Monthly Archives: February 2013

RV Kitchen Collapsible Products by Progressive International

Measuring Cups by Progressive

I was first introduced to Progressive International products when I was invited to come speak at the first Culinary Experience sponsored by Camping World/Good Sam Club at their 2012 National Rally in Louisville, Kentucky.  Progressive had a very large array of collapsible products on display  that would work great in the RV kitchen.  Other than the Camping World stores, Progressive can be found at lots of different outlets.

My first Progressive purchase was the Progressive International 5-Piece Set Collapsible Measuring Cups, Blue . What I love about these measuring cups (besides that fact that they collapse) is that there is a tiny magnet in the handle of each cup that forces them to stay connected while in the drawer or where ever you decided to store them. Progressive did share with me that the magnets would soon be going away because of the cost of magnets are going up sharply in price, so I hope you get yours before that happens.

I do recommend Progressive International – as a company that offers a durable RV kitchen accessories and other products  that works very well in My RV Kitchen. I would hope that you will give them a try, too.  I feel confident that once you have….you will enjoy their products as much as I do.  Below you will find a product carousel from Amazon that displays some of my favorites for Progressive International. Take a look.

Dehydrating – Getting More Foods Into A Small Footprint

Finding ways for all of us to live easy in the RV kitchen is my passion.  When I come across something that feels right to me, I research it …. digging for all the facts so when I bring you information… I am totally sold on it.  Plus, you can be rest assured that I am already involved in it.  I made a list of the pros & cons of dehydrating foods and there is no doubt in my mind – Dehydrating is a perfect way to get more of the foods that we love into a small space – the RV kitchen.

Now I can understand the apprehensions that you might have but stay with me while we research this topic together. Drying of Foods –  From Wikipedia:  Drying is a method of food preservation that works by removing water from the food, which inhibits the growth of microorganisms. Open air drying using sun and wind has been practiced since ancient times to preserve food.[2] A solar or electric food dehydrator can greatly speed the drying process and ensure more-consistent results. Water is usually removed by evaporation (air drying, sun drying, smoking or wind drying) but, in the case of freeze-drying, food is first frozen and then the water is removed by sublimation. Bacteria, yeasts and molds need the water in the food to grow, and drying effectively prevents them from surviving in the food.

Back in January of 2011, after comparing all the brands that were available, I made my first purchase of a dehydrator …. I was sold on the Excalibur. Coming is three sizes – 4, 5 and 9 trays, I went with the 9 tray.  Yes, it is only for the Professor and myself but I am fortunate to have family members who have wonderful gardens and who love to keep us well stocked with an abundance of vegetables from spring to the first frost.

Now, let’s talk about you and your needs.  Whether you are a full-timer like me,  someone who RVs for the weekend ….or up to 6 months out of the year; what better way to select the foods that are packed away in your pantry that are all the  fruits and vegetables you & your family love to eat?  While you are going up and down America’s roadways passing the many Farmers’ Markets that are springing up everywhere, consider buying in bulk.  Not only are you saving your hard earned cash by doing so, but also, by taking those foods …..first dehydrate then second vacuum packing, with  something like a FoodSaver V3835 Vacuum Food Sealer with SmartSeal Technology, Silver/Black, you are consuming much healthier foods because most all farmers markets are organic, as well. (Please take the time to ask the Farmers Market owner if their foods are organic.) You are now ready to stop at a local grocery for your favorite cut of meat(s) and wa-la…. you now have a great selection of the veggies on hand to make  wonderful soups or stews in the crock-pot,  casseroles in the oven…. or whatever you desire.  Why vacuum packing?  Air adds moisture. You can place those most often used veggies like onions,  garlic and herbs into canisters (like these used with the Food Saver 3pc Round Canister Set) It really is a great way to store.

If you have never dehydrated before but are now ready to jump right in….it really is a wonderful fun way to accomplish the goal which is to get more foods into our pantries and using less space. I am a believer. Go to the Excalibur website to watch the great videos on how it is all done step-by-step.  My #1 advice on dehydrating is…plan to enjoy this new adventure ….but do it outdoors. No one enjoys all those smells in our homes. If you are a full-time RVer….make yourself a work station to do the actually dehydrating outside.  If you live in a traditional home….the outside patio or garage works well, too. (Never do onions or garlic inside!!)  There are more things you will need to know about dehydrating so take the time to become educated.  Excalibur  does a great job of showing you how it’s done.  Something new….. is the fun colors that you see below. …and even camouflage!!!   Thanks for taking the time to be with me.  If I can answer any questions I can be reached by going to the contact page. Happy RVing!

Defrosting RV Refrigerator / Freezer

Are you like me and decided to start my new month off  by taking a good look at my RV Refrigerator/Freezer and making the decision it was time to defrost?  Well,  let’s get right to it…and spend a little time talking about how the defrosting process is done properly. Defrosting RV refrigerator can be done with ease.

It doesn’t matter if you have a Norcold (like mine) or the Dometic brand. These steps will be the same.
Steps for defrosting the RV freezer:

  • Push the ON/OFF button to the OFF position. (You may have a switch that turns, regardless, turn to the off position)
  • Remove all foods.

 

  • Note: If you have a buildup of frost on the fins inside the refrigerator….this will defrost also and you will need to have a large bowl ready outside at the back of your unit to catch the water as it drains out. (you will need to remove the access panel)Backside of RV Refrigerator
  • The Norcold drain tube (top right side photo) rest inside a small drain pan but the water will need to go in a large bowl because the drain pan is too small to hold a significant amount of water.

    Backside  - drain tube

    Dometic backside – drain tube

  •  Dometic has a drain tube (middle right photo) but not a drain pan. The water will go through the tube and out the grill on the back side of the refrigerator.  Make sure that the tube is resting through the grill at all times to
  • avoid water seeping down behind the appliance and causing damage. (bottomphoto)

    Dometic drain hose

    Dometic drain hose

  • Place dry towels inside (on the floor) of the empty freezer for soaking up melted frost.
  •  Placing bowls of warm tap water (not boiling) in the bottom of the freezer (photo on the right) will speed up the defrosting process. Caution: never use high temperature water – warping/melting can occur of the inside walls. Never use a hair blow dryer, any source of fire or sharp tools during defrosting.My RV Refrigerator
  • Once all frost has melted use dry towels to remove all water. Clean inside with warm moist towel with a mild soap. Avoid harsh cleansers of any kind.
  •  Replace all foods and restart your RV refrigerator.
  •  Don’t forget to place the drain tube back into the drain pan on the back side of the unit. (Norcold brand)