(picture taken somewhere outside of Omaha, Nebraska - Amy Loveless)
We got a phone call from a customer this month who wanted help in keeping her costs down for her upcoming family vacation to Hawaii. In Hawaii milk can cost $8 a gallon at a store. Restaurants were out of the question for her budget. We helped her out, by teaching her what it is we do. We realized others could benefit from this information and decided to
Share our travel secrets with everyone.
(picture taken at mile marker zero on hwy 1- Key west , Amy Loveless)
away from home and a kitchen, can be hard on the budget. One Major expense for being on the road is having to eat out two to three times a day. If you have a large group with you the costs can soar. Not to mention the heath issues. For those who travel a lot. Eating out continually is brutal on the waist line. We know a few tricks that can make meals away from home affordable, healthy, and actually fun. When you don't have to figure out what is for dinner at the end of a long day or drive, because it is already hot and ready and with you, it becomes freeing. The benefit is while you are away from your kitchen you can still have a breakfast in your belly and dinner made and slow cooking before you even check out of the hotel, or pack up a tent. Then whether you are playing all day at the beach, hiking all day at your favorite national park, or driving all day to your next stop, you can have your next meal hot and available when you are ready to eat.
(Picture taken @ Captiva Island- Amy Loveless)
ROAD TRIP: What to Pack? How to Pack? Simplified.
*** IF WE ARE ROAD TRIPPING WE ALSO PACK A RUBBER MADE TOTE OF SHELF STABLE FOODS THAT WE WILL BE USING IN OUR MEALS.
We Put our Recipe Items that need to be refrigerated(we keep these to a minimum) into the cooler with ice, and we add ice at every hotel as we go...making a couple runs to the ice machine with our ice bucket to top it off at each stop. We buy ice if we need to as we go, if we are camping.
Our KITCHEN IN A BOX
Compact Box With Our Portable Kitchen:
(Most Items purchased at the Dollar Store)
Kitchen in a box Includes: One scrubbing sponge with dish soap inside for clean up, Measuring cups and spoons, Hot pads, One small cutting board, one medium knife, one pair of scissors, one small whisk, one meat thermometer, one rubber spatula, serving/stirring spoons including one ladel, can opener, salt, pepper, favorite couple spices, and one small strainer. *I also have a small grocery bag filled with hand fulls of zip locks, garbage bags, plastic forks/spoons, bowls, napkins, and disposable cups. I will also have a meal plan and shopping list for each meal that week in my purse. I also take a case of water and at least a one gallon jug of distilled water that I will use in my recipes. I can refill that jug at hotels as we travel.
Note: I only plan out meals a couple days at a time, so I don't have a lot with us in the car. When I leave on the trip I obviously leave with a hot meal inside the cooker the day we leave home. We eat it at the end of our long drive, and make sure everyone has had their fill. I will have something for Breakfast and Dinner the next day already with me and a shopping list for the following couple days, which I pick up at the grocery as we go.
(Picture taken at Ft. Myers, Fl Gulf of Mexico- Amy Loveless)
Our Favorite Trick to Teach-
How to get TWO MEALS off of ONE BOIL!
We usually do a Trick with the thermal cookers when on the road that gives us two meals off of one boil... that saves fuel and time. We get Breakfast and Dinner done before we are even ready to check out, or pack up. A typical morning starts with me making OMELETS IN A BAG, (See demo video Below) which is a simple boy scout trick. Basically you put your ingredients(two eggs, some green onions, green peppers, real bacon bits, salt and pepper) in a sandwich sized Zip lock , seal the top, and mix the ingredients by massaging the outside of the bag. Then you place the sealed zip lock into your pot of boiling water and the eggs cook inside the ziplock...(see video) when you are done, you slide your omelet out into your bowl, add a little shredded cheese on top and have breakfast. The zip lock(mess) goes into the garbage, and you still have a clean pot of boiling water that you then can throw your dinner ingredients into, let it boil for an additional couple minutes, and then throw the cooker into the thermal cooker and get ready to leave for the day.
SAMPLE RECIPE PLAN
Eat Anything in my fridge for breakfast that will go bad well we are traveling. Pack healthy snacks like my fruit and some nuts for the road. Hawaiian Haystacks (Rice on bottom- Chicken In Chicken Gravy on top) started in the Thermal Cooker for dinner. Toppings of green onions, green peppers, pineapple, chinese noodles, chopped celery, shredded cheese in ziplocks in the cooler.
(Today between the omelets and the Potato Soup I will use up the rest of the chopped green onions, green peppers, chopped celery and cheese and real bacon bits)
Omelets in a Bag for breakfast. Start Bacon and Potato Soup for dinner in the boiling water you used for the omelets (Two Creamy Potato Bear Creek Soup mixes with left over real bacon bits, and chopped up vegies, and cheese, Can of drained corn, and a pinch of curry powder) with a loaf of french bread or a bag of rolls I pick up from a store as we are traveling.
Started at Midnight the night before, so we ate it between 7 & 8 am. I made Hot Multi Grain Cereal (Steel cut Oats with a little Barley and Chia seed) 5 cups of the mix to 8 cups of water... started on the Bottom, Hot Peaches on Top. Sprinkled with nuts and raisins when served. Then I cleaned out the pots and made Teriyaki Chicken on bottom with Rice on top, for Dinner. (*Tip* Started 3 lbs of Boneless Chicken Breast cut into Pieces in a slightly watered down and soupy teriyaki sauce, boiling for two minutes, then whipped in an added 1/2 cup of Ultra Gel (I make a teriyaki sauce rue) to the pot, for one more minute, so it will thicken back up as it slow cooks in the thermal unit.)
Omelets in a bag for breakfast, then Chili started for Dinner. I use the whole big pot. Set the little pot aside. Later if I have my cheap portable oven, that folds flat for travel with me, I might make a corn bread mix put it in the empty small pan and bake it in the mini oven as it rests on my butane stove, and serve that with the chili. If I don't have that portable oven, I will buy rolls.
Midnight start a Pork Shoulder Roast in a pot of boiling water...
Fresh Fruit for Breakfast. Drain water in the morning, pull apart the Roast into pieces and put in the bottom of the big pot. Cover in a slightly watered down BBQ sauce (I like Sweet Baby Rays) and bring back to a boil for Two Minutes. Third minute of the Boil, add a 1/2 cup of Ultra Gel in a BBQ rue. Mix it in good...Place it in the thermal cooker, shutting the lid quickly. In small upper pot I do my favorite pork and beans recipe. Buy a package of salad, and some hamburger buns for dinner.
Omelets in a Bag for Breakfast, Beef Stew in the Bottom and Instant Mashed Potatos in the top for dinner.
Fruit and Granola for Breakfast. Dinner: Sloppy Joes! Sauce on Bottom, (Brown Hamburger in the bottom, drain greese, add tomato sauce and spices, boil for two minutes) Buy a package of hamburger buns and a watermelon. A bunch of Mixed Vegetables on top, boiled.
Omelets in a bag boiled in a pot filled about 1/3 with boiling water, and then use the water to make Bear Creeks Cheesy Broccoli Soup, add to the One package of Soup, all your left over veggies, and a whole head of cut up broccoli. Should fill half the pot. ON top, use small pot to do Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes.
WHAT TO PACK IF YOU ARE FLYING SOMEWHERE?
When we are going by air we have learned to make this work too. For instance when we flew all eight of us to Louisiana last month, we were going to be traveling around the gulf states for our trip and knew we needed to cook on the road trip around the gulf. We called ten days ahead our Hotel that we had a reservation at in Biloxi, Mississippi.(If you are going to Hawaii we suggest 5 to 6 weeks ahead as the items take that long going by ship to get there.) We got the address of the hotel from them, and told them we had a reservation and would be staying there the night we flew in and we had some items we would be shipping ahead. They told us to put ATTN: FRONT DESK and our Names on the Boxes, as well as our day of check in. They would hold the items until we arrived. We used the US POSTAL SERVICES FLAT RATE BOXES. We sent the Butane Stove in one, and in another our portable kitchen box, and in another the pack of butane fuel. We carried the Thermal Cooker onboard the plane EMPTY as one of our carry on items. When we arrived at our first hotel, our packages were there waiting for us. The three flat rate boxes were cheaper to send about $25 total for three one way... then to pay for an extra bag checked at the airport($45).
(Picture taken In Key West- Amy Loveless)
WE HAVE ENJOYED USING OUR COOKERS while we travel, and even in the most trying situations, they have been a blessing. From cooking in a tent in a tornado, to using the back of a grocery cart as our kitchen counter, from hotel rooms, to truck stops, and Small towns in the Midwest, to Island Villages. Our meals cook while we are driving in the car, while Boating, while hiking, and while swimming at beaches. We most often use Butane and portable butane burners to bring the food to a boil in the mornings, using the inner stainless steel cooking pots that come with our Saratoga Jacks Thermal Cookers. The thermal cookers are like cordless non electric crock pots...that slow cook off the energy of the trapped and insulated boil, so a couple minutes in the morning, and our dinner is slow cooker the majority of the day, as we play, and there isn't any more wasted energy or fuel being wasted, which makes it not only a truly green energy saving cooking method, but it also means you can stretch out that fuel and conserve it when you need to, like in an emergency or during shortages. Because we only have to bring things to a hard boil for 2-4 minutes and then are able to put our meal inside the thermos unit, to continues slow cooking without power, we can then shut the stove off and conserve.
(Picture taken in Nashville, Indiana - Amy Loveless)
OTHER FUELS we have used:
We have traveled the world testing the Saratoga Jacks Thermal cooker in almost every circumstance, and in addition to the "safe to use indoor" butane emergency stoves that we love, we also have used other sources of heat to bring our meal to a boil in the inner cooking pots. It has been tested on a Volcano Ovens using charcoal, Rocket stoves burning twigs, open fires, propane fueled camp stoves, alcohol burners, electric hot plates, glass top cook stoves, gas ranges, etc. etc.etc. and we have been thrilled with its ability to be used anywhere, so far... We were also impressed with a recent review done by Utah Preppers and at the Prepare Today blogs.
(Picture taken at the Historic Carthage Jail in Carthage, Illinois- Amy Loveless)
ANY further questions about our cookers?
Call or email us, and don't just listen to us...
CHECK OUT WHAT OUR CUSTOMERS HAVE SAID!