My husband and I recently took a five day roadtrip from Atlanta to Illinois for his grandmother’s memorial.
The trip was long, unexpected, beautiful, difficult, and completely worth it.
The rich funeral ritual did its blessed work. I met in-laws I knew only by legend. Aaron and I benefited from the grace of friends going to and from.
And we stuck it to the man.
Oh yes. We really did.
Here’s the short of it. Our little family is in a season of transition. We are moving to another state, I start seminary in a few weeks, and Aaron is pursuing his first pastoral call. Our needs are certainly being met, but money is a restricted kind of commodity right now.
With that in mind, we decided to “eat in” for the month of July. But. How does one do such a thing ON A 5 DAY ROADTRIP?!
Say hello to my little friend.
That’s right. It is a Crockpot. My granny gave it to me. I am pretty sure it is one of the first ever made. I am also pretty sure it is one of the most radical tools in my kitchen.
And my CR-V.
We used it for hot lunches on the road and breakfasts at the hotel. We saved time, money, tummy-upset (ahem), and calories in the process.
We stuck it to the man.
- The one who says Cracker Barrel does it better.
- The one who says washing dishes is too lowly/ridiculous/time-consuming/difficult for the forward-going individual.
- The one who says we have to spend money to be content.
**We do not have to suffer in order to live sustainably.**
To think otherwise is to believe a lie of consumerism and convenience. Sure, it was work to wash dishes and prepare food when traveling. Sure, it took some major thought to plan and pack for our meals. But Aaron and I had some good discussions over our dishwashing and the planning took major thought BECAUSE I HAD NOT DONE THIS BEFORE. This is not a life-skill I was handed.
Part of my vocation—and reason for this blog— is to work out these things and share them with others. I want to take some of the guesswork out of what could be/should be common sense living.
Because life is meant to be abundant for us all. And I am dadblasted tired of the man doing all the talking.
Here's what I learned:
YOU CAN CROCKPOT IN THE CAR.
Y’all, this is a game-changer. You can either use a small conventional crockpot with an inverter like we did or purchase a slow cooker made specifically for travel.
I suggest using a small conventional crockpot with the inverter because you may then use both items in other situations. (We used the inverter to power my laptop and charge our phones when the crockpot was not in use.)
HOW TO USE A CONVENTIONAL CROCKPOT WHILST TRAVELING:
1. Get yourself an electric inverter for the cigarette lighter/9V accessory plug (if you are a lucky devil with a built-in AC plug, skip on).
2. Align your wattage.
This is super important. I blew a fuse making macaroni and cheese on Sunday because, evidently, my crockpot pulls more than my car’s capacity on HIGH. Good to know—we will keep it on the LOW setting from now on.
To avoid my mistake, check that your car’s wattage capacity (usually printed on the accessory plug cap, but definitely in the owner’s manual), your inverter, and the wattage on your crockpot all correspond.
3. Fill crockpot and drive, drive, drive.
4. Eat lentil tacos for lunch somewhere in Indiana.
YOU CAN CROCKPOT IN THE HOTEL
OH. The possibilities are endless here. We made strawberry-walnut oatmeal for breakfast both mornings while in IL (all other meals were provided by family or the local church).
I get all kinds of excited thinking about how we might use this thing in the future. Supper simmering at the hotel while sightseeing or working a conference? Don’t mind if I do.
YOU CAN DO ALL OF THIS WASTE-FREE
Don’t be afraid. It is possible. I’ll post more about this later in the week.
a quick aside ‘cause I just gotta > >
My husband is THE best. Aaron hangs with my weird ideas, discusses bravely everything from solar panels to humanure, and is my number one support when things become more challenging than I anticipated. He is with me.
He is also very cute.
I’ll post later this week with zero-waste details from the trip, and maybe a recipe or two.
Stay tuned and please share any wisdom or questions below!