August 19, 2013

Cooking on the road - how to survive without a kitchen

What? There is no kitchen?

Cooking outside - one hotplate was all it took
Food is my passion - sometimes to a level that it's ridiculous; Start me talking about food and I can go on for hours. Travelling the way I do right now, saying goodbye to Europe for a while, the one thing I really miss is a kitchen - to cook relaxes me and makes me happy. I love being inspired by the local food and by people around me. 

Luckily I have met people in every corner of Europe, people who were happy to lend me their kitchens and let me experiment. I have visited the kitchens of professionals - my friend Joy in Warzaw who is a professional pastry chef being one of them (check her equally professional blog here) - and I have been using very limited kitchens and cooked there too, and it is equally fun. The smallest kitchen was probably the kitchen outside, with only a hot plate (and a piece of wood to be used as a carving board) - but the owner of the kitchen had excellent kitchen knives, and I could get great ingredients, and that's all that matters. 

It was easy to cook up a great meal in the kitchen I used to have, a kitchen where I had everything I needed; From excellent knives, blenders, meat thermometer (I cannot live without my thermometer!), pots and pans of any size and type, bowls, plates, everything you can think of for a household kitchen, and an abundance of ingredients - I would never run out of something, I always restocked well before I ran out. Cooking in a kitchen unknown to me is more of a challenge - but it is also much more exciting, as it is very rewarding, not just because I have the opportunity to cook for and share a meal with new people but also because I learn so much both about cooking and about myself when I have to compromise, and learn to invent and experiment, not the least with ingredients. I still only use natural products, but I am becoming a master of inprovisation and experimenting. 

Travelling Europe before heading to Taiwan may have been the best decision I have made in a long time. It has been incredibly rewarding; Not just because of the amazing people I have met along the way - it has been rewarding not the least because  of what I have learnt about myself along the way - I can do anything I have my heart set on doing. 

How have you challenged yourself lately?


A said...

Not having a kitchen has always been a tough part of traveling. That is interesting that you found people to let you borrow their kitchens and experiment!

TravellingAK said...

Yeah, I have been very lucky. The most difficult part is getting people to understand that I do it because I lI've it, it's not a chore. They offer to go out and eat "so I won't have to cook". Takes some convincing from time totime...