Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Spilling the beans

Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
My wife says I am a constant “I told you so” person. I try not to be, but I feel I am entitled to my opinion. The latest is cooking in our motorhome while we are driving down the road. My wife wanted to make baked beans so they would be done when we reached our destination. I said it didn’t sound like a good idea. She insisted. Before the beans had a chance to begin setting up, we hit a long 7% grade. As you can imagine the beans spilled over in the oven, began to burn, and created a horrible baked on mess. That, of course, is when the “I told you so” came rushing out of me. She thinks it was a fluke and insists she will try it again on better roads. Can you explain to her that this is not about being right or wrong, it’s about safety.
--Burnt Beans in Big Bear

Dear Burnt Beans:
I can tell you the National Propane Association would not recommend it. There are many things that can go wrong and burnt beans are the least of them. I will tell you that many people I have known do cook while traveling, but then again some people I know start campfires with gasoline. Our mothers always told us not to play with matches, but most of us ended up with burns on our fingers anyway. Why not try a different approach with your wife. Next time you are at a Flying J, buy a 12volt crock pot. It will sit safely in the sink and slow cook a great meal all day long. Much safer and much cheaper than using propane. When I graduated from high school in ’68 , that summer I lived in a 1964 Suburban and enjoyed backpacking through the West. Back then they would pump your gas and check your oil. I stopped one day and the attendant asked if I would like my oil checked. I said, “Yes, and will you also check the meatloaf and see if it’s done.” He opened the hood and exclaimed, “He does have meatloaf under here!” Probably not the best idea cooking greasy food on a V-6 block, but I was young and foolish. Get a crock pot and play it safe. If you do not take my advice, don’t say I didn’t tell you so.
--Keep Smilin’, Dr. R.V. Shrink


Fox said...

Ever watched the long long trailer?

How do you bake beans while wearing your seat belt?

Anonymous said...

If you get a crock pot that will fit in the sink it will stay secure and you will have your food ready when you park.

Anonymous said...

It is illegal in many states not to use a seatbelt when in a moving vehicle. This alone is reason enough not to cook while the RV is moving.

Anonymous said...

Cooking on the road has to be a judgment thing. Absolutely you should not be up and down out of your seatbelt to tend to something cooking. That is why the crockpot sitting safely in the sink works, even with liquid ingredients. Nothing on the stovetop for sure. If you have an oven, you can cook things that are relatively dry, in a securely covered or foil wrapped container. Be sure to bungee the oven closed. No soups or stews. Also, baked beans cook weird at high altitudes unless the beans are already pretty soft,in which case their matrix can be pretty dry, so less likely to spill. Fir my part, I am quite likely to call for a pull over in a nice spot to cook a quick meal on the stove top.