I have been incorporating myself into the Horde over the past month while learning about RVs and full time RV living. It has been an interesting time and the only thing I know for sure is that I have a lot more to learn.
When I first arrived and started to prep meals with everyone I found the “Drawer of Pans”.
For most full time RV owners there is nothing out of the ordinary about this drawer. For me, this drawer has been on my mind. A lot.
You see, a year or so ago I was contemplating a kitchen renovation in my sticks & bricks house. Because my kitchen was just too small. There wasn’t enough room for all the pans, much less food.
To be fair, I cooked a lot in that kitchen. Cooking up buffets to serve a hundred or so guests, twenty or so king cakes, cookies for everyone in the tri-state region and a ridiculous amount of food preservation was normal in this kitchen.
My kitchen was a not some show-room, entertaining, Hollywood kitchen. It was a working kitchen. And I wanted more space to work in. So much more space that I seriously entertained the prospect of turning the formal living room into the kitchen and the “old kitchen” into the den.
So, as I was helping prep for dinner in the RV, I was instructed to get a pan out, and I found myself staring in wonder at the three stacked pans.
Surely this must be a joke. There is no way that actual food can be cooked with such a meager selection.
No, clearly this was a trick on the RV noob.
I continued to watch the kitchen suspiciously, waiting for the moment when a new secret location was revealed with more pans. This RV is full of stashes where an amazing amount of treasures are stored. In fact, I am pretty sure that the underbelly is actually a portal to Narnia.
A few casserole pans appeared, and an electric skillet and crock pot, but to my astonishment, no more pans.
This put me in a reflective mood about my old kitchen renovation desires.
At no point did I ever think that maybe my kitchen was absolutely fine, that maybe I needed to just get rid of some crap.
Did I really need two giant pasta pots? Four pie pans? Six spring form pans? Three cast iron pans?
Okay, the cast iron pans I needed. (Don’t argue this with me, or I will smack you with one.) The rest, however, could have been downsized.
Then I started reflecting on old apartments when I was so poor that just having a kitchen with food in it felt like the greatest thing in the universe. I managed to cook meals for myself and friends in kitchen spaces that make an RV kitchen seem palatial, and they were all delicious. I didn’t have fancy gadgets or cutting edge appliances or state of the art pans or more than a square foot of counter space. Somehow roast turkeys and soups and cookies and jams and jellies and many other delicious treats emerged from those kitchens.
With two or three pans.
Stacked in a small drawer or cabinet.
In a way, every part of the downsizing experience has been an exercise similar to the “The Drawer of Pans”. I have continually reduced my personal possessions back to the days when I made $4.50 an hour and everything I had could fit into my car.
Back then, I thought I was poor. Yet I still had friends, travelled and snowboarded all over the country, and created some great memories. When adventure came knocking on my door I never had to think too hard about who would take care of my stuff, because I just didn’t have any. No mortgage, no car payment, no credit cards. I just went, explored and learned.
Now I find myself back to that place, but with enough years to really appreciate the simplicity of it all.
Especially a drawer with three pans.