Travel

Room Service

How to cook a meal inside a hotel room
Photo: Tasting Table
Pasta

What's your hotel move: Do you scream "I'm alone!!!" as you hop between beds? Lounge for hours in that sometimes-scratchy, always-luxurious robe? Take over the place, Home Alone-style?

Being in a hotel is arguably the best part of going on vacation. Memories of visiting new places and meeting new people come and go, but endless free little tubes of shower gel are forever. There's also the brilliance of room service, where you don't have to fake sick or bribe your roommate to get breakfast in bed. Don't hold back on this weird niche opportunity—but after a day or so, save your money for the in-room spa packages (you can't recreate those in a tea kettle).

Maybe it belongs in the same category as making eggs on a curling iron (i.e., you can, but why would you?), but cooking in your hotel room is something you should at least try. It's cost effective, switches things up when you've had your fill of restaurants, and, frankly, it's fun. Meet the two appliances that will be your best travel partners.

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Coffee Maker
I was travelling to a race a few months ago, and being an obsessive carbo-loader, I was terrified of being stranded without pasta. An irrational fear, but still a concern, so rather than risk spoiling already-cooked pasta, I packed a Ziploc bag of dried shells and hoped I could somehow finagle the coffee pot's hot water feature to my advantage. I fully expected it not to work, but to my happy, beige-food delight and surprise, there was no issue. All you do is divide the pasta into a couple of mugs, add hot water (like you're using the tea function) and let it sit covered.

This works for other grains as well, like quinoa and couscous, and, of course, a morning bowl of oatmeal. Especially because you can use the accompanying cream and sugar freebies to make it even better. Just give any removable parts of the machine a rinse before you use it, unless coffee water-flavored pasta is your thing.

Iron
Ironing your clothing is typically not a fun task. Ironing a grilled cheese into melted oblivion or making a gooey sweet-salty panino, however, is my idea of Friday Night Fever. We use waffle irons and cast-iron pans without second thought, so it's only natural. Make sure to use a piece of aluminum to protect both your sandwich from the iron's unknown past and the iron from cheese overflow. For a bonus use, turn the appliance over and cover with a foil tray to make a hot plate-like surface for cooking fried eggs, bacon and more.

A quick Google search will prove that there are people in the world who can teach you how to "MacGyver the crap out of your hotel room." Just don't cook anything with the remote control.

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