Cooking on the road last year with limited utensils and proper facilities challenged me to rely on my creative-side in the kitchen. Composing meals often times resembled a quick-fire-challenge on Top Chef where you have to turn out a tasty meal while dealing with some major handicap. In my case, those handicaps were generally: no oven, tiny spaces, limited ingredient choice (in rural areas), no internet to verify amounts, or missing utensils (like can openers). Fortunately, my sherpa husband tolerated carrying my pots, pans, knives and spices to every new location. Given these circumstances, I had to create recipes within the realms of my living situation. Cookbooks were useless as I didn’t have time to put together my perfect pantry of homemade pickled ginger and canned tomatoes. And I certainly didn’t have the luxury of obtaining ethnic or less well-known ingredients that we would have in a metropolitan city.
I’ve only been back in Seattle for two weeks, after spending 2014 in Europe, only to find myself touring the elite restaurants of San Francisco with 11 other Seattleites for my best friend, Andrea’s, surprise birthday. Her husband, Dante, planned out a foodie weekend for us all, strategically grabbing reservations months in advance for our large party then cancelling the previous one once he secured something better, not stopping until he had the best. He should write a book called “How to Throw an Out of Town Surprise Party for 12 Foodie Friends and Not Die of a Heart Attack”.