The best way to cook in a caravan

I’ve categorised this post as “eating in” but arguably it should be “eating out”!

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Take one box of store cupboard items that are versatile enough to be used a few ways each; mustard, mayonnaise, cocoa, peanut butter, honey, marmite, ketchup.

Between all of these you have various choices what to put on bread or toast, the makings of salad dressings and pasta sauces. I tend to buy a small bottle each of olive oil and vinegar when I get there.

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Caravan kitchens are pretty compact and you’ll need to be organised. The good thing about caravans in France is that you get a proper oven rather than a funny French mini oven often found in apartments. The downside may be the lack of a microwave and kettle. Fridges in caravans are usually pretty big meaning you can stock up for a few days at a time. Buying fresh stuff from markets is part of the fun of a French self catering holiday!

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Take a decent knife of your own. I deliberately kept the cardboard box of this Heston Blumenthal knife by Grunwerg as I always take it away on holiday (not as hand baggage in aeroplanes obviously!).

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A small chopping board of your own makes you feel at home too. I can’t bear those knackered plastic ones you get in caravans – plus they don’t do your nice sharp knives any good!

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Compulsory chiller cabinet purchases in Franceā€¦ shredded carrots and celeriac. For some reason the French don’t do coleslaw but these two items are much nicer anyway. Stock up also on olives for pre-dinner snacking in the eveningā€¦ with a nice cold glass of wine!

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Avoid cooking vegetables by sticking to salads. French supermarkets often sell gigantic lettuces and sometimes they have special cold sprays fitted to douse the leaves down and keep them fresh. Mind you don’t get wet!

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Salad dressing in a mug – olive oil, vinegar, mustard, honey. Quick and easy.

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Easy pasta dish – stir a bag of shredded emmental cheese and creme fraiche into macaroni. Serve warm with left overs cold the next day.

Finally, make use of the barbecue! French supermarkets sell smaller selections of ready marinated meat than the UK but cubed pork kebabs and chicken drumsticks should be widely available. French sausages are much chunkier than British ones with fewer flavours. Their burgers cost more but are better quality.

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Pictures previously taken on a press trip thanks to Eurocamp in 2012. The trip was blogged last year at Maison Cupcake. The Heston knife was a gift from Grunwerg.

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