Hotel Camping

One of my modest passions is cooking. Another is self reliance under adverse circumstances. (i.e. “survivalism” or as I like it “urban preparedness advocate” ;-)

So a natural outgrowth of that is what I like to call “Hotel Camping”.
Cooking in a hotel room.

After a while “on the road” you get tired of “restaurant food”. Doesn’t matter how good it is. Sometimes you just want a simple ‘gooey yolk egg’ without needing to talk the server through what it is, then waiting 20 minutes, to get something that isn’t quite right and is a bit cold… and sometimes you just want to put on comfy shorts and not face a room full of strangers just to have a game hen with vegetables. Sometimes it is just a whole lot easier and more comfortable to do for yourself exactly what you want, in the privacy of your own space.

It isn’t as simple as you might think. There is the smoke detector, in my present room located about 9 feet (3 meters) from the most reasonable cooking location. That means most flame based cooking appliances are “right out”, and methods of cooking prone to making smoke are also to be avoided or mitigated. Think frying… and the smoke it can make… Not exactly a secure feeling as you eye the smoke detector. Then there is just no practical way to put a miniature oven into a hotel room. Forget anything like real baking or roasting. (You can make a ‘toaster oven’ work, but the size is just way small).

Then there is just the size and weight of equipment. Dutch ovens and cast iron are pretty much impossible from a practical point of view. Even the typical electric frying pan is huge when packing a small car.

What to do, what to do…

Well, first off, think water based cooking and / or cold “cooking” like making sandwiches and salads.

But a ham sandwich is not exactly satisfying for breakfast…

So here’s an example of “hotel camping”. In this case, the equipment is two particularly specialized bits of kit. I also show an example of ordinary camping equipment. The first thing is a Norelco “Hot Stuff” hot pot. Made in the ’80s or so, and as near as I can tell, no longer available. I love it. It is in my standard “working in the locked back room” bag. So when “sequestered” in some cold computer room with no exit allowed, and more sensors than a fire department, it’s my “go to” kit.

Low power consumption (so no blown fuses from 2000 W ) and strongly water based. You can boil water in it to a full rolling boil. IF you put a thick canned food in it, the temperature rises above 212 F / 100 C and the device senses that and cuts the power back so as to heat slowly and not scorch the bottom of the food. I’ve tested it on canned ravioli (as the hardest case I could think of) and it worked fine. Thick soups, stews, whatever. So you can make a cup of coffee (with the TWO built in cups that slide on each end and lock into the handle) and the included coffee filter (holding two containers for coffee grounds and sugar / creamer in a divided canister). The drip filter can sit on one cup, or straddle both to make two cups of coffee at once. Just well thought out. (It has two drip holes in the bottom of the filter holder).

You can do the same job with a small single burner electric hot plate and a pot to set on it, along with a ‘coffee filter’ and some dishes; but it just doesn’t pack up into anything nearly so compact and well thought out. Yet near as I can tell, there is no modern analog of the “Hot Stuff”; so you need to “roll your own”.

So you can heat thick canned foods, thinner soups and stews, boil water to reconstitute freeze dried camping packets, or cook ramen noodles and more. Make coffee, tea, whatever.

Cuppa Tea and two eggs starting to boil

Cuppa Tea and two eggs starting to boil

Clearly, too, if you can boil eggs, you can then make deviled eggs or egg salad sandwiches… In this case, I’m having morning tea while making breakfast.

Neat, eh?

Now eggs, alone, are OK, but I like mine with a bit of ham. Sandwich ham can do double duty as lunch meat, and as breakfast ham. I leave two slices stuck together as a ‘thick slice’ for breakfast. At a local grocery store I found this miniature electric frying pan for something like $15. It works reasonably well and is small enough to pack easily. It comes with a glass lid that helps to keep “vapors” from getting too close to the smoke detector. Set up on a counter near the bath, and with the bath exhaust fan on, both smells and vapors tend to leave…

Eggs cooling after the boil and Ham frying near the sink

Eggs cooling after the boil and Ham frying near the sink

Note the spoon for scale…

At this time the eggs have 3 1/2 minutes to 4 minutes on them and are getting a short cooling bath (so as to be handled) while the ham gets a quick sear.

Then it goes onto the plate. The presentation is a bit plain. No toast (as other than packing a toaster I’ve not figured a way to do it; and one burned bit of toast could get the whole hotel evacuated… so it’s plain bread or a bit of bagel…) and the lack of ‘egg cups’ means they come out of the shell.

Presentation of Ham and Eggs

Presentation of Ham and Eggs

These were just about the way I like them. Glossy and thick yolks. They could have been about 20 seconds less cooked, I think, but were good all the same. Ham warm and with a bit of brown. Oh, and a side grapefruit:

Simple sugared grapefruit in a bowl

Simple sugared grapefruit in a bowl

Then, to finish, while cleaning up, a bit of coffee. This is THE smallest “coffee kit” I’ve ever found. You could make one from a large nail and #2 Melita filter cones. I’ve also seen very nice hand carved hardwood versions:

Very Small coffee maker and boiling water on Trangia stove

Very Small coffee maker and boiling water on Trangia stove

Here I’m using a Trangia alcohol stove to boil water in a small frying pan. Yes, I could have fried the ham in it as well. The point is to demo / test both options and “compare and contrast”. The alcohol stove does not set off smoke detectors and cooks a bit more nicely than the electric skillet, yet it IS fire and IS indoors… I generally prefer to use electric cooking when Hotel Camping. It is “free” power, you need not worry about finding fuel, it’s very easy, and there is no open flame / fumes. Mostly I’m just demonstrating that you can use an alcohol stove if that’s all you have. The “coffee maker” is that dark brown plastic “stick” poked through holes in the hanging paper bag filter. I generally like a Melita Drip Cone better, but this was smaller and I already had the larger filter from the “Hot Stuff” set, so could not justify packing THREE coffee makers ;-) It also let me “set up” for coffee on the far side of the counter away from the narrow strip near the power outlet.

In general, it’s best to avoid any camping stove indoors, especially those with gasoline, white gas, kerosene, etc. fuels. The fire risk and potential to set off the smoke detector is just too great. Alcohol (and near a source of water like the sink for putting out any unwanted fire) is about as much as you can risk. (Sterno is the standard indoors. Methanol stoves are essentially a Sterno stove using fuel that is not jellied). I have used a propane single burner stove as an experimental test, but only once. At that, I set up inside the separate bathroom with the door 1/2 closed and the fan going. I managed to fry 2 perch I’d caught that way, but it was “risky business”. (I only did it as I felt compelled to eat the two fish I’d caught and not toss them out… and at the time had no hot plate or electric skillet.)

Small electric hot plates ( I have one … a future posting…) and the miniature electric appliances are your best choices.

OK, that’s about it for this posting. You can make acceptable foods, the way you like them, at far lower cost and usually quicker than going to a restaurant. You don’t have to be limited to what can be cooked in a tiny microwave oven, nor to cold sandwiches and salads; nice those they may be from time to time. Things may end up a bit more “plain” if you don’t have room to store a lot of side dishes and garnishes, but still, having as many eggs as you like, or more ham if you feel like it, makes up for a lot. I often use pancakes instead of toast, and that’s a nice combo. Something for next week ;-)

I have also used the small electric skillet as a kind of slow cooker. A Cornish game hen, slightly squashed, fits under the lid. Then it ‘simmer roasts’ on medium for about 1 1/2 hours. Longer if you like. Had that a few nights back. Nice, very nice. A carrot in bits or chunks with it cooks nicely as do baby potatoes. One need not feel cheated when Hotel Camping ;-)

“Your game hen with baby carrots and new potatoes, sir”…

I’ve also used a small slow cooker to do “hotel camping”, but it’s a bit tricky as you need to know when the maid comes ;-) It’s best to use it on weekends when you can start it just after the maid is done.

As you have most likely already guessed, there will be more postings in this series over time. As I find other interesting dishes “that work”, I’ll post them. I’m thinking of trying a ‘small pan lasagna’ just to see if I can do it ;-)

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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36 Responses to Hotel Camping

  1. Ralph B says:

    I know things are a bit different in CA, but now that you are in FL…we call that a fork.

    Yes I too rapidly tire of restaurant eating. Nice trick with the boil pot will have to use that…my wife will throw a couple eggs in the rice cooker while making rice, but they will come out more well done than your taste. Funny story…the first trip my wife made to the US we were at my dads house and she wanted some rice…all he had was Uncle Bens boil in a bag rice, one look and I knew that wasn’t going to fly. Off we went to the store and found a Black and Decker rice cooker (small one box covered with dust as not too many rice eaters in that neck of the woods). Anyway we got some Jasmine rice and she showed my dad how it all works. After we left he kept using it, having rice at least once a week. He loved the egg in the rice trick.

  2. Ralph B says:

    Duh…I just saw the spoon…here I was thinking I was funny…egg on face.

  3. Tim Wainwright says:

    If I had that equipment I could do an OK piece of toast….
    Use the electric frypan, dry, before you do the ham. It would reasonably toast a peice of bread by the looks (as long as you accept the square, packaged and mass produced supermarket “bread” as bread… Or just cut to size the better breads!). Then wrap in foil to retain moisture and warmth, while the ham cooks.

    It would work at a pinch, and I often use a similar method for toasted ham and cheese….. Much nicer than a press type device, especially if you butter the outside of the sandwich before cooking it in the pan!


  4. Tim Wainwright says:

    Or, of course, you could “air toast” the bread on the hot exhaust of the HP Laptop!


  5. Bloke down the pub says:

    I would think that the risks of using an alcohol stove indoors are low compared to the risk of electrocution from using an electric cooker in the bathroom.

  6. Steve C says:

    Hmmm. One or two of those Peltier-Seebeck effect CPU coolers and a bit of simple sheet metalwork, and you could keep a couple of cans of beer cool for later as well, also using the hotel’s electricity …

  7. dellwilson says:

    I’m glad to see the Trangia in service, but I don’t envy your living out of that hotel room. If you were in North Alabama, I’d have to bring you in for a home-cooked meal.

  8. Speed says:

    A Japanese family I once knew (husband, wife and two young girls) used a rice cooker on their long car vacations.

  9. j ferguson says:

    Hi E.M.

    Some years ago we checked into a motel in New Jersey, got the key, went to the room and when we unlocked the door, found an Asian family huddled around an hibachi which was cooking something that smelled wonderful. And no, there wasn’t enough for us. I asked the guy if the motel knew he was there. No.

    So we went back to the desk, told the “host” that we would prefer a room on the west side of the building that we might better enjoy the sunset, got it, and wondered ever after if the motel ever discovered the stowaways.

  10. CodeTech says:

    Years ago there was a book that documented the temperatures in most models of cars at certain places in the engine compartment. For example, there was a “shelf” behind the manifold on a 78 Cordoba that was typically 350F on the highway. If you were going to be driving for a few hours you could buy a roast and some veggies, wrap them in a few layers of foil, and tuck them in there. When you arrived there was a wonderful cooked meal waiting for you under the hood. I always wondered what people would think of you pulling up with the unmistakable smell of a ready-to-eat roast wafting out of the car.

    However, when I was on the road most of the time I learned that fast food places were my friends. And grocery stores with a Deli department. No matter what, I preferred to eat in my room rather than in a restaurant, and I hate feeling obligated to tip someone for simply carrying some stuff out to me and filling my water glass.

    Although, maybe my favorite travel road-fast-food story was when I was in Halifax, Nova Scotia. McDonalds actually sells a McLobster sandwich there!

  11. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M.: One of my modest passions is cooking. Another is self reliance under adverse circumstances. (i.e. “survivalism” or as I like it “urban preparedness advocate”
    Evidently you are a barbarian Celt who wants to be free and not a good and obedient “Gamma” guy in the “Brave New World”, where everybody must live subjected to the “sacred order” of Big Brother.

  12. philjourdan says:

    You are so right about getting things done the way you like them. I love my eggs sunny side up, but no one can make them the right way, so I never order them that way when I am out. But give me 10 minutes at home, and I have the best fried eggs in the world!

    And I like your boiled eggs. You are right, about 20-30 seconds less. leave the yoke still gooey, but not fluid.

    I am just glad I do not have to leave my grill at home. I suck at cooking regular stuff, but I can grill well, and eggs are my specialty. Even my wife, who will not allow me into the kitchen other than to do the dishes, will allow me to cook her eggs for her. A habit I picked up being one of 7, and a mother who did not have the time to cook breakfast for us (and cold cereal gets old fast).

  13. Jerry says:

    ‘Then there is just no practical way to put a miniature oven into a hotel room.’

    How about your ButterFly oven sitting on your small hot plate as a hear source. Just thinking. (yeah, I know – a dangerous activity – not recommended by government.) Probably need to hide it from Maid Ratched. :)

  14. R. de Haan says:

    Why don;t you get yourself a nice camper, fifth wheel or a classic Airstream.
    You have all the comfort of a nice bed, kitchen, living pace, sun screen for outside entertainment and BBQ, laundry machine, in short, everything you need.
    Have seen nice fifth wheels with a sliding unit (for the living room) under 6.000 USD, maybe cheaper. All you need is a nice place, electricity and water, preferable near a nice lake so you can take a swim too. Most of them come with propane for heating and cooking, solar panels, water tank, dirt water tank etc. Travelled through the US with a big camper (Chevrolet MIDAS) and was sorry I didn’t rent one with an onboard garage and a car (LOL) but you can also get one that can be pulled by your Merc:

  15. R. de Haan says:

    I like camping very much and often go into the mountains. Just take a small tent and cooking equipment. Find a nice camping, do the shopping (beer, wine bread, stakes, more stakes and a disposable BBQ you use during the holiday and throw away after you’re finished with it. Only works when the weather is sunny and the nights are not to cold. Two years ago I was tenting in Andorra end of july, beginning of august and woke up with 15 centimeters of snow. No snow tires on the car, no heater, no nothing. No other option but waiting for the roads to be cleared and leave for warmer places. Went to Barcelona after that en spend a week at the beech.
    This is what makes camping attractive. Hate hotels, hate restaurants. Love freedom, picking my own food from the market, not knowing in advance how the day ends. That’s the great part of camping besides the people you meet.

  16. R. de Haan says:

    Just another idea: I know in Florida many foreigners bought homes recently which are rented out…. who knows?

  17. R. de Haan says:

    You look for an real estate broker in Florida advertising they speak German. Germans buy cheap and are eager to rent out because renting homes is standard in Germany. If the broker doesn’t make a good deal with you, you call the owner in Germany. If they like you you make a deal.
    I know Germans who bought in California and didn’t visit their home in 4 years.

  18. R. de Haan says:

    If I talk about negotiating and making deals I mean just that.
    The German family who bought a home at a resort in California (use of swimmingpool and the tennis yard etc.) were glad they found some one who looked after their home and was willing to pay the service costs. Do you understand what I mean? Some private owners are happy to have someone who takes care of the garden, does some maintenance and keeps the thieves away.
    This means you can have a house and live there for free if you play your cards right.
    Florida is the place to be.

  19. j ferguson says:

    Another idea is Friends “borrow/rent” homes in europe for varying periods. also works in US, but you do acquire an obligation to do maintenance and otherwise keep place rightsideup.

  20. Verity Jones says:

    @R. de Haan
    you mean something like a house-sitter (and if not being paid to do it, at least not paying for the accommodation).

    I absolutely love your Norelco “Hot Stuff” gadget. What a neat piece of kit!

    As a student I had a vacation job one summer working on a nature reserve. There was a very large country house adjacent to the reserve that had been converted for the use of scouts and other groups. I negotiated with the owners to stay there for the summer with minimal rent and the main downside was that, when there were no groups staying, I didn’t have access to the kitchen. The nearest village was an easy cycle ride about 2 miles away, but I couldn’t really afford to ‘eat out’ much, even if there had been a choice in the village.

    I had the use of a catering toaster and automatic kettle in the utility room. The biggest problem was lack of a fridge, which necessitated using milk powder, but butter and cheese kept well for a few days in a cool larder. I used to boil eggs in the kettle by holding down the cut-off switch, and life improved a lot when I rigged up a system that allowed me to grill cheese-on-toast, pizza and bacon on the catering toaster by placing foil on the conveyer and preventing it from passing through the grill and out the other side. I brought a small gas camping stove from home and then lived on salads and beans on toast.

    When there were groups staying I sometimes fared very well. One bunch of retirees on a painting course took me under their wing for an entire week and insisted I joined them for a three course dinner with wine each evening. In return I acted as a guide for them for painting locations and it was lovely to have them nearby if I was doing survey work. I also got to try watercolour painting that week and discovered I had a talent for it. I still paint occasionally and would do if I had more time.

    Of course now i would take a Remoska, which I’ve mentioned before. Perhaps a bit bulky for your car, but something we swear by even at home.

  21. Zeke says:

    That reminds me of the artist’s ranch in New Mexico where my mother cooked. She actually did a lot of short orders for the people with “special” diets – vegan, vegetarian but butter and fish allowed, etc. etc.. There was a group of cowboys who brought their horses out to ride in the mountains, and she decided to make quiche one night. The were perfectly polite and seemed to eat it, but later she said she found the quiches stuck in planters around the place. Real men don’t eat quiche (:

  22. dearieme says:

    We take a small electric kettle with us sometimes. I’ve never tried it but I’m sure this would work. Boil the water and set it swirling with a spoon. Break two eggs into the water. Put the lid down and open occasionally to check. When ready use a spoon to lift out the two poached eggs.

    That’s a simulation of how I poach eggs in a pan and that works beautifully. I guess it might be worth keeping your general purpose kettle separate from your cooking kettle.

    Or have a Dutch breakfast: ham, cheese, rolls and chocolate sprinkles.

  23. J Martin says:

    @Verity. That Remoska cooker looks interesting, I might try something like that one day. But the halogen glass bowl fan assisted table top cookers are half to a third the price, so perhaps I’ll try one of those first.

    @Chiefio. From the same Lakeland site, a rather interesting looking table top barbecue, no good for hotel room use, but when you can get outdoors, only apparent drawback, expensive.

  24. Verity Jones says:

    @J Martin
    I like the simplicity of the Remoska. Also it uses only about a third of the power of the halogen ovens.

  25. Judy F. says:

    This reminds of the time my roommate and I decided to stay in the dorms during spring break. Since we were mostly broke we didn’t eat out and of course the dorm cafeteria was closed. I had an old style popcorn popper, which had an electric heating element, removable pan and a glass lid. We found that we could fry up hamburger for tacos or sloppy joes, make soup, make grilled cheese sandwiches, heat water for tea and milk for hot chocolate. The heating element got pretty hot, since it wasn’t adjustable, so our choice of entrees was limited. We could make “toast” in a similar way to making a grilled cheese sandwich- bread with butter on a hot surface. We also made pancakes that didn’t turn out well ( the element was too hot) and bacon.

    Since we were the only students in the dorm at the time, we found that ice in a bathroom sink kept the perishables fresh.

    It was only after spring break was over that we found out that the dorms were “closed” and we should not have been there at all. It still stands out as one of the better adventures I had.

  26. Had to “camp out” in Hillsborough, North Carolina fifteen years ago when an ice storm took out the AC power for a week. No big deal as far as cooking was concerned because we had a 1,000 gallon propane tank.

    The real problem was the lack of water as our 180′ deep well needed a 5 HP electric pump. That was enough so I bought a Honda generator. When the next ice storm hit we were able to provide hot showers for our neighbors.

  27. PhilJourdan says:

    @Judy F. – I roughed it one semester at college (did not buy a meal ticket- as I was paying for my own college). I had a coffee pot and a deep fat fryer. I made hamburgers (you do not have to fill the fryer) spaghetti, soup, fried chicken and hot dogs. That was when I could afford meat. Most of the time it just heated up vegetables and mac and Cheese. ;-)

  28. Power Grab says:

    My freshman year in college I used my grandmother’s old percolator to make hot water for whatever. If they had had those little frying pans back then, I would have used one of them. Or a rice cooker like they have today.

    Re toast: You can make “Texas toast” in a frying pan. Just melt some butter and brown the bread on one side. You don’t have to use extra-thick bread if you don’t have it. Regular bread still makes nice “Texas toast”.

    I like the idea of using the sandwich ham as a breakfast meat. We have another hotel camp-out coming up in a couple of months. It was not much fun last year. I think I’ll see about find a way to prepare some of our own food in the room this time.

  29. E.M.Smith says:

    @Ralph B:

    There’s a spoon crosswise in front of the pan too ;-) But you know that now ;-)

    I’ve bought a very small rice cooker on prior trips, and would have packed on this trip but for running out of space. My “trick” dish with it? Put “Saffron Rice” in it along with pieces of cut up chicken and some peas. Instant “Indian” dinner. Use hot sauce as needed ;-) Second trick? Use ‘red beans and rice’ package. I like it with shrimp in it for a Cajun effect… There’s a lot of things you can cook in a rice cooker…

    But not having one at the moment, those pictures and posts will be for another day…

    @Tim Wainwright:

    Oh Doh! I’ve made lots of toasted sandwiches… and what’s the first word in ‘toasted sandwich’? Oh Doh! is me… ;-) But thanks!

    @Bloke Down The Pub:

    The risk of electrocution is very low as bath outlets have ground fault interrupter devices in them.

    I find either of them “OK”.

    @Steve C:

    I have a dinky fridge just the size of a 6 pack that works that way. Future picture in future posting. (It “made the cut” and the trip, for obvious reasons ;-) As it is 12 VDC it usually lives in the car, but I have a 120 VAC adapter. This room has a fridge, so I left it in the boot of the car. FWIW the Coleman 12 VDC “cooler” makes way too much noise to use in a hotel room and sleep too. I have one, to be given away. Bought last trip here. Only good in vehicles in motion or someplace 2 walls and 20 feet from where you sleep….


    Thanks for the offer! But I don’t mind living in hotel rooms. Spacious compared to my old boat… and I get “home cooked meals” whenever I want one…. just a more limited pallet to choose from.


    Works great, but as noted above, I had limited room… (so the “Beer Fridge” won out ;-)

    @J. Ferguson:

    Interesting story…


    You pegged me… I can “pass” long enough to nick some kit from the “Order”, but then must return to my wilds…


    I almost got these right. Not dry yolks, but glossy gooey. A few seconds less would have had slightly liquid thick centers and gooey to the edge. Oh Well, good enough for first calibration with a different sized egg…

    Dad loved sunny side up, and would give explicit orders on how to get them. (Being as he cooked in our restaurant for years…) Sometimes they would be made right… Just a hint of runny whites next to the yokes, yoke all liquid, bottom just cooked. Best on a “pancake sandwich” that way…


    The problem is the butterfly is bulky AND it would get very hot on the lower edge. Rough on counter tops. I have a “lunch box sized” 12 VDC “oven” for on the road, but it tops out about 300 F max and 275 F more common. Good for slow roasted birds and pork… not for browned crisp skin though. Don’t know if my 120 VAC / 12 VDC converter has enough power for it. Need to figure that out. IFF it does, I’ll have a partial solution…

    @R. de Haan:

    It’s a “possible”.

    A few problems, though.

    1) I need to make the money before I spend it, so it will take a few months to have a few $Thousand to “spare”. Need to live somewhere for those months…

    2) It’s darned hot here in summer, so not sure how good the AC is in campers.

    3) The one campgrounds I checked was about $1100 / month. So where’s my gain?

    A guy I work with is doing just that, though, so I intend to learn from him where the cheaper place to live is located and “tricks of the trade”.

    Frankly, I’d rather be in a camper with decent AC and a BBQ / grill… but later.

    Not going swimming in any lakes in Gator Country… Saw a 5 footer go by in one lake…

    Had the pup tent packed to load. Didn’t make the cut when the car filled up. An SL is a very small car… really… The SLC only a little bigger…

    Oh, and it’s a raging downpour here each afternoon… Just for a couple of hours, but still….

    So camper, not tent…

    Interesting idea on the “House Sitting”. Hmmmm….. (Having been an absentee landlord, I know the value of ‘thieves kept away’ and place kept up…)


    I bought a second one (that is now “somewhere” in the garage…) and glad I did. Near as I can tell, they are no longer made. Yet this one is 20+ years old and still working fine. I’ll do more detail on the rest of the kit in some other posting; as time permits.

    Though here’s a video of making coffee:

    Lovely stories of “making do”, and I want to get a remoska (and looked up local supplies… just before realizing it would just be packed up…)

    So it’s “on the list”, but a bit later when I have a larger place here, I think.


    Oh My! Looks like “3 D food printing” is on it’s way! ;-)


    I grew up in a family of “short order cooks”. It’s a demanding art form, but once mastered you can cook 30 different meals all at the same time with about as much effort as cooking one 30 serving meal… It’s all about the different ways you can combine the ‘few dozen’ ingredients …

    But quiche? To Cowboys? If you had called it an “Omelet on thin biscuit” you might have got ’em to eat it…


    In my kit is a little egg poaching pan. It’s a bit unstable on the Trangia, and I’m hoping to try it on the electric burner. But it really works well on the Sterno Stove (that I also brought). Yes, yet another “someday” posting ;-)

    @J Marin:

    Very Interesting little BBQ… I’m hoping to work up to some weekend BBQ. At present, I’m doing that at a friends home north of Orlando on some weekends. (Where I own a 3 burner patio sized BBQ I bought last trip… that he keeps in working order for me by regular use ;-)

    @Judy F:

    Wonderful story and great inventive idea!

    I’ve often found that taking the path less traveled, and even stepping past the “be gone” signs, makes for a much more full life….


    Don’t think I can fit 1000 gallons of propane in the car ;-)

    But If I can find a place in the country to park a camper, you can bet it will get propane and a generator “early on”… I like hot showers….


    I swear that when my daughter started college she lived on Mac & Cheese with vegetables. I’d keep finding the one pan with mac sauce left on it in the sink… Lately she has learned to branch out some more; even making shish kebobs…


    As I’m going to be in this circumstance “for a while” there will be several more postings in this pattern. Just as “interesting” meals come together.

    I packed 4 different “systems” to compare and contrast (as they took very little room). Sterno Stove, Trangia, Electric fry pan / burner, Hot Stuff. So as I “get creative” things will be posted.

  30. Bloke down the pub says:

    E.M.Smith says:
    19 June 2013 at 3:02 am

    @Bloke Down The Pub:

    The risk of electrocution is very low as bath outlets have ground fault interrupter devices in them.

    Your faith in hotel wiring is very touching!

  31. adolfogiurfa says:

    Making coffee Video: Too fast filtering to get a good coffee.

  32. E.M.Smith says:

    @Bloke Down The Pub:

    It’s not “hotel wiring” that I trust, it’s UL Listed and Code Mandated that I trust. BTW, the difference between a bath counter with electrical outlets and sink and my home kitchen counter with electrical outlets and sink is that I don’t have GFCI at home as it was built prior to that code…

    I’m safer at the hotel counter / sink that at home with the toaster…. (One circuit in one bedroom is wired backwards and I get ground leakage to the metal window frame that tingles… I’ve used the circuit tester and it reports hot / neutral reversal. The plug with the fridge in it gives a ‘tingle’ to ground too… So whoever wired the house was a bit “dodgy”… Lucky for me, the ones near the kitchen sink are correct…. It’s on my “todo list” to get the others wired correctly. I was “wiring hot” at 8 years old and Dad was an electrician for “a while”…)

    So these small appliances are pretty well double insulated in most parts, and plugged into a GFCI socket. Hard to “have issues” with that. Oh, and the counter is plastic… So unless I put one hand on the faucet AND it has metal pipes (not always the case here) AND have a fault in the wiring of the appliance AND touch the “right” part AND have the GFCI fail… then I’m OK.

    Compare alcohol stove: Bump it wrong, I have a flaming spill onto flammable plastic based carpet.



    Notice they do not show removing the filter? It wasn’t done yet. The hole in the bottom is about the size of a round toothpick. It soaks the grounds fine… and one must be a bit patient with it. Also, I use about 2 x the coffee they did ;-)

  33. Terry Jay says:

    Following up on Ron’s camper thoughts, the in-laws had a mobile home in a park for something in the $400/$500/mo range, but it all depends on where you are, the commute, the length of post, and so on. They lived there quite nicely for upwards of 30 years. I remember it was sold in less than a week after he died and she moved in with the middle daughter, price was quite low. RVs and Mobiles in a park quickly depreciate to around $5,000 to $10,000 depending and stay there for a long time. On house-sitting, demand from owners ought to be high in summer while supply of sitters is low.

  34. Gail Combs says:

    R. de Haan says:
    18 June 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Why don;t you get yourself a nice camper….
    I suggested that to my husband when we moved from MA to NC. We ended up in the camper for over a year while I hunted property and we had a house built. The house we put a bid on we lost to a competing bid by a couple of hours but by then our home had sold so off we went.

    We ended up selling the camper for what we paid for it used up north. The rental for a trailer park lot was $50/mo so it was a real savings over renting an apartment.

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