Farmers’ Markets & One-Wok Cooking
We’re still on our gastronomical kick here in Austin. Over the week-end we attended a Farmers’ Market in Sunset Valley, one of our favorite local activities and a great way to get fresh, seasonal produce and sample specialties from the region. Austin, being a very food-oriented city, has several major Farmers’ Markets which offer a plethora of choices in organic vegetables, honey, chocolate, raw cheeses, mushrooms, and pastured (grass-fed) meat and eggs. We load up at these places and will stuff as much as we possibly can into the RV fridge in preparation for many splendid evenings of gourmet cooking at home.
And we looooove cooking at home, absolutely love it. For many years we believed in “the bigger the kitchen the better the cooking”. That was our motto right up until the time we moved to Asia and spent 2 years living in Hong Kong in a mini-apartment. The kitchen, believe it or not, was far smaller than one we currently have in our RV, having no oven, no fridge, a simple portable 2-burner stove-top and only barely enough space to squeeze by each other if we held our breath. It was, simply put, the worst kitchen we had ever lived in, and we were flummoxed as to how to cook in it…..until the day we discovered the Wok.
We actually had a Wok, like many people do. It was something we’d bought 6 years or so before our Asia experience with great excitement. We paid ~$15 for it in San Francisco China Town, seasoned it ourselves, proceeded to do 2-3 stir-fry’s in it and then promptly stored it away for all eternity, because after all, how many stir-frys do you really need? Our mini-kitchen experience brought it back to life and it was only then we discovered the true value of this fabulous Asian tool. The wok is both deep, voluminous, can handle all kinds of heat and yet is a super-space saver on the stove-top. During our years in HK we learned to use it almost exclusively. Besides the basic stir-fry we discovered we could make soups with it, steam vegetables, create curries, do pasta, roast meat, cook stews, make flat-bread…just about anything! It became our ultimate cooking machine and we finally understood why Asians (who often have v.small kitchens) love it so much.
When we moved into the RV the trusty wok came with us, and it’s been a super-utensil ever since. If I could have only one pot, this would be it and I try to promote it whenever I can. So, if you’ve never discovered the ultimate RV cooking utensil you may want to go Asian-style and give this a go. Cooking gourmet-style in the RV is just one pot away 🙂