Whether you are traveling by yourself, with your family, or with your troop – you have to eat! And sometimes the best room for the trip is the one that doesn’t come with a kitchenette. Or a microwave. Or a refrigerator. By Mercury’s winged sandals, there had better be a coffee maker!!
Ahem. Moving on.
Cooking in your hotel is one of the best ways to save money on a trip. Eating out 3 or more times a day, especially at a hotel restaurant, can get super expensive super fast. And cooking can cut those costs dramatically (just like it does at home). But you have to have some equipment. In my experience, the hotel room without a fridge is becoming scarce, and the room without a coffeemaker almost non-existent. But as far as actual cooking? Well, sometimes you have a full kitchenette in your suite, sometimes you have a microwave in your room (or down in the lobby), sometimes all you have is a coffeemaker.
There are several good resources online already for showing you how to cook using what is commonly available in a hotel room (and I’ll link to some at the end of this series of posts). This is my menu plan when faced with a lovely room that only had a fridge and a coffee maker.
- Breakfast – coffee in the coffee maker; strawberries, yoghurt and granola
- Lunch – turkey paninis made with the iron, salad
- Dinner at Sea World, no point in leaving before the fireworks! 🙂
- Breakfast – coffee in coffee maker; rest of the granola, milk, banana slices
- Lunch – rotisserie chicken, couscous made with the coffee maker, salad or veggies (I used the FBC method, rather than the Gizmodo method for the couscous)
- Dinner out
- Breakfast – coffee in the coffee maker; muffins, all the leftover fruit
- Lunch – a DIY assortment of pita bread, hummus, leftover chicken and turkey, carrots, celery, and cucumber slices
- Dinner with Shamu (one of the splurges we were saving for)
- Breakfast – coffee in the coffeemaker; applesauce sandwiches grilled with the iron (to use the last of the bread)
- Lunch – on the road!
So, if you’ll notice, I don’t really trust the coffeemaker to do my cooking. Also, it takes soooooooo loooooong to cook things using a coffeemaker, even using techniques that make me trust the idea a bit more (like double heating the water by running it through twice and insulating the carafe with foil to raise the temperature. I would rather be enjoying time with my family than babysitting a coffeepot. Also, I will now be thoroughly cleaning every hotel room coffee maker and running an empty cycle through as soon as I get there based on what I now know people are doing in there. I think it might be worth it to go buy a small bottle of white vinegar, just to be sure.
But when we got to the hotel room, I was struck kind of dumbfounded when I saw this:
Yeah, kinda like a Keurig machine, only not. I didn’t feel the need to immediately scrub the thing to get hot dog germs out of it, but I also was glad I didn’t plan anything that NEEDED to use a carafe to cook in. I still could have done the couscous, though. I just would have had to make it in individual servings, freezer bag cooking style instead of in one big batch.