Traditionally Modern American Fare

I follow a few travelers’ blogs around the world. I watch the videos of the crew of SV Delos (, because sailing the seas interests me, though I’m not sure I’m up to it after reading Joshua Slocum’s journey and the books by James Baldwin (–incredibly brave folks these are. I watch the travels of James and Jennifer Hamilton (, because again travel on the high seas is interesting and they have as beautiful a motor vessel as the sailboat SV Delos. I also follow the couple driving VANdal ( because they also live the vanlife.

The thing I notice is how many posts are about food (or drink in the case of SV Delos; they even have their own still!) They all eat such deliciously looking meals–home cooked, home baked, sometimes exotic-sounding fare. So, here’s our contribution to vittles of travel our vanlife style.

When I think of just how would we categorize our dinner menu, I’d say we eat traditionally modern American:¬†fast, easy to cook, simple to cleanup, pretty healthy (at least not fully of fat, MSG, sugar, salt, and preservatives). Vegetables that go into the dinners are 99 percent of the time fresh produce (we might open a can of corn or green beans if we have to). Fruit in our fare is half and half fresh and canned (peaches and pears usually are canned).


The typical ingredients of our Traditionally Modern American meal. (The cheese ain’t so great though; back to grating Tillamook.)

It takes about ten minutes to put this meal together, about ten minutes to cook, and ten minutes to clean up, preceded by about ten minutes to down it.

The van (it doesn’t have a name–what would we call it? VV (for Van Vessel) ???) doesn’t have a built-in stove. But we do have three of them. Like James Baldwin, because we wanted simplistic, we use simple camp stoves. Usually we only use one; and we typically make one-pot meals. Less fuss in cleanup.


Cooking up a complex meal with the Coleman and Pocket Rocket. A really complex meal requires using the Jet Boil, too.

Cleanup is always quick and easy. It has to be when you only have 12 gallons of fresh water and 2 1/2 gallons of gray water storage (2x 1 1/4 gallon tanks). The fewer items to wash, the less times we have to go find drinkable water to fill our tanks and places to dump the gray water.


Simple cleanup in limited space.

Bon apetit from Rock Hound State Park, New Mexico.

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