I also spent time living in a fire lookout, which was a big step up from the outdoor kitchen, because I had an oven. What I didn't have, though, was a grocery store to keep the larder full. Everything had to be rationed and carefully portioned, lest I run out of cheese, coffee, or wine. Fresh veggies--besides carrots and other root vegetables were gone in the first two weeks, but I did have a serious huckleberry crop just down the mountain. What was also a half-mile down the mountain was the spring: all water on the lookout had to be hauled uphill, on my back, making doing dishes doubly hard.
What's also different is the menu. Baked wintery dishes are no longer an option, and some of my favorites--roasted cauliflower, squash, enchiladas, and of course, cakes and treats of all kinds--are to be saved for those special occasions when I get to takeover someone's kitchen. But gone too are the days of standard camp fare--simple pastas, burritos, and burgers. While they all have their time and place, when you are a from-scratch kind of cook, there is bound to be plenty of experimentation happening on those tiny little burners.
While I may miss my oven, my food processor, and my stand mixer, and my stomach gets knotty when I think of all of that holiday baking I'm going to miss, in some ways, I'm getting just as much pleasure scheming up new ways to keep us well fed. And I'm so grateful that I at least have a kitchen sink!