I don’t like cooking. It is a necessary evil.
Some people take greater enjoyment in culinary creations that come from their own talents. I am not one of those people. For me, toiling away in the kitchen before diving into a delicious meal diminishes my enjoyment. Like, a lot.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m actually a pretty decent cook. But I don’t take pleasure in it. I would rather be doing so many other things.
Back in our home-owning days, J did the bulk of the cooking. Our rhythm shifted dramatically as we went full-time, though. Since he does all of the towing, I picked up more of the cooking to help offset the time and energy he puts into moving our house for us.
Then the pandemic hit. With restaurants closed, we began eating in way more, just like everyone else. That meant more cooking across the board, of course.
On top of that, we found ourselves camped in our friends’ side yard to weather the Covid-19 storm. In that scenario, we were helping our friends with some house projects. The bulk of that effort fell to J, the one who has actual construction skills. Add on the extra layers of the new truck build he was working on while we had access to tools and workspace, and his availability to cook decreased even more.
You’re probably doing the math. All of these factors thrust me into the chef role way more than I’d like. At some point it felt like all I did was either cook or clean up from cooking. And doing it with all of the frustrations of having nothing more than a “meal prep station” to work in. That’s not exactly a winning formula for someone who doesn’t like to cook.
Being back on the road, but moving more slowly than we did when we started out, we’ve been able to scale down my culinary efforts somewhat. Unfortunately it became a sort of autopilot rhythm for us and it’s taken some effort to break that cycle.
Of all of the surprises in our nomadic journey so far, me becoming the lead chef has definitely been one of the most unexpected. I do take the job seriously, though, because I like to eat good food. And if I am going to spend time in the kitchen I want to maximize it in whatever ways I can, knowing I’m never going to revel in the experience.
So if I’m sharing a recipe here on Propane and Bourbon, it’s one that I’ve worked to maximize the ROI. Making the effort to tweak, adjust, and combine recipes to suit our sensibilities about texture and flavor has long-term benefits that keep me just a little less grumpy about time in the kitchen.
That, and frequent dance breaks to upend the monotony.