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Author Topic: Gypsy cooking  (Read 440 times)
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« on: March 24, 2014, 08:41:23 pm »

We enjoyed talking to all our new Phoenix owner friends while in (warm, sunny) Florida and one of the topics that kept coming up was how we were handling food since we are living full time in the Phoenix and not doing the level of eating out that most people do on short trips. We keep a running grocery list and hit Walmart or grocery stores as needed just as if we were at home. We have smaller storage areas for the food so we have a shorter list of staples. One thing we do is restock on the more creative foods when we go Gypsy on friends and family. We joke that the Gypsies are here and that we steal their internet, laundry facilities and showers. If they have the ability to plug us in, we steal the electricity also. But we are good Gypsies. We do the dishes, walk the dogs, feed the fish and repay their kindness by leaving food in their freezers (while also stocking ours). We do this by using a cook book I found called "Fix, Freeze, Feast" by Kati Neville and Lindsay Tkacsik. The authors each ran one of those "make-it take-it" places before the market crashed and the recipes are based on the same principle. Most are marinated meat but there are a few other types of meals. Recipes are based on "club packs" like you get at Costco or Sam's Club. You label zip-lock freezer bags, plunk the chosen meat into them (usually 4-6 servings per gallon bag with 2-6 bags per recipe) then measure the other ingredients and put them in the bags. They get sealed and laid flat to freeze. They can then be stood up on end like books on a shelf. If you like you can print the cooking instructions onto labels and slap them right on the bags before freezing. You thaw them in the fridge overnight and have a really nice entree ready in about 20 minutes after you start cooking. When we had a bigger fridge, we would toss two or three in the fridge on Sunday (flipping periodically) and they would make good, quick meals during the week. We love the Rose City Teriyaki Flank Steak, An's Pork Chops, Shanghai Stir Fry, Caribbean Pork Tenderloin and several others. We make several recipes during each prepping session (using some of our hosts spices and such if we only need a little) then split the finished goods with the host, putting half in our freezer and half in theirs. So far, we have received rave reviews and have ALWAYS been welcome back. I bought the e-book and have it on board on my Kindle. I'm sure there are other books out there with similar recipes, this is just the one we use. If you are preparing for a trip and want to simplify your dinners but have good flavor and variety, I highly recommend it. And if you are planning to go Gypsy on someone, it goes a heck of a long way toward getting invited back.
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John, Holly, Chloe & Snickers (The "nanny' cat)

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Big Green Machine
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« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2014, 09:35:50 am »

Good ideas! You are right about the limited storage in the PC. My wife is stressing out about where to store everything!
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« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2014, 03:23:22 pm »

I remember reading someone's very similar comment years ago in one of the trade magazines.  The author said he listened quietly for awhile to an individual "stress out" about where do I store everything, and then he replied with just two words.  "Define everything!"
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2 Frazzled
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« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2014, 07:21:56 pm »

Our "everything" actually fit quite well when we started out. Now we have too many packaged foods and too many bags of not so healthy foods and too much paper that has come to visit and overstayed its welcome. We just need to clean out the food cabinets and cut back on impulse buys. A few items that save us a lot of space compared to what we've seen in some RVs are nesting pans from a camping store with one removable handle (similar to http://www.rei.com/product/765750/rei-campware-nonstick-cookset-medium except ours is from GSI and has three pans with lids); our bowl and measuring cup set (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006BSBRWK/ref=gbrc_tit_r-1_1762_de582161?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_t=701&pf_rd_s=right-new-1&pf_rd_r=0T82RXH5091A9WTVBB1Q&pf_rd_i=20&pf_rd_p=1725241762); and a silicone baking set that can be jammed together or used to buffer noisy items. I couldn't find it online anymore but it has two round cake pans, one loaf pan, a square pan and a muffin pan. All but the muffin pan sort of nest - with help. We have one metal sheet pan that fits in the oven with a Silpat liner that fits in it. So far, we've had everything we need to cook on. The crock pot lives under the bed and the BBQ tools are in the outside bin. We won a baby 6" electric frying pan at the last Intervec-Phoenix rally and that's sufficient for two people - with creative cooking.

I heard a rumor that the newer PCs have deeper cabinets over the couch. THAT would help the boxed food storage greatly and might be an upgrade we do somewhere down the line. The current cabinets are deep enough now to hold square "canisters" of flour, sugar, rice, etc. and all those little packages of bread type bakery stuff we shouldn't have bought until we used what we already had. That's the key - replace only when you've used what's already there. The Phoenix actually has a lot of storage. It's just a matter of reducing what you take with you and then GUARDING THE ENTRY to keep unnecessary stuff from sneaking in. (aka - who bought those two bags of chips anyhow?)
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« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2014, 07:29:32 am »

Margo and I enjoyed your pulled pork you served when we met you.  I don't know if that was from your cook book but it was delicious.  We will have to cook dinner for you guys the next time you are in our area.  Keep in touch. Safe travels.
Syd & Margo Emmons
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gradygal
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« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2014, 08:33:18 am »

I keep buying stuff to take with us this summer. Publix Supermarkets in the South have Buy One Get One free every week. Crackers, Chips, Coffee (I have enough for this year and next) etc. Looks like all we will have to buy when we hit New England  is lobster, clams, good fresh corn and tomatoes!!   Heart Shower

Judi
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Judi and George Nicholson
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« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2014, 09:12:45 am »

Syd, the pulled pork was actually a Food Network thing http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/robert-irvine/bbq-pulled-pork-sandwiches-recipe.html - we use Jack Daniels BBQ sauce with it and the McCormick Grillers Sweet and Smoky Rub (Irvine spice in recipe no longer in production). Super easy crock pot recipe. We make extra and freeze it without the sauce so we can use it for BBQ sandwiches, wraps, nachos, salad toppings, etc.

Judy - don't forget the wine! We've quickly learned to carry a bottle of wine even though we don't usually drink it. It seems to be an RV staple. We may run into you in New England. We are booked into Acadia for two weeks starting July 13th. One week at each of their two campgrounds - with the granddaughter. You want entertainment, sit and watch John try to keep up with her (then he naps to recharge).

We look forward to meeting all of you again on the road or maybe back in Florida.
Holly
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John, Holly, Chloe & Snickers (The "nanny' cat)

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« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2014, 10:17:32 am »

Holly,
We have reservations at Blackwoods Campground July 29 leaving on August 3rd. It looks like we might miss you.

If you tire of the National Park Campgrounds, I hear that the Bar Harbor Campground is nice. You can't make reservations and they only take cash/check but you get to choose your site, they have water, electric and a pool. We are thinking of staying a couple of nights at Blackwoods and then driving over to Bar Harbor Campground to see what they have available--if we lose $20/30 by leaving Blackwoods and going to Bar Harbor it is no biggy.

We then go to Orr's Island Campround for a month. We have never stayed in one place for a month before, so it will be interesting.

Hope we are able to see you and partake of that wind.

Judi
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