Comfort Me With Beets is hitting the road wherever social distancing is possible and pandemic restrictions permit. This means my new food obsession is figuring out how to cook great meals in Pernell, our new Pleasure Way. Pernell is what RV types call a “class B” motorhome. It’s small but mighty with a lot of bells and whistles, including a tiny dual microwave / convection oven, a two-burner gas stove and a fridge of decent size, considering the limitations of the space.

We saddled up Pernell for a trot over to Ocean Shores and Bay Point last week. Just two nights, long enough to figure out how much we need to learn about operating a motorhome, packing it, and getting comfortable in a coach that’s about 21 feet long and 7.5 feet wide. This included sharing the bed with our mutt, Benny.

We learned that dealing with the waste from the toilet isn’t nearly as gross as I’d anticipated, but clean and easy and fast. We learned that my cooking ahead plans were smart, making the microwave our best friend, though I did take raw beef and make hamburgers in a cast iron pan on the stove.

Stay tuned for posts from the road about making healthy meals. On longer trips I’m planning to take a 3qt. InstaPot, one cast iron skillet, one non-stick skillet and a ceramic baking pan. That’s it. We’ll see how I do.

Those of you old enough to remember Bonanza may recognize “Pernell” as a nod to Pernell Roberts who played Adam Cartright on the show. Roberts was born in 1928, the same year as my dad. He spent a significant part of his life supporting civil rights and fighting racism by participating in marches from Selma to Montgomery and pressing NBC to stop hiring white actors to play minorities, among other activist efforts. He died in 2010.

Given the nature of the times, I thought naming the RV Pernell was a suitable tribute to both the actor and to my dad, who loved Bonanza.

Stay tuned for more from the Pernell Project.

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