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Sort and leave with what I want - kitchen ?


Luckily, the children helped me, as my son wanted to buy an existing flat and have it renovated. Any savings are welcome, so he offered to take over all the furniture for his future purchase. This enabled him to plan his budget better and replace the furniture as and when he needed it. Personally, it's a relief, and a hassle less, because I don't have to put them up for sale piecemeal, sign up for a garage sale or store them temporarily.

My daughter, who is already well-equipped, has decided to take back only certain family items, leaving the rest temporarily with her brother, who will store everything at home.


I'm going to create a new Excel file with what I need in the van, what I already have that I'm keeping and what I still need to buy .... And bye bye to everything else ....


Let's start with the kitchen :


Cookware: pots and pans

It's almost twenty years since I received my mother's 1981 Vanstalh cookware set. It's 18/10 stainless steel, incredibly solid and high quality, but heavy. Not a single scratch, not a spot of rust ....

As the van's hob isn't induction, and as I love to cook, they'll make the journey with me. The only problem is that there are only saucepans (1 large stewpot for soups and 3 saucepans measuring 16, 20 and 24 cm). I need to buy some frying pans. I'm doing away with non-stick pans containing Teflon, as they are too harmful to health. I'm going to limit myself to two stainless steel pans: 24 cm and 28 cm in diameter.

Cutlery and cooking utensils

My son has taken everything and I don't want to eat with my fingers or use plastic hiking cutlery. I want something light (I have to compensate for the weight of the saucepans) and modern. I've got my eye on a black Pintinox 24-piece nickel-free cutlery set.

Tableware

I'd ordered a Tableware table service in compact, lightweight stainless aluminium. It didn't take up much space. I tested it for a week and I have to admit that it wasn't really practical. It was impossible to fit lunch on the largest plate if it consisted of a piece of meat, vegetables and starch.

My son definitely killed it when he saw it and said: ‘Oh yes, that's it, it's nice, they look like dog bowls ....’, then he went into a huge fit of giggles.

I'm only going to use it for breakfast or to play with the little cousins.

I thought it made sense to opt for melamine crockery, which is considered resistant and durable, but after reading various articles such as Eco-Green - La vaisselle en mélamine est-elle dangereuse ? (directecogreen.fr) - or Test-Achats - De la vaisselle dangereuse en fibres de bambou est toujours en vente (test-achats.be) -, I abandoned the project..

What were my reasons? It is said that melamine can release toxic substances when exposed to high temperatures, and melamine contains chemicals that can be harmful to health if ingested. The risk of food contamination cannot be ruled out, and if a certain threshold is reached, it could prove toxic to the kidneys.

This is a potential risk, but I didn't want to have to worry about it, so I opted for black stoneware crockery. It's heavy but healthy.


Glasses and mugs

I wanted to make a break with the black, so I opted for some colour.

I'd had a crush on the Yeti brand for a long time. Two brothers with a passion for outdoor adventures who started their business by launching coolers in 2006 and then diversified into mugs, water bottles, .... and more.

The bright colours, the sturdiness of the products and the fact that they keep both hot and cold encouraged me to buy 4 glasses and 4 cups. If it falls, it doesn't break and there's a magnetic lid so that insects don't swim into my drink while I'm sipping. Each cup and glass comes in a different colour, so it's a real eye-catcher!

Hotplate

But she has an electric hob on diesel?

Yes, that's right, but if the weather's nice outside, I'm not going to stay cooped up inside. I want to make the most of my large outside garden...

I've chosen a Coleman liquid fuel stove with Dual Fuel™ technology, which means it can run on Coleman® liquid fuel or unleaded petrol.

It will be integrated into the drawers provided in the cargo hold. I'll be able to cook outside and enjoy the sunshine and the view.

Oven

I love cooking too much and travelling is not synonymous with depriving yourself of everything.

I've seen many nomads praise the Omnia oven for its ease of use, even cooking and weight of just 500g.

It can be used on electric or gas hobs, .... I can make gratins, bread and cakes ..... But it's hard to make pizzas, baguettes, etc. I admit I don't want to see everything in a circle!

I'm going to leave with the Omnia, I'll see how it goes and then I can always resell it or give it away.

I then watched the film by Raphaël, a thirty-year-old Belgian who has been living in his big bright red van since 2017 and whom I follow on his YouTube channel ‘Un van sur la route’. He produces some very nice fims and shares his experiences and uses.

He was talking about his portable oven, not too heavy but big enough to make pizzas, bread and other tasty dishes.

The Kampa Freedom is not a standard oven; it works on cartridges and therefore doesn't need large tanks. With one cartridge, it can run for around 180 minutes. The oven has piezo ignition and flame failure protection (FFD), a temperature gauge and with the timer, the oven turns off automatically.

I've baked wholemeal bread and gratin and yum, it cooks properly and tastes great. I'll be storing it in the hold and taking it out when I need it.

Raclette and cheese fondue

One of my last orders.

How to deprive myself of cheese .... It won't be Cradinette who throws the first stone at me, or to put it more colourfully, the first crust (laughs).

A box for 2 without electricity, all candlelight, it's called a photophore. It's ecological. It's the Lumi Cookut. I've just looked at the recipe book and it's also possible to make chocolate fondue with fruits .... If I feel too lonely, I'll drown my loneliness in chocolate. But it will give me a chance to show off our national Côte d'Or abroad. A good way to make contact with the world, don't you think ?

Storing condiments

When you think of cooking, you think of spices, flour and all the ingredients you need for a happy meal with friends. I looked for and found vacuum packing systems. I'd discussed this with Mathieu because his wife was also interested in this type of storage.

I chose Zwilling, a German brand - deutsche kwaliteit - and their Fresh & Save range.

They offer both washable, reusable vacuum bags for my future soups and glass boxes for storing food in the fridge. As I travel alone, unless I want to graze all day, it's impossible for me to eat a salad in one day. Vacuum-packed, it will keep for a week.

I've also packed vacuum-packed sandwich tins so that I can have something to eat on day trips. And, of course, storage tins for pasta, sugar and flour .... The pump can be recharged on either 220V or 12V, which is perfect for camping.

And as a spice freak ..... tadam .... they've got it all covered.

If I take the roads of the impossible and my van rocks from side to side, there's no risk, everything's vacuum-packed and all the jars stay closed! Yeah!

For cooking, I have the Coleman you saw above, but also the Webasto Cooker x100, an 1800-watt ceramic hob that runs on diesel.

Yes, you read that right, it's powered directly from my van's diesel tank.

A 12V power supply is used to ignite and operate it. The diesel is pumped directly into the tank, and the air intake and exhaust are provided by a simple hole in the floor.

I have to take into account the ignition time, which is between 3 and 4 minutes.

I can cook at altitudes of over 1500 m.

To keep things cold, I have the Dometic RC 10.4T 90-litre compression fridge.

For those who don't know what ‘compression’ means, the fridge switches from 12V to 230V if I plug into an external socket.

It has a two-point locking system, and is double-hinged so you can open to the right and left without having to change the hinge (for the lazy, you can have your beer without having to get out of bed). The door handles run the full height of the fridge, no problem for big or small.

I don't have any extra external ventilation in the van as the ventilation is in front of and integrated into the fridge.

Then there's the CoolFreeze Dometic CFX 65W, a 60-litre mobile compressor cooler-freezer. It's equipped with the CFX electronic system, which means it has fast, intelligent and automatic turbo cooling, as well as a memory function. It can run on solar energy. It has low power consumption (0.42 Ah) and operates silently. It's useful because it's under the beds in the hold.

I can control the temperature via a wi-fi application.

It freezes down to -22°C.

You don't have to cook a lot to eat well. I just need to be forward-thinking, organised and creative to avoid waste.

I've given a lot of thought to storing condiments. As far as fresh fruit and vegetables are concerned, I plan to store them in wooden crates in the hold.

Although I'm a long way from any grocery shops, I'm all set.


The return of experienced nomads has reassured me that it is possible to maintain a healthy diet on the road.


Here's their main advice :

  • invest in kitchen equipment that makes cooking easier and can be stored in a small space;

  • plan my meals. I have lists of recipes for all seasons;

  • stock up on healthy snacks such as dried fruit and low-sugar protein bars for hiking;

  • plan to prepare and store soups or vegetables and freeze them when I can buy cheaper and in larger quantities from a farm where the food is fresh and of better quality;

  • Keep dishes simple;

  • Stop off where the food is good;

  • Taste local specialities, bearing in mind their fat and carbohydrate content;

  • Take a digestive walk after the meal.


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