Spokane, WA

 | April 18, 2008 10:00 pm

I’m in Spokane at the moment for the tatting conference. Today was a very fun first day, and I know that when tomorrow night rolls around I’ll be very sad there’s only two days.

I’ll probably post a bit more about the conference later, but I make no promises. I may be too busy playing with my new thread.

For nearly the first time this trip I passed by a truck stop, (been doing most of my traveling on smaller highways), and I had a chance to take a look at some of the 12 volt cooking appliances. I have been feeling a definite lack of hot foods this trip. Or perhaps I should say ‘cheap’ hot foods since I’ve been visiting with a lot of old friends this trip and we usually end up going out to eat.

That’s fine with me, of course. I think that’s part of the fun of travel, but as time goes on I’ll definitely be wanting to do some more of my own cooking here in the van.

Which is why I will probably end up getting the RoadPro cooking pot. (Sorry, no links right now. I’m posting this with my phone and can’t do them).

They have a couple different appliances, including a skillet which also looks pretty sweet, but knowing what types of things I’d actually cook on a regular basis the pot would be better.

There’s a crockpot, which Tara, from Hobostripper.com, says is not very good and a little oven which is also tempting, even if only to say I have an oven in the van and can make fresh cookies when I want. As neat as it is though, I’m not sure I’d use it enough to justify the space.

There’s a small electric water heater which I like the idea of, but might not be necessary if I get the electric pot. Still, when I was traveling in the winter I constantly had tea heating in my, -now broken-, SmartMug. Maybe that’s something to consider for the winter.

Now that my curtains are finished, (at least they’re up and working and I’m unlikely to put anymore time into them even though they’re less than elegant), my next little project of the van is figuring out the cooking stuff. Anyone tried any of these?

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7 Responses to “Spokane, WA”

Lutz wrote a comment on April 19, 2008

Hi Jessica,
When we first got into the RV thing we looked at all things appliance wise that was 12V. Found it to be too expensive for what it was. What may serve you best is a small, portable propane powered camping grill(as opposed to a portable BBQ unit). WalMart carries a nice one from Coleman. It uses the small propane cylinders. and it’s around $60.-.
Also, don’t forget, these electric appliances suck up battery power real quick and there’s nothing worse than a dead battery in the worst spot possible.

Molly wrote a comment on April 20, 2008

Ben has an awesome little camping stove… I think it’s called a mosquito… or a dragonfly? It runs on white gas, folds up tiny, heats up easy, has a fence-thing to keep out the wind, and can heat up enough water for spaghetti for two or a frying pan for grilled cheese (although butter in the car == sticky greasy mess). I’ll ask him to email you what it is. It wouldn’t be great for using IN the van, but would be great for heating up on a picnic table or in a parking lot or something.

Sherry Pence wrote a comment on April 22, 2008

Wasn’t the convention just a blast? I hope you learned as much as I did. Are you the Jessica with the 6 shuttle celtic motif?
If so, it was so nice to meet you. Please keep in touch!

Jessica wrote a comment on April 22, 2008

Molly – I do have a little camp stove and I’ve used it a couple times in the back of the van. (Always for breakfasts right before I roll down the windows and start driving.)

Lutz – The battery thing does worry me, but on the other hand I sort of like it because it’s something that, (if I’m careful), is not going to run out. Propane or butane on the other hand is something that needs to be replaced. Though, it’s true, not often.

Really the most annoying thing is washing the dishes if I make anything like rice or a thick soup. I suppose that’s not something that’s going to change any by getting an electric one. Perhaps I’m using this consideration of an electric pot as an excuse to avoid cooking and cleaning.

I suppose that since I already do have a camping stove if I were to get something it would make the most sense to get either the hot water heater or the little oven. Both are things I think I’d feel comfortable having running while I was driving, (presuming I’ve set up a little box/case to secure it to the passenger seat), and both would require very little clean-up. The little oven would be nice for heating up leftovers as well.

Yesterday I visited the Idaho Potato Museum and the thought of a fresh baked potatoe with butter and salt warms my heart like… well, like a fresh baked potato with butter and salt.

Jessica wrote a comment on April 22, 2008

Hi Sherry,

Yep, that was me. At least I assume I’m the only one stupid enough to attempt a celtic needle pattern with shuttles. I had a great time at my first tatting conference. Here’s a link to the pattern:


I’ve done it in red, pink and white too and it looks just as nice, (though mine never come out as even as the one on the site). You can put three or six together in a triangle to have a little ornament or seven in a hexagon for a bigger one. If you’re using shuttles then just be really careful when joining them. You want to make sure the threads you’re not using come from the correct side of the work when you switch.

I’m not sure what mine will be. With shuttles it takes a really long time since there’s so much sorting through and arranging the shuttles as you go. I’m going to give your trick with the ziplock bag a try. Perhaps then I’ll have the patience to make it bigger.

Lynda wrote a comment on May 17, 2008

Hi Jessica,
I met you at the Tatting Workshop, I was taking care of the food for all the meals.

I am very intriged about living in a van on and off for the year(s).

If I was your age, I would probably do the same thing, but since I am in my young 50′s I have loads of ‘stuff’, besides a husband, and 2 male adult children, plus 4 cats and 2 birds. Although I would have to take a cat with me……. it would be trained to walk on a leash. I know it can be done because we have one already trained.

Well, I need to go update the guild website, and that always takes me awhile.


Jessica wrote a comment on May 24, 2008

Hi Lynda, Thanks so much for all the work at the convention. Like I said before it was the first time I’ve gotten to meet and talk with other tatters and I had a great time!

I’ve still taken over half of a bedroom at my parent’s house with all of my stuff, but each time I go back to San Diego I try and clean out some of it. Managed to get rid of another box of things last time.

There’s lots of people who vandwell with a dog, but if I had an animal I’d choose I cat as well.

Have you ever seen a toilet trained cat? It’s pretty hilarious.

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