Adventures in Cooking & Amazon Update

Just another friendly RVing tip from someone’s who been there: put dividers between your pots and pans when traveling too, not just your dishes.

I have Teflon coated cookware, and I nested it in the cabinet above the microwave when I started traveling. It was all metal, so it wasn’t in any danger of breaking. But the constant rubbing together took the coating off of it, so now they may as well be broke.

On Sunday I got tuna helper fixings from the store and was all set to make it that night. Then I made the discovery pictured here: that black fleck on my finger is Teflon coating that came off, you can see the spot to the left of my hand where the pot nesting inside it took it off. The fact that I didn’t make this discovery until now tells you how often I cook. Most stuff just gets warmed up inside of Tupperware containers.

Well, I have done a little cooking, but it’s been exclusively with the George Foreman that Julie gave me. I’ll cook chicken on it, then cut the chicken up and put it in a salad like so. It’s tasty and easy to do. There’s plenty of leftover chicken too, so that get refrigerated and I’ll just warm it up and throw it on top of salad for the rest of the week.

Anyway back to the tuna helper. My largest pot was still okay because that one had the plastic strainer nesting in it but it hooked over the rim of the pot and didn’t touch the sides or bottom to rub. The tuna helper directions call for a 10″ saucepan and the big pot is nearly 10″ in diameter, just much much deeper.

Here’s another tip. If you’re going to be cooking something shallow in a deep pot, get all of your ingredients into the pot before putting it on the heat. Otherwise when you’re dropping stuff in way up high like that you get splash back.

All’s well that ends well though. Cooking it in the big pot worked, and now I have had tuna helper meals for this week, which is good because I had mandatory overtime on Wednesday.

Last week, there were calls for Inbound folks to volunteer for overtime in Outbound for the big Black Friday weekend rush. I tried to volunteer, but they were only taking those who were already trained in Outbound, and they weren’t willing to train me at that time. I even got phone calls on Saturday as they tried to get more people to come in – but again it was only for those who were trained, how frustrating.

Then on Monday during the mid-day (err, mid-night?) stand up suddenly all of 8th shift was having mandatory overtime. They primarily wanted folks for Wednesday, but had a sign up sheet for Saturday as well. I’d rather work the 5 days in a row and still get my weekend so I signed up for Wednesday.

Oh, there’s been more prizes and stuff too. Last week there was a secret ‘power hour’ for each path in Inbound, so stowers, receivers, etc. During that hour if you were 100% or more to goal on numbers with no errors your name was entered into a drawing. They didn’t announce when the power hours were going to be, to keep everyone working hard at the thought of winning I suppose, but I won. The prize was $50, it came in the form of two $25 American Express gift cards. I still have to look at the rules for what I can and can’t use them on. Combine that with the 10 hours of overtime on Wednesday, and that makes me a happy camper.

The power hour thing is going to be happening every week up until Christmas it sounds like, our one for this week was on Tuesday. Monday was also suppose to be donut and juice day, but the organizers didn’t order enough. By the time Inbound got to break the donuts were all gone, and there wasn’t much juice left either. During the next stand up, our manager apologized profusely and said we’d be getting donuts next Tuesday, we’ll see how that goes.

Oh, and an update on the plumbing: my external water filter didn’t survive the ordeal, but everything else is fine. Temps are going to remain above freezing up until Tuesday night, at that point I think I’ll disconnect everything on Tuesday, and if I have Wednesday off go ahead and winterize. Otherwise, all is well in my little corner of the world. Hope you’re all having a good week.

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At IO I teach people how to ditch the status quo and travel full-time before retirement, and share stories of my adventures (and misadventures) to inspire future nomads and armchair travelers alike. Included at no additional charge: seizing your dreams, living boldly, and making a difference.


  1. Eric on December 1, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    Teflon is scary. My cast iron seasoned with olive oil has never let me down, and is quite forgiving and easy to clean.

    • Becky on December 2, 2012 at 12:12 am

      I’d probably go stainless steel over cast iron because of the weight, but who knows. 😛

  2. Kylene on December 1, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    Hey, Becky! I’m glad that it sounds like things are going pretty well for you! 🙂 We miss seeing you at Girl’s Night, though.

    For your pans, if you wanted to get really spiffy, there’s such a thing as “pan protectors” that you could buy/make. They basically look like little starfish that wrap around the bottom of the pots when they’re stacking. Do a Google image search and you’ll see what I mean.

    Take care!!

    • Becky on December 2, 2012 at 12:11 am

      Hey Kylene! I’m missing you and Justin as well. Hope you guys have been doing well down there.

      I just did a image search for pan protectors, you’re right they look like starfish, or large ‘ * ‘ signs. 😛 I can’t see spending the money right now for something like that, but I bet they do work really well!

  3. carol cooper on November 30, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    I came across your blog while reading It’s been an interesting read. Thanks for the helpful information.
    As for your pots/pans try that non-skid material you can put under an area rug to hold it in place. It’s also used as shelf liner. A roll of it is quite reasonable and easy to cut.

    • Becky on December 2, 2012 at 12:06 am

      Yeah had that for my dishes, next time I’ll know to put something for the cookware too. 😉

      Welcome to IO glad you’re enjoying it. Thanks for commenting!

  4. Hazel on November 30, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    I agree: ditch the Teflon! Studies have linked Teflon coatings with cancer! And if it’s flaking off…that’s really bad! Stainless steel is a good option.

    I’d be concerned too about microwaving plastic too, Becky, especially older plastic. A few years ago I switched to glass containers but now they have BPA free plastics for storing foods. I still wouldn’t heat up plastic though! In the Casita we use Corelle in the microwave.

    I bought inexpensive ‘Scootguard’ and cut it into squares for dishes and glasses but washcloths work fine too. Yes, old (clean) socks are great for glasses! 😉

    • Becky on November 30, 2012 at 3:44 pm

      Hazel no worries, like I said as soon as I saw it flaking I dumped those ones. I’m using the big pot because it’s undamaged.

      My plastic containers are new, bought when I started RVing. They’re probably not BPA free but I’m not rich so they do for now. 😛

  5. Kim and Jerry Portelli on November 30, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    That’s hilarious…they ran out of donuts on the day shift too!! It bothers me on principle, don’t you agree :)?

    Oh well, just a few weeks left and our savings account is growing nicely. That’s a good thing!

    Take care!!
    Kim and Jerry Portelli recently posted..No Donuts For YouMy Profile

    • Becky on November 30, 2012 at 3:40 pm

      Haha! I see the title of your post. 😛 I was mildly disappointed and was more amused by the reactions of my co-workers than anything else.

      And I forgot about the rat poison thing! Except I heard it was roach poison… actually I wonder if they’re two unrelated events. One of my fellow night shifters here in the campground was receiving and opened a box to pull the smaller boxes out but didn’t realize one of them inside was damaged, when he opened the box he got a face full of the stuff. He likewise got pulled aside by Amcare and went to the hospital to get checked out but wasn’t too happy with the way they handled the situation.

      Yep, just a few weeks left though! You take care too.

  6. Sherry on November 30, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Congratulations on your win! More money means a longer time between jobs! I agree with the forget teflon and aluminum as too dangerous to use. I have cast iron and stainless steel. No problems ever in traveling and no need to add packing them to the departure list. they ride just fine nested and are easy to clean and no health problems.

    Hope you get your donuts and juice!!
    Sherry recently posted..ANOTHER Thanksgiving??My Profile

    • Becky on November 30, 2012 at 3:31 pm

      I think the masses might riot if we don’t get the donuts and juice, haha. Some of the employees threw such a fit, it made me shake my head.

      I did the math and after taxes I should be getting about $119 for Wednesday. Not that I’m counting or anything, heh. 😉

  7. Kevin on November 30, 2012 at 8:57 am

    When I have a travel day, I put hand towels in between my teflon pans and anything else that needs protection from rubbing back and forth. When I was first stocking my trailer, I hit the thrift stores and bought a number of the hand towels (mismatched of course) but they work for the pot wrappers and make for good rags that a person might need in a trailer.

    • Becky on November 30, 2012 at 3:28 pm

      Ooo, hitting up thrift stores, that’s a good idea Kevin. I wonder if Coffeyville has one, I’ll find out.

  8. jim on November 30, 2012 at 8:39 am

    This is why I do not use Teflon, the coating always ends up in your food. Stick with stainless or cast iron, a little heavier but healthier. Do not switch to aluminum for weight saving, it too can leach into your food. Check out your antiperspirant ingredients, aluminum is being sprayed on your body, switch to deodorant, no metal chemicals.

    • Becky on November 30, 2012 at 3:27 pm

      I’ve heard about the antiperspirant thing before, but I hate having wet underarms. As for new cookware, we’ll see what I find this weekend. 🙂

  9. Marsha on November 30, 2012 at 7:10 am

    I bought that foamy shelf liner to put between the pots and also to line the bottom of the cabinet above the stove which is where we store all our dishes. Lining the cabinet bottom (carpet) was needed because most times when we camp we use the propane stove outdoors and just sometimes the soot sticks somewhere on the bottom of a pan and ends up on the light carpet cabinet bottom (we also have a Casita).

    Enjoy your blog, by the way.

    • Becky on November 30, 2012 at 3:25 pm

      Heya Marsha,

      That might be the exact same stuff I had lining my upper cabinets, I did pilfer some of it to use between my dishes when traveling. I was wondering why put it over carpet when it can still slide anyway but that soot thing makes sense!

  10. Craig on November 29, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    HI Becky..I do enjoy your blog..To give you a update out here in Fernley Nevada..We had voluntary overtime starting 2 days before Thanksgiving and on Thanksgiving day.Mandatory overtine started the day after Thanksgiving we are on 5 days of 12 hour shifts..As for the prizes and other stuff , so far here the only thing is the HR people handing out candy canes.We are pickers and it is very hard to get to our numbers even the regular Amazon pickers are having trouble ..There are so many people it is crazy sometimes you can’t even get down an asile ..In fact they are still bringing in new people to start this week ..Are they still bringing in people back there??..Good Luck and stay safe ..Craig & Lynn

    • Becky on November 30, 2012 at 3:23 pm

      Hello Craig and Lynn,

      Outbound here was working 11 hour days for the 5 days after Thanksgiving but now they’re back to 10 hour days like the rest of us, I’m not sure if they’re working an extra day or not. A lot of us Inbounders are getting pulled to help Outbound since they’ve got more work right now but no new people have been hired in the past 2 or so weeks I think. Some people who go to Outbound are there permanently until the end of December though.

      I’ve still never been talked to about my numbers, even though they aren’t always above 100%. Overall, I’m glad I went with Kansas and not Nevada from the sounds of it. Hey, but at least you’re making good money and it’s only a little over 3 weeks to go! Hang in there…

  11. MARVIN on November 29, 2012 at 11:12 pm


    Becky ,

    WalMart has rolls of the synthetic cushion material that can be cut to size for cooking utensils , glass ware , and any other item that will break or rattle .

    I used T-shirts , wash cloths , newspaper , and even sox around glasses when I first started .

    Glad you are doing OK with the cold weather – that would be my weak point . My little ceramic / electric heaters keep the temperature comfortable . I recently acquired a baby ferret and have to keep the temperature a little higher than normal , but I like the ceramic heat better than running the furnace .


    • Becky on November 30, 2012 at 3:16 pm

      Hello Marvin,

      I’ll keep that in mind. The trailer came with some of that nubbly no stick material in the upper cabinets and I didn’t need all of it since it’s just over carpeting anyway, I used that between the dishes when I traveled but didn’t even think about the pots and pans, d’oh.

      Oh well, live and learn. Aww, ferret! I have a friend back in Wisconsin who keeps ferrets, they’re fun little buggers. Have fun with yours.

      My teeny electric heater does a good job, up until it gets to about 25. At that point the warmest it can keep the trailer (well the part it’s not pointed directly at) is about 60 degrees, but I use to go cold weather tent camping in Wisconsin where it’d get down to near freezing with no heat source, I just pile on the clothes and blankets. 😛

  12. Misty on November 29, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    I’m curious, how much do those external water filters cost? I’ve seen them around, but I’ve never looked too closely. Where I was this summer, the water was absolutely divine. I never needed a filter. However, the water quality in Texas sucks the big one. :/ I’ve thought about getting a water filter, but I wasn’t sure if it was worth it just for taste (since I’m confident there are no health issues with the water).

    You should get some skillets like mine. They’re a little more expensive, but I haven’t had any problems like what you’re having with the Teflon coming off. Mine are Calphalon, and I love them. 🙂

    Alternatively, you could just buy a non-coated stainless steel pan. You’ll spend less money for the same quality, and I actually found them easier to clean than Teflon, once I knew the trick, and there’s no having to worry about the Teflon coating coming off.

    I found that the trick to cleaning it was to pour a bit of water while the pan was still hot and scrape it with the spatula. Once all the pan scrapings were off, I could leave it, and then it would be simple to clean with a quick wipe of the dishrag when it came time to do dishes. Alternatively, you can use the stuff that sticks while you cook and make a fabulous pan sauce. It’s a lot harder to make a sauce that yummy in a Teflon coated pan. 🙂

    The other nice thing about stainless steel is that if you /should/ burn something on it that won’t come off with a quick scrape of hot water and a soak, you can use steel wool on it, as long as you’re careful not to scrub too hard and don’t scrub against the “grain.” (Even if you should accidentally scratch it with the steel wool, it’s more cosmetic damage than anything, whereas a scratched Teflon pan affects the functioning of the pan.)

    Anyhow, that’s just my two cents! Congrats on the overtime. 😀
    Misty recently posted..ThankfulnessMy Profile

    • Becky on November 30, 2012 at 3:11 pm

      Heya Misty!

      I buy them at Walmart for $17.95 plus tax. Places like Camping World have them too but they’re invariably more expensive. They are disposable, and have a life of 3-6 months before the carbon inside them is used up. How long you get depends on the quality of the water and there’s no real good way of telling which end you’ll fall on. I had one for the 4.5 months in SC and discarded that one when I left. This one I bought once I hit the road and it hasn’t (err hadn’t) seen as much use.

      Thanks for the pan tips! I’ll be doing a little online research this weekend, might as well make use of my 10% discount at Amazon. 😉

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