Monday, August 5, 2013

Challenges of hotel-room cooking

After visiting 4 different grocery stores in search for the Lady Fingers for Ryan's birthday Tiramissu....I posted a panic message on facebook. I had secretive hopes that maybe someone would have a wise last minute suggestion. I also was venting to the world about Texas grocery stores' lack of lady fingers. What does Texas have against Tiramissu?

Yes, I continue to the thrive on being bitter towards Texas. Especially when today it's supposed to be a dangerous Heat Index of 105 -- and even the morning sucks because of the humidity. And our gym is just as hot, because apparently they don't believe in air conditioners or fans. I'm not sure, but it's horrendous. Even running on the tredmill is nearly out of the question!

Anyways, back to ladyfingers. One of my facebook friends came on with an ingenius suggestion, "Here's the recipe for how to make lady fingers. It's really easy!"

I could do nothing but smirk. Yes, Maybe I can put a paperbag over our hotplate I bought at walmart to create a heat chamber and bake them on that! Or mabye I will just put them in a box, and sit them out in the parking lot for an hour. That's sure to bake the lady fingers.

Not having a stove or oven sure does make me appreciate the luxury of just having a kitchen.

I also love that someone suggested I try amazon. (You know, because I was making the recipe that day. Which was my bad. Procrastinating never wins) I'm sorry, but there will never be a day I resort to ordering food online. I know a lot of people do it -- but something about that trend makes me feel like the people that order jewelry and blenders off HSN. It's not my style.

Luckily, a frantic google search helped me to stumble upon the idea to give World Market a try. And sure enough, they never seem to fail me! They had lady fingers. I've now decided if there is any ingredient that I just cannot seem to find -- I will fall upon World Market. That store is the bee's knees.

Here are a few things that make hotel cooking a challenge and a true labor of love....

  • Having very limited space (remember this hotel's kitchen pantry is my clothes closet) means limited resources in the kitchen. In other words, my "large mixing bowl" = gladware container and my "medium mixing bowl" = plastic cereal bowl.   
  • "Blend with electric mixer until egg whites form stiff peaks" = Use fork in cereal bowl of egg whites, and beat, turn, stir, stir, stir until your arm cramps up and eventually the eggs form stiff peaks!
  • 2 Tbsp = eyeball what you think a tablespoon looked like when you actually had measuring devices in your kitchen. This is very risky in baking, but I was for the espresso in my Tiramissu. A little extra shot of joe won't hurt!
  • When making a meal, you have to really decide how badly do you want that grain (i.e. rice or penne) to go along with the base. We have 1 burner. "Choose wisely, young grasshopper," is what I tell my husband. For example, last weekend I was making chicken sausage and peppers, and we were going to serve it over penne. But was it really worth it to start all over again on my one burner?! So pepper sandwhiches it was!
  • The Garbage Disposal is THE single most vital appliance (or whatever it shall be considered) in the kitchen. I now have made The Garbage Disposal a proper noun, as that is the respect It deserves. Nothing makes me gag like when you finish the dishes, and there's those food particles in the bottom of the.....*gag*...I can't finish describing this travesty.
  • And, as a disclaimer, I am aware these are "First World Country" problems or "Child of the 90's" problems, and I expect no one to feel sorry for me.
  • Now on a serious note, How did people make green smoothies before blenders were invented or before electricity? Did they just swallow the leaves of spinach whole with their almond milk and vanilla protein powder?
So that sums up some of the challenges that stand out most profoundly. I will say that tiramissu turned out excellent! And it probably stands as the best birthday treat I've made for Ryan.

Have you ever had "kitchen challenges"? What's your most prized luxury/modern-day-convenience of your household?

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