Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
We are first-time RVers. We sold our home in Tucson and just started traveling this winter in a 30 ft. motorhome. It gives new meaning to the term, “One Butt Kitchen.” I enjoy cooking, but this miniscule space seems to crimp my style. The counter area and refrigerator/freezer are downsized enough to make normal cooking and storage a constant challenge. There is a definite order to getting things done with the least amount of difficulty! I am learning to approach meals in stages. So far I have said a few naughty words. My husband says I just have to adjust. Am I being unreasonable in comparing this closet cooking to the space I am accustomed?
--Super-downsized in Deming
Learning to cope in an RV takes some adjustment. I would recommend starting out with some advice from W.C. Fields, “I cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food.” This should mellow you out a bit. On a more serious note, add some counter space. This is easily accomplished with a fold down counter extension, available at any RV store. If your stove doesn’t already come with a cover, they can be purchased at Camping World or improvise with an upside down cookie sheet for added counter space. Refrigerator and freezer space often calls for shopping more often, but you will become accustomed to stocking the most important items in the space you have. The same applies to dry goods storage.
Many RVer’s have come up with collections of simpler meals that mimic what they have been used to cooking. You may try exploring downsized cooking utensils as well.
Have you considered more outdoor cooking? There are a wide array of outdoor cooking appliances that will give you more options when weather permits.
Much of your frustration is becoming familiar with your new space and developing a new routine.
Speaking of a new routine, you might want to consider some advise from author Elizabeth Gilbert. She says, “A woman’s place is in the kitchen...sitting in a comfortable chair, with her feet up, drinking a glass of wine and watching her husband cook dinner.”
--Keep Smilin’, Dr. R.V. Shrink