Tag Archives: travel

VW Cuisine- Blog post 3

Temple of Apollo

For part one click here, for part two click here.

From Greece we moved on to Turkey, a truly fascinating country with a bad rap. There’s something compelling about Turkey. The mix of eastern and western cultures, the many ancient sites and natural wonders, the friendly people and scrumptious food, and the diversity combine to make a trip there one of endless fascination.

The coastline is dotted with resort towns combining the best of white sand beaches with wild bars and terrific seafood restaurants. The interior of the country has gorgeous scenery and a compelling history.

For instance, there is an underground city called Derinkuyu there, cut 7 stories deep in the solid rock, probably by the Hittites, who were contemporaries of the Babylonians. In the center is a huge circular air shaft. It contains stables, wineries, schools and endless tunnels down which you duck-walk to reach the next level.

The food of Turkey is similar to that of Greece (but don’t tell them that). One of my favorite appetizers was boreki, cigar-shaped cylinders of phyllo dough wrapped around Gruyere cheese with fresh dill and parsley, deep-fried to a golden crunchiness.

Of course, we still cooked a lot in the kombi or VW  van as well. One day I got extremely lucky with a pasta dish that I was never capable of replicating. In the pantry(under the back seat) I had some pasta. In the tiny fridge I had a bit of medium white cheese, an egg and some milk. I had a few people to feed that night, so I cooked up the pasta in one pot. In the other, I mixed the egg and milk well, and turned on a medium flame. I crushed up the cheese as best I could since I had no grater. When the milk started to thicken up, I added the cheese and some salt and pepper and stirred until the cheese was melted. After my husband had drained the pasta outside, I mixed the pasta and the sauce and it was a huge hit.

You may want to purchase MagicKitchen.com’s easy pasta dishes instead of attempting this at home.

Melody, MagicKitchen.com blogger

facebooktwitterpinterest

VW Cuisine- blog post one

I once went traveling in Europe in a VW Camper van for several months.  What a trip, and it called for a lot of ingenuity to cook meals with local products on a little two-burner butane stove. Here are some notes from that trip, I hope you enjoy them!

Cooking in a Kombi can be extremely challenging. I had some spectacular successes and some truly awful failures. I once cooked a two-course meal for eight while parked on a  street in Athens. We bought our VW Kombi, soon to be known as “The Wanderer”, in London, England. My husband was in charge of navigation, advance notice of lane changes, and calmly reminding me every single time that a right turn was into the far lane, because as you know, in England they drive on the left.

In England we discovered Gammon(ham), crisps (chips to us) and orange squash drinks. We moved on to Scotland for a tour of the Scotch refineries. Did you know you can get tipsy just from standing in a distillery and inhaling the fumes?

Here was our most successful meal in the British Isles:

Beef Stew

The trick to making a beef stew in a Kombi is to buy an already-tender cut of meat. You don’t want to use up all your butane tenderizing a tough cut, which can take hours.

1/2 lb. tender beef, cubed
1  10-oz can beef consomme
2 potatoes, cubed
2 carrots, sliced
1 small onion, Chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cup red wine

Brown the beef in a little oil in a large pot. Dump in the consomme and a can of water, stir in the flour and bring to a boil while stirring.
Add the rest of the ingredients and lower the heat. Simmer until vegetables are cooked, stirring often.(Or MagicKitchen.com makes an awesome beef stew!)

 Romania

Romania was a country I would only recommend to the bravest travelers 20 years ago. Amenities may have been updated since then. But either way, I would still recommend it whole-heartedly. It will sweep you back in time as you visit medieval towns such as Sighasoara, where Vlad Dracul was born (and where you can have a beer and a meal in the building where he was born.) The discomforts we encountered included a scarcity of food, which leads to this recipe. One ingredient here can only be found in the Alps of Romania, and the charm and flavor of the cheese is directly related to how long you’ve gone without a substantial meal. Keeping in mind that we lost ten pounds in two weeks in Romania, I present to you:

 

Bark Cheese Sauté

2 tomatoes, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 hot peppers, diced
1 sweet pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 Tbsp oil
4 Tbsp bark cheese (This is a crumbly, sharp goat cheese with a strong resin taste from the tree bark which is the container)
1.5 cups hot cooked rice

Note that any of these vegetables can be changed to whatever catches your eye at a roadside stand. Sauté the vegetables in the oil until soft, pour them over the rice and sprinkle with the cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.

I’ll leave you with one more easy standard:

I Don’t Care Eggs

A kombi is almost never parked level. That’s how this recipe came about.

4 eggs
1 Tbsp butter
salt and pepper to taste

Ask your husband how he wants his eggs. If he replies, correctly, “I don’t care”, then melt the butter into the pan and crack in the eggs. Since the van slant will inevitably run the eggs into one mass, impossible to separate, give up on your plan of over easy and just scramble them all together. Serve with fresh local bread.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these memories, I have more VW Kombi recipe to come in future blogs.

Melody, MagicKitchen.com blogger

 

facebooktwitterpinterest