Unfinished Business - Fall/Winter - 2017/8 travel blog




We had a tee time today at a public course that included a prime rib dinner with the golf. In Tucson every day is the same; sunny, cool in the morning and warmest mid afternoon. We never worry about the weather when we make outdoor plans, because it is always nice. But the last few days the local weather forecasters were doing cart wheels, because they finally had something different to talk about. It actually rained a bit today as a cold front came through. Tee time cancelled, but it sounds like by Monday, the weather will be normal and uneventful once again.

So it seemed like a good day to stay inside and tackle our next home improvement project. Even though we are living in a huge motor home that many folks live in full time, cooking is more challenging than it is at home and we are always looking for ways to do things more efficiently and effectively. Even though we have not seen a newer motor home that has a floor plan that appeals as much as what we have, the new ones have modern features that are improvements. Over the years we have replaced the convection oven which never worked properly with one that does and the cheaply made washing machine with a top of the line model made in Europe.

Now it was time to replace the electric stove top. I have always cooked with gas at home and find the electric slow to warm and hard to control once it does get hot. It also consumes a significant amount of the electricity that comes into the rig from the utility post, even more of a problem when we are boondocking or only 30amps are available. The new rigs all come with induction cooktops, which heat quickly, have specific temperature settings, and use far less power. To use induction your cookware must be ferrous and we have gradually accumulated suitable pots and pans and practiced on a portable induction unit. Today was the day to take out the electric cooktop and replace it. Ken worried about getting the old cooktop out, but it was only mounted with double stick tape and popped out readily. I was more worried about the fact that the induction cooktop did not fit properly into the hole the old unit rested in and sawing was involved. Ken measured twice and cut twice, not quite the recommended carpentry procedure, but now the new unit is resting comfortably in the old space. One side still needs to be trimmed with some sort of edging, but that's only a cosmetic concern.

And on Monday Amazon will be sending me an Instantpot, a popular cooking device for the RV crowd and the biggest seller on Amazon last Christmas. This appliance is an electric pressure cooker, crock pot, rice cooker, yoghurt maker, etc. etc, that replace seven kitchen devices. It, too, uses little electricity and makes food quickly. With proper planning you can make an entire meal in the Instantpot, which means fewer dirty dishes to wash, another blessing when we are boondocking and conserving water. You can make spaghetti and meatballs in one pot, starting with uncooked noodles and ending up with a perfect al dente. Ken made a meatloaf and mashed potatoes in the Instantpot when we were still home and has been collecting IP recipes for future feasts. For me it feels like learning how to cook all over again. New tricks for old dogs.

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