, NO-RV content ramblings. The ladies ( and you know who you are!) should appreciate this one… Andy

Small RV Kitchen

How to cook a gourmet Asian meal when your kitchen is smaller than an egg roll:

Organization is key; I prep the veggies first. Peel the carrots; put in a medium size bowl. Slice the mushrooms, into the bowl.
Put the rice on to cook with the hood fan running full tilt, one bonus of dealing with the noise of the fan is the wind flow from the window AC unit next to the sink.  The hood fan draws all the moisture and steam right out the back side of the bus, and pulls the cool AC air right where it’s heating up.

While the rice is working I line out my canned goods. Of course, I prefer to use fresh ingredients whenever possible, but being out in the middle of Nowhere, TX is not conducive to fresh shrimp and I just don’t quite trust those beat up old pickups with the weathered cattle racks on the back and a misspelled sign reading “Fresch Shrimp”!

I do get quite a chuckle when grocery shopping in Hearne’s one and only grocery store.  They have the basics if all you like to eat is Salisbury steak and mashed potatoes.  Ah, well…one must be creative. I peruse the produce section in search of Bok Choy (a cabbage relative), No Luck, I search for Bean Sprouts-No Luck, I search next for Snow Peas, No Luck. I am getting desperate, how can I make a stellar Stir-Fry without fresh veggies????

I throw my plastic vegetable bags down in disgust and stomp over to the canned vegetable aisle. 20 dozen types of BEETS!!!!! Who the hell eats canned beets?  I see 5 different ways to cut up a green bean but no baby corn. Now let me back up here and tell you what’s on the menu tonight:
Sirloin Beef & Vegetable Stir Fry & Shrimp Fried Rice.

My one find was a small can way up on high on the top shelf of diced carrots & peas. Into the cart, thank you. I rolled down the next aisle which listed Mexican, Sauces and Salad dressing. My hopes where high that I might find some Asian ingredients.  DRAT, all I could see was 4 shelves of Top Ramen! UGH, not my idea of Asian Fine Dining. There were some cans of water chestnuts and 10 different types of soy sauce-Don’t they all taste the same? I put two cans of sliced water chestnuts in my cart.

My final hope was the frozen vegetable aisle……..
Side Note: When it’s 99 Degrees and 97% Humidity outside I like to open the freezer doors and stick my head in and pretend I’m reading the labels.  Great way to cool off and what can they say? Ha, I went up and down the aisle and finally spotted a small box of frozen snow pea pods. Into the cart. Next-Fresh Shrimp. The store does not have a seafood counter, heck it doesn’t even have a meat counter. I found a few different sizes of frozen shrimp. My choice; tail on, cleaned, not cleaned (Who would want not cleaned frozen shrimp?) Do you know how hard it is to clean frozen shrimp? Not something I endeavor to master.  I found a pound of cleaned, tailless shrimp 41-50ct. for $4.99, into the cart.

I forgot to check for fresh mushrooms in the produce section so I had to go all the way back across the store and see if I could find some that weren’t all slimy. They usually sit on the shelf in this store for god knows how long, but sometimes I can get lucky. SCORE-A just marked down lb. of Baby Bellas. I had to pass the precut lettuce section to get to the mushrooms and I saw precut carrots in a bag. My God!!! $3.99! You must be kidding.  I knew there had to be less expensive carrots around. I next came across “Baby Carrots” (They just cut the big ones down into smaller ones) $2.99-NOT!  Finally, 1 lb of regular ol’ Bug’s Bunny specials .79 cents, into the cart.
I always try to support my local Farmer’s Market, and there is a very very tiny one in Hearne. I drove over to see what local produce they offered and picked up some gorgeous green onions, broccoli, and summer squash.

The rice is done and cooling nicely. The carrots are peeled. The mushrooms are sliced and resting.

Freshly sliced and ready to be added

Time to make the marinade for the beef: It’s a simple recipe that adds great flavor.
2 TBS Salad Oil
1 TBS Each soy sauce, ketchup, dry sherry, cornstarch, hoisin sauce and Sesame Oil.
1 clove minced garlic
1 tsp Worchestshire.
Combine all ingredients and marinate sirloin overnight or 2 hrs minimum.
Heat your wok with 1 TBS oil over med-high heat, then hot add meat strips and stir fry until well browned.(about 4-5 min total). Set aside meat. Add onion,1 can of drained bean sprouts, carrots, broccoli, mushrooms and squash with 1/2 cup water, cook, uncovered, until veggies are tender (about 8 minutes total).  Add beef and sliced water chestnuts back to pan and combine 1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 teaspoon each sugar and vinegar, and 1/2 cup beef broth, add to pan and stir well.
Serve over hot steamed rice.

The hardest part of cooking in a small space is staggering the ingredients. I found that chopping the veggies and putting them into the pot as I go helps alot.  Just start with the ones that take the longest to cook.

Well dinner turned out fabulous and very tasty.


“If you’re gonna shoot…shoot! Don’t talk….” Tuco

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2 comments to My Kitchen is Smaller than an Eggroll

  • Joel

    You should post more often, Kathy.

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  • Libby Wilkinson-Gaffney

    You should post more often Kathy! We have plenty of sympathy and support to offer you! You do have some great tips there! I was especially fond of the one about pretending to read labels!

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