Cooking in Campervan: the magic of the jar
June 8, 2015
We're planning a van trip. It's logistics. Like a boat trip. You wouldn't go out to sea without supplies, and then it's the same you don't go on the road without supplies! Well, that makes... what are we loading? So we're not on a racing boat, cutting the sleeves of our toothbrushes to lighten up: we have enough to load a lot of heavy stuff! And if we lack space, we drop ballast (clothes, we always have too many clothes): because mess is vital. It's a matter of survival. If, for example, you're hiking in the beautiful but humid Anglo-Saxon countryside, and you can't turn with dignity to a local restaurant (boiled wild boar), then your salvation comes from your on-board kitchen. And if you don't talk about Haute-Cuisine, or Gastronomy, you talk about "good food" all the same! And, boiled but happy, what could be more delightful than hearing a good dish simmering in sauce at aperitif time, while the sun sets behind the mountains (or the sea if you are there; or the horizon if you are on the plain). But how do you do this masterstroke? How can you cook honourably in the few square meters that also serve as your bedroom, dining room, bathroom, living room and car? (You have the answer in the title) Thanks to the culture, the way of life, the philosophy of the jar! This noble, traditional preservation technique is perfectly suited to the way of travelling in a van: you cook fresh seasonal produce at home (and therefore dirty your kitchen, not the van), your dishes worked in quantity offer you notable economies of scale in the time spent on the stove, and your jars keep perfectly out of the fridge, leaving you all the space you need to manage your fresh produce. A few jars of varied and quality recipes on board, accompanied by a small rice, pasta, bulgur, or quinoa dish and you open your 3* itinerant restaurant at the foot of the cliff (or the beach; or the wheat field of your plain). Then you wash your jar, bring it back, and start again.
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