I feel there are many people who wish to become more comfortable in the kitchen: to become the Fabio of the pantry— I know I certainly do! I want to gracefully swish from fridge to stove and create little mouth masterpieces. As with most things you want to learn, you need to try new things– new techniques and new ingredients.  You may try things you thought you never ever would…

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I have found myself doing not one… but TWO things I swore I would ever do: I’m drinking instant coffee, and using a toaster oven (aka “The Easy Bake”). My friends, don’t judge. I’m finding these to be cultural norms in Thailand. A few short months ago, this coffee snob was blissfully unaware of the perks of unperkulated coffee and the riveting challenge that creating a meal in The Easy Bake can be.

I will say transitioning has not been the smoothest — there was certainly a learning curve. For one thing — and the people who know me will attest — I love me some strong, blacker-than-Hitler’s-soul coffee. The question was: how many scoops of the brown powder is that? Also, many instant coffees I’ve seen have sugar and creamer already mixed in — that is my new hard limit. I just can’t go there.

The Easy Bake was taken out of the cupboard one day when I was bored with cooking on the stovetop. I needed to mix up what I was putting in my mouth… so I purchased a roll of tin foil — which– fun factoid– was found in the international section of the store — and roasted some potatoes, garlic and onions. It was so easy (and so tasty), I realized there was serious potential for a budding relationship between The Easy Bake and I. Since then, we’ve been slowly getting to know each other. I did take a moment to Google “kitchen appliance relationship advice” and realized there’s a whole world of miniature baking and broiling I can look forward to.

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So lesson learned: never say never in the kitchen — especially while adventuring abroad. My bruised ego is interested to know what you’ve done in the kitchen after stating that you never ever would?!?

Ashley is exuberant about location independence! She relishes new experiences and working with boutique hotels and resorts. She’s always thinking about design and food… and where they’ll travel next!

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