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RV Thanksgiving: Feasting Large In Spaces Small

Roadzies

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It was once suggested to me that celebrating Thanksgiving in our RV was an utterly ridiculous notion. “HOW can you prepare such a grand meal in such a small space?!” “WHAT on earth could you serve without access to a full kitchen?!” “WHO would ever want to join you on such an adventure?!”

Never one to back away from a challenge, I am here to break it all down for you. Hopefully, by the end, you will be convinced that you, too, can have your own epic campout for your next Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving and eating go hand in hand. Good eating, that is. So if you are going to eat well, then you need to prepare it well. RVs are not known for their spacious kitchens, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make magic happen. You just need to be creative!

  • The turkey fryer – The first time that I heard about this method, I was completely repulsed. Turns out that this way of preparing a turkey is DELICIOUS! The outside is crispy and the insides are super moist. But it's important that you take precautions. Do not do what anyone did
    . Or
    . If, after seeing these, you would still like to try frying your turkey, then you can use an indoor fryer or an outdoor fryer.
  • The toaster oven – Everyone should have a toaster oven. I have a full-size oven in my home, and my toaster oven is used far more. It just makes so much more sense when considering heat and energy output. Some toaster ovens offer fancy options while others are quite simple. These compact ovens are perfect for a batch of mashed potatoes, stuffing or baking a pie.
  • The slow cooker – This kitchen wonder saves my life every holiday season. Slow cookers come in all shapes and sizes, large and small. They can handle casseroles, ciders, breads, dips and so much more. One year we even used ours to cook our holiday ham.
  • The barbecue – No RVing adventure would be complete without the ol' trusty Bbq. There is something so wonderful and comforting about cooking outside over an open flame, and to do so on a holiday makes it that much more special. Have you tried barbecued turkey breast or grilled root vegetables? Divine!

I don’t know about you, but I like a Thanksgiving dinner that offers a lot of options. A few main dishes, a lot of sides and a generous array of desserts is the perfect ticket. The joy of holiday campouts is that you get to eat all of this amazing food for at least a few days. Meal planning is an important part of RVing, even more so on holiday weekends. I have thrown together a sample of what one of our Thanksgiving plans would look like:

  • Turkey breast – to be roasted in heavy duty foil in barbecue.
  • Many types of sausages – to be cooked on barbecue.
  • Onions, carrots and celery – to be roasted with turkey breast on barbecue.
  • Stuffing – Prepare before trip and store in zip-top bag. When ready, empty contents into 9X13 pan and bake in toaster oven. When finished, remove and cover in foil.
  • Green bean casserole – Prepare and bake while stuffing is cooling.
  • Sweet potato casserole – Thanks to my slowcooker and Pillsbury. Works every single time.
  • Mashed potatoes – Make these ahead and freeze. When ready, pop in the microwave and serve hot.
  • Gravy – Heinz Home Style with some beef bouillon added for depth. Microwave and serve.
  • Cranberry sauce – Okay, the child in me still can’t get enough of the cranberry in a can action. You can have your fancy cranberries because mine are so awesome, they don’t even need chewing.
  • Buttered peas – Microwave the frozen peas. Top with a pat of melted butter.
  • Black olives – Again, canned. No Thanksgiving is complete without 10 olives on 10 fingers.
  • Pickles – Every year these make a showing on our table. They are small, they pack a punch and they have just always been there.
  • Cheese platter – This doesn’t need to be fancy. We like sharp cheddar, swiss, a soft goat cheese, nuts, fruit (dried and/or fresh) and some crackers.
  • Hawaiian Rolls – Always buy more than you think you’ll need. They go really fast.
  • Banana Cream Pie Jars – Banana pudding, Cool Whip and crushed Nilla wafers layered in a mason jar. YUMMM!!
  • S'mores – We kick these up by including peanut butter cups, Starburst (yes, Starburst), pretzels and caramel filled chocolate squares.
  • Spirits – wine, beer, Kahlua, Bailey's and bourbon. For sharing of course. ;)

Speaking of sharing, this is really what Thanksgiving is all about. The camping community is made up of wonderfully adventurous, kind and lovely people who just want to have a good time. Mix that with a four-day holiday dedicated to food and fun and you have the recipe for epic memories. It is a beautiful experience to see how campers come together to share and care. The drinks flow freely, the food is never-ending and you are surrounded by people that become lifelong friends. I know a group of people who met for the first time at a campground’s Thanksgiving party in 2007 and have gotten together every year since. After all, tradition is what Thanksgiving is all about, right?

So there you have it -- the how, what and who explanation as to why you should spend your next Thanksgiving in your RV. You don’t need an enormous space to create an unforgettable meal for your friends and family. While planning and patience are critical, gratitude truly is the most important ingredient for your ultimate Thanksgiving campout.



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