You heard me – they crammed an oven into their smaller-than-comfortable compact car and off they went. Not a gas stove with two rusting plates – an actual oven with baking racks and everything!
A foodie at heart, it was Gina’s idea to travel with a kitchen in tow. At home she makes her own breads and pastas and even runs her own bakery, so it figures that she could whip up wonders on the move. And Stephen was sold when he woke up to freshly made oatmeal cookies.
In order to fit everything in, they divided the car into compartments – kitchen, sleep area, climbing equipment, and whatnot. They even had to leave behind some climbing gear, but it seems it was worth the sacrifice. Gina made cakes, casseroles, meatballs, gnocchi, and pasta – all from scratch. It definitely sounds a lot better than 2-minute noodles and tinned veg curry…
Speaking of tin food, Gina Begin is definitely not a fan:
“I never eat canned food, but we were trying to live frugally. We got to a point where we thought that canned beef might be a “special” thing. So I fried up some tortillas and added some leftover cheese, canned peppers…it smelled really good. But it all tasted like canned tuna.”
So what did they learn?
1. “There are times when a hot meal can dissolve any tensions, can make the world seem better.”
2. “Refrigeration is totally overrated. We kept milk in a little cooler but eggs, cheese, they were fine for days, hard sausage doesn’t need to be cold.”
3. “Water is really precious, especially when you can’t turn on a tap, so we’d clean our bowls with grapefruit or orange peels, because the acid kills bacteria.”
All good points for Team Shake & Bake to keep in mind! Refrigeration might be almost as hard to come by as a hot meal…
Gina’s take away from the whole experience?
“My whole perspective has changed on how minimalist I can live. We met people in Alaska who lived in shacks, but if you look beyond that, if you look at where they live you realize how little you need. As far as each other, just being together 24/7 in a tight place can bring you together or tear you apart. I think Steve stayed with me at times because of cooking, because one time when he was so frustrated at not being able to find a climbing area in New Hampshire we camped and I made homemade pasta and meatballs and it made everything okay.”
As for us, I’m not sure any of us has the cooking ability to make a portable oven worthwhile, but a girl can dream…
You can read the original article here.