Feb 062013

If you are a regular reader of J5MM you may have heard me mention that wintertime is my favorite time to be with my Airstream. Spending our days outdoors in the snow to retreat into our warm and cozy trailer at the end of the day is something hubby, B and I enjoy.   Once we get settled in, the boys either read or play games while I’m whipping up our apres-ski dinner menu.  Then after dinner we typically pull down the shades and watch a movie together.  This time it was especially enjoyable since we had our little pup Oliver with us.  He fits into our “wolf pack” Airstreaming family just perfectly!

Just this past weekend we brought the Airstream up to our local ski area called The Summit at Snoqualmie.    The Summit happens to be a pleasant (and scenic) 45 minute drive from our home.  We specifically stay at Alpental which is one out of the four ski areas located here at the Summit.  I have been coming to ski Alpental for quite some time.  Hubby since he was a kid and same with B.   Not only does The Summit  offer up some fantastic skiing, you can also cross country ski or snow shoe here as well.  A true winter wonderland!

To secure an RV spot here, the key is to leave early on Friday since all spaces are first come – first serve.   You can see us in the picture below — we think it’s the best spot!  Do you see those skiers walking next to our Airstream?  Well that little hill right in front of them is where the skiing begins.   It is all downhill from there.  So convenient and we had a great view of the slopes too.  We were happy to be here !

I was especially happy to be here because I was looking forward to cooking in my tiny kitchen.  Inspiration for dinner this weekend came  from my favorite CSA (Full Circle Farms).  They created a beautiful and {FREE} Apres-Ski recipe eBook (download here ) where I found their recipe for a White Bean and Kale stew.  There was also a molten chocolate lava cake I would make that comes highly recommended by my friend Lori :)  {Details at the end of the post}

Since I could not stop thinking about that molten chocolate lava cake, I decided to just go for it and make it ahead so it would be ready to pop in the oven in the evening.  So the next morning when the boys headed out to ski, I prepared the cake before catching up with them.

Children, children everywhere!  The Summit at Snoqualmie offers up some talented ski instructors to teach little ones (and adults too!) how to ski or snowboard.

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Here is the beautiful Alpental Lodge where you can cozy up inside with some hot food and beverages while watching the skiers come down the mountain.

Back in the Airstream:
So for a long time I have been struggling with this sink.  Ugh.  Like another reader friend of mine mentioned — it is a definite love/hate relationship she has with hers.  I couldn’t agree more.  But during this trip I think I am finally okay with it.  I solved a solution to extend my counter space (there seems to be less counter space on this Airstream compared to my last one) by purchasing this {awesome} cutting board complete with a silicone collapsible strainer (that can be removed).  I tried it once and knew immediately it was a keeper.  Look how perfect the faucet lines up with the strainer.  You can also chop your veggies and easily slide them into the strainer.  Very handy!

It’s a lot of fun here in the RV parking lot   The sun was shining and people were in high spirits!!

Back to the sink:
The second issue I have had with this sink is that it is a single sink and washing dishes was something I fretted over because I just could not come up with a system that worked.  I either ended up using way too much water or making a watery mess all over my counter top.  Needless to say, I was used to my double sink in my prior Airstream.  But I think I’m okay with it now thanks to finally figuring out a system for washing dishes.

Here’s what I came up with:

RV Dish Washing

Set the stage:  Dish drainer from Umbra I found at the Container Store.  The bottom is on a slant so the water will pour out of a small opening.  In my sink is a collapsible tub also found at the Container Store.  The tub is filled with just enough hot water and soap so that I am able to dip my scrubbing brush into it to give the dishes a good wash.

Then I boil some water that I use as my rinse.  I found this stainless steel measuring bowl thingy at Goodwill.  It has a spout which helps direct the water where I will eventually want it to go. The beauty of using boiling water as your rinse is that it heats up your dishes so they practically dry themselves (after waiting a few minutes).  I was pretty surprised to discover that.

While my water is coming to a boil, I use napkins left over from dinner and use them to “wipe” off any food left on the plates.  I then scrub the dishes and place them with their soapy suds into the dish drainer.

Next I take my dish drainer and place it atop the tub which will allow the water from the rinse to empty into the tub.  I then carefully pour the hot water over the dishes to rinse them.  I then give the dishes a flip and rinse them again on their opposite sides.

Lastly I place the dish drainer with dishes and all over the stove top and allow it to sit for a few minutes.  The dishes are hot and a lot of the water left on the dishes from the rinse will begin to evaporate.

I dispose of the water into the black tank (it holds more than the grey tank).  I once heard that if enough food goes down your grey tank scum will build up causing your sensors to work inaccurately.  Not sure how true that is but for me, this system seems to work.

Below is a shot of a snow groomer.  While everyone was fast asleep that evening, I could hear the faint “Rrrrrr” sound of the groomers combing the mountains during the wee hours of the morning.  I peeked out of the window and could see them waaaaaay up on top of the mountain, so tiny, with their bright spotlights guiding them through the dark.  That was a cozy feeling and something you couldn’t experience if you weren’t staying in your rv/trailer at the base of the mountain.

Where B learned to ski.  The magic carpet!  Now he is officially ski racing and had his first Giant Slalom on Sunday.   We are very proud of B!

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Back in the Airstream:
Cast iron is my favorite way to cook.  I cook at home with it and I cook on the Airstream with it.  I love my pans dearly and always tell B that one day, these pans will be his and by then they will be perfect!

I plan on writing a post all about cast iron care and how I go about it, but in the meantime I can show you how I store my pans.  With cast iron its important to keep them nice and oiled in between usage.  So when I am finished cleaning them, I wipe them with oil, place paper plates in between them and keep them in the bottom of my oven.  Just three pans:  griddle and two skillets.  The paper plates serve to keep the bottom of the pans oil free.

Where the molten cake came from:

For a few months now I have been listening to my sweet friend Lori talk about how “good for you” Wildtree products are.  Knowing she only feeds herself and her family all natural goodness, takes care of herself by working out religiously and enjoys life to the fullest — I trusted her.  “Monica, Wildtree has ZERO additives, preservatives, MSG, food dyes, irradiation, GMOs, high fructose corn syrup and trans fats! In 2013 Wildtree will be certified organic.”  Okay, I was sold {and intrigued}

I placed an order for products that I thought would do well in my Airstream kitchen like some unique grapeseed oil blends, bread and spice mixes.   Things I could use to help me make dinner quickly when I wasn’t in the mood to cook (like whole wheat pizza dough where you just add water and maybe garlic flavored grapeseed oil?!) .

The Wildtree molten lava cake was ridiculously simple to make!  Here is a link to Lori’s Wildtree site where you can find the mix and also see the other unique products they offer :)

*In hindsight, it was totally unnecessary to make this ahead of time.  It literally takes seven minutes to prepare with five of those minutes being time where you are allowing the mixture to cool before adding two eggs and baking it off.  Too easy.

How I made the Hearty Tomato, Spinach & White Bean Stew

So first of all, it has become a ritual for me to forget to pack important things on our trips. Usually it’s the phone charger, or the flash drive or any other number of items. This time it was one of the main ingredients for dinner — the kale (!!) but luckily hubby packed a bag of spinach so relief set in and I got busy.

I took my cast iron skillet and sauteed half of an onion that I diced.  To that I added a can of crushed tomatoes, chopped garlic (to taste) a pinch of red pepper flakes and one vegetable bouillon cube that I crushed with my fingers and sprinkled in.  I let some of the liquids evaporate before I put in one can of white beans with their liquid, a big huge handful of spinach along with some S&P.  I let the liquids cook down again until I was able to make little spaces in the stew to poach some eggs in.  I then covered the skillet with my flat cast iron griddle (doubles as a lid) and let the eggs cook until they were the way we liked them.  While the griddle lid was on I turned on the back burner and toasted up some English muffins (I just put them straightaway on top of the burners on low and fliped often).  Then I served dinner up like you see in the picture above.

Nothing warms you up better than a hot drink.  A couple years ago I made the best Mexican hot chocolate in the Airstream after a day of skiing.  You can find the recipe for that here

{THANK YOU} Summit at Snoqualmie for such a wonderful ski experience!  Year after year we continue to come back in order to create more memories that B will carry on into his life and hopefully one day will bring his children here.  We are especially happy that we can glamp with our Airstream because we think it makes the experience much richer

  10 Responses to “Housekeeping: Mastering the Art of Dishwashing and Ski In and Ski Out Trip ★”

  1. Another fabulous post Monica-all the tips are wonderful, and that stew looks incredibly delicious. You’ve given me so many good ideas for equipment and organization in our Sprinter-heading to the Container Store this weekend-thanks so much for sharing.

  2. Such a great set up you guys have! My husband skied last Monday and it was epic. I skied last Tuesday and nearly killed myself. Night and day (darn rain!). Must be so nice to have your snuggly second home right there with you on the slopes. :-)

  3. Monica,
    I am sure you posted it but I cant find where you found the cutting board with the strainer. I think it makes great sense. Love the site and especially the photos of the food! Happy Valentines Day!

    • Hello Mike! I am happy to share — I found that wonderfully helpful cutting board with strainer at the Container Store. If you don’t have one close to you, you can order online :) Happy Valentines day to you too! ♥

  4. Hi! Your Airstream is fabulous. I love it. One question – how do you keep from freezing up the pipes up there in the snow? We have an older Airstream we are renovating and I would love to make the addition so we can use it year round…. I am guessing there are heat tapes on the pipes, maybe?


  5. I’ve just found your blog and your lists are wonderful! A truly entertaining blend of all the right stuff; photos, how-to’s, recipes, more fabulous photos, styling goodies …. Bravo!
    Coincidentally, as I was reading this post my twitter lit up with news of a deadly crash on the Snoqualmie highway. How very sad! I’m hoping you and everyone you know are safe.

    • Hello Sophia, thank you for your kind words and thinking of us. That was truly a horrific accident that happened yesterday. So incredibly sad and my heart goes out to the families of the victims. We were not on the road at the time, but we frequent that part every weekend for skiing. So very sad!

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