In 2009, when I was living in San Francisco, I felt as though I was stuck in corporate housing. The newly built apartment lacked character and a sense of home. I tried to make the environment less sterile by putting up artwork, photos, and buying furniture. But nothing helped.
A friend of mine suggested I cook… because the scent of cooking makes a place feel like home. As much as I wanted to be, I wasn’t much of a cook. I felt intimidated by the stove and the miscellaneous spices. I was also afraid of messing up a dish because I didn’t have every single ingredient listed in the recipe.
February 2014 was a month of many firsts. It was the first time I went on an extended road trip. It was the first time Butters and I were accompanied by Jay and Rosie while we were on the road. It was also the first time I spent nights cooking in the Airstream. It just so happens that of all the kitchens, the compact galley of the trailer was where I learned how to cook vegan meals.
The dishes started with the basic ingredients: olive oil, celery, carrots, and onions. From there, I added some marinated tofu, black beans, seasoning, fresh tomatoes, spicy sauce, or sometimes Korean kimchi. Cooking while traveling on the road is easier than you’d think. Having just the items you need and not getting distracted by a pantry full of ingredients helps to keep things simple but still tasty.
When I was on the road for a month, I was free. No responsibilities, no set schedule, only a vague sense of where I wanted to go. This sense of wanderlust fueled my cooking. I kept things uncomplicated. I experimented. If it didn’t taste exactly the way I had planned, it was completely acceptable.
Maybe I should live life the way I cook: have the ingredients, make a plan, and be willing to improvise.
Some essentials in the Airstream kitchen: tomatoes, onions, potatoes, Daiya cheese. Niland, CA. February 6, 2014.
Corn risotto. South Rim, Grand Canyon, February 13, 2014.
Vegan marshmallows, vegan chocolate, and Graham Crackers. Albuquerque, NM, February 16, 2014.
Nachos with Daiya Cheese. Albuquerque, NM, February 17, 2014
Korean tacos with vegan Kimchi. Santa Fe, NM, February 20, 2014.
Categories: Airstream Bambi Trips