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Marlene

Camping, Princess Style

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*bump* It's time to revive this thread.

And, since Marlene began this thread, there has emerged a new term for this sort of camping:

"Glamping."

Where in Texas are you? Looks like down pretty far - maybe South Padre?

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You,made those in the RV? Can you show us your kitchen space? What additional cooking equipment do you bring along such as grill or?

Why, sure!

Kitchen from bar 2.jpg Sink with basin covers.jpg

It's a compact but flexible kitchen. The sink is double-bowl stainless, with a faucet that can spray or stream water. There are counter inserts that fit over either or both sink basins to add counter space if needed...for instance, rolling out pasta.

There's also a peninsula that's supposed to be a breakfast bar, based on the counter overhang and 2 bar stools. It can be used for extra counter space, but to be honest it's usually loaded up with baskets of fruit, potatoes, whatever. Of course I cleared it for photo ops. You can see it just at the left (sans clutter) in this picture. You, er, can also see a cat if you look carefully. Marco Polo still hasn't learned to take "Off!" for an answer.

Kitchen from door 2.jpg

The main cooking appliance is a 3-burner stove with oven, all fired by propane. When we're plugged into electricity, as we are at the moment, we can also use the combination microwave/convection oven shown above the stove. It's also a range hood.

The refrigerator and freezer run on either propane or electricity. They're usually jammed to the gills after we've been shopping. One of the routines before we start traveling is to install spring-loaded bars that prevent things from sliding off the shelves; every time I open the door after we've moved, I'm careful a la the airlines' caution that "contents may have shifted in flight".

Fridge.jpg Freezer.jpg

There's pretty good storage, and I've a good selection of cookware, spices, mixing and measuring bowls and a few small electric appliances. Most of it is in the kitchen area, but there's some overflow: a small crockpot is squirreled away where normal families might have, say, board games, and the pasta maker (hand-crank) lives in a plastic storage box in the bedroom closet. In addition to the electrics there's a lot of manual equipment (rolling pin, cutlery, juicer) since we actually spend a lot of time off the grid. The coffee pot and toaster are about the only things that live on the counter full-time.

Spice rack.jpg Here's the spice cabinet: it's narrow, but spacious because of the way the rack rolls out.

We do bring along a Coleman camp stove and a small barbecue grill, along with the implements needed to cook over them. Those live in the outside storage box, and although we were using the camp stove earlier this week we probably won't bring it out again until we get farther west, to drier country. Or at least warmer!

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*bump* It's time to revive this thread.

And, since Marlene began this thread, there has emerged a new term for this sort of camping:

"Glamping."

Where in Texas are you? Looks like down pretty far - maybe South Padre?

Glamping! How appropriate! :laugh:

Not quite that far south. We're near Rockport at the moment. Tomorrow we head inland.

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Wow

thanks please keep this up if you can!

a few shots of the Road?

many thanks!

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Your traveling kitchen is more well stocked than many home kitchens! Looking forward to seeing more motoring meals

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Just curious, how do you keep things from bouncing around, falling off the shelves, cream turning into butter?

Wonderful topic. by the way.

dcarch

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Wow

thanks please keep this up if you can!

a few shots of the Road?

many thanks!

Thank you! We're moving tomorrow, and I'll try to include photos of the scenery when we're back in range. (I assume we'll have coverage tomorrow night, but I won't know until I get there.)

Your traveling kitchen is more well stocked than many home kitchens! Looking forward to seeing more motoring meals

Thank you! Actually, when we picked out this trailer I had to laugh: some of the accoutrements were things I hadn't been willing to spring for when we remodeled our kitchen.

@Smithy

That's a neat little kitchen!

Thanks! :smile:

Just curious, how do you keep things from bouncing around, falling off the shelves, cream turning into butter?

Wonderful topic. by the way.

dcarch

Thank you! Let's see: with regard to falling off the shelves - or not - I've learned to:

  • nest things carefully, with lots of padding;
  • make sure ALL doors are firmly closed;
  • use nonskid mats to keep things on countertops where necessary (this computer I'm using being a case in point) and
  • install spring-loaded bars on the refrigerator shelves before we move to a new location. Maybe I'll include a photo at some point.

We don't keep much glass around, and what we have is carefully padded to prevent breakage. A few weeks before we left on this trip I started a batch of sauerkraut in a 1-gallon glass canning jar. The thought of having it break in all its glorious acidic odor has ensured that it's carefully padded. Aside from all that, I will say that this trailer has a pretty good suspension. Things make noise, but on all but the worst roads the ride is pretty smooth.

I haven't tried churning cream into butter, but it's an idea. Some friends of a much earlier era used to use that strategem for washing clothes in a sealed bucket while they were on the road, but I tend to wait for a better opportunity.

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Dinner tonight was more fresh pasta, with more meat sauce. I should perhaps explain that I'm just learning about making and using fresh pasta; we usually do dried, or something else altogether. But there were leftovers to deal with. Last night's batch of pasta dough was far more than the two of us needed. Last night I'd made ravioli using a meat sauce brought from home. Tonight I used more of the same batch, but cut it into wide noodles instead.

Fresh noodles.jpg Ready for assembly 60%.jpg

Those noodles were cooked, drained, and tossed with olive oil, chopped garlic, and more of the same meat sauce. I topped it off with grated parmesan and chopped parsley; added toast, and we were good to go. We also had microwaved broccoli and a hollandaise sauce from a few nights ago. Not necessary compatible with the pasta, but not bad either, and one must eat one's veggies.

Dinner fresh pasta.jpg

I will say this about fresh pasta: it really does have a delightfully different texture than the dried stuff. Those of you who've been doing this for a while may be saying "well, DUH" to such a statement. It's a revelation to us. :biggrin:


Edited by Smithy (log)
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Very happy to see this thread. Glamping would be my style but the driving and hauling a trailer is too much for us. SO, I am pleased to live this life vicariously through your posts:-) Thanks for this, and Rock On!

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That's a really impressive kitchen!

I'm sure you enjoy fresh local ingredients along the way but I'm also curious about your pantry ingredients.

I know you don't have a ton of space but are there pantry items - spices, etc. that you look foward to picking up in specific places on your travels?

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That's a really impressive kitchen!

I'm sure you enjoy fresh local ingredients along the way but I'm also curious about your pantry ingredients.

I know you don't have a ton of space but are there pantry items - spices, etc. that you look foward to picking up in specific places on your travels?

There are a hit-and-miss few. I look forward to picking up chilies (dried or fresh) in New Mexico, but as a general rule when I get there the selection all comes from someplace in Mexico. :rolleyes: Local honey I enjoy finding, and I have quite a stock of honeys from local sources from, oh, acacia and eucalyptus and generic desert flowers. I have a passion for fresh dates, and will be showing more of those when I get to southern California. On the more obscure side: I've just about exhausted my supply of teperary beans, a very nice dried bean that cooks more or less like a lentil, but I think I'll have to go back to the far south of Arizona to get more. I don't know when we'll get back there.

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Great to see this thread pop back up. We gave up our RV a few years ago when we bought the cottage, but as we are nearing retirement, we have started looking at 5th wheels. In the meantime, i'll follow along with Smithy. Great meals!

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Seen on the road today, but none of the pictures came out:

  • A trailer/RV storage lot with a sign boasting a "safe elevation" of 27 feet above sea level;
  • A water tower painted like a watermelon (how I wish I had that photo and could post it!)
  • Another water tower painted in camouflage as a tribute to the members of our military;
  • Dozens of deer crossing the road, including some bucks with impressive racks;
  • A small oil well, with the bobbing counterweight painted to look like a cow jumping over the moon;
  • A wreck of an airplane, diving into the ground, near an airport, with a sign advertising skydiving. I'd jump out too,with a plane like that.

The palmettos and whooping cranes gave way earlier today to mesquite and cardinals, and after at least 2 weeks we've finally seen the sun. We're in Llano, Texas. If you speak even rudimentary Spanish, you need to know that the locals pronounce it "LA-no", with a short "a", to rhyme more or less with "PLAN-oh". They bill themselves as the Deer Capital of Texas, but I think they could just as effectively advertise themselves as the Barbecue Capital of Texas. We have a wonderful time here: checking out the barbecue places, sampling, and enjoying entirely too much fatty meat, cooked to perfection...or, if not perfection, then very close.

Cooper's Old-Style Barbecue occupies a couple of buildings almost a block apart. In one area they cook mesquite wood down to make charcoal. The next block over they actually use the charcoal to barbecue pork, beef, chicken, lamb, goat or sausages to perfection. The "pits" begin heating at around 6 in the morning, but I've forgotten when Cooper's opens for the day: around 11 a.m? They have a wonderful strategy: make people wait in line until they arrive at the main pit, then have them pick out what they want and how much.

Cooper's pit.jpg

Mind you: the "how much" gauge is entirely by eyeball, looking at lusciously cooked meat in a huge pit. The carver cuts and loads it onto a tray. From there the hungry customer carries it into the main room where it's weighed, sides are ordered, and the whole bill is paid. We were amazed, and a bit horrified, at how much we'd ordered the first time we came here. This time we were more prepared.

Once you've paid you have the option of eating at the picnic-tables inside the restaurant,

Cooper's interior.jpg

or taking your spoils home to eat. We chose the latter,so we could include some healthful green vegetables. (n.b. we really did eat them, even though they aren't shown in the photos!). We came home with pork ribs and beef brisket. Despite our restraint we had leftovers. Well, as I write this there are leftovers. I wouldn't be surprised to awake in the morning and learn that the brisket had evaporated. :hmmm:

Cooper's meal 2.jpg Gluttony on a plate.jpg


Edited by Smithy (log)
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Great to see this thread pop back up. We gave up our RV a few years ago when we bought the cottage, but as we are nearing retirement, we have started looking at 5th wheels. In the meantime, i'll follow along with Smithy. Great meals!

Nice to see you here, Marlene!

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It was lovely to see the sun again. The air was cold (that is, it never reached 50F) and the wind blew briskly much of the day, but we felt like we needed to don sunglasses along with our hats and gloves. I think we've had 3 weeks of fog and overcast.

Afternoon view Llano 11_27.jpg Evening sky 11_27 Llano.jpg

Tonight's dinner was a haphazard affair. I set out to do a stir fry of vegetables and some center-cut pork steaks with a szechuan sauce, then realized I'd waited too long to make the sauce. Maya Kaimal to the rescue! The ingredients came to be a pork tikka masala curry instead, over rice. Let's hear it for convenience foods. Does anyone else here like Maya Kaimal's jarred sauces?

Dinner ingredients 11_27.jpgMaya Kaimal Tikka Masala jar.jpg

Dinner 11_27 Tikka Masala.jpg

Just down the road, the city has their "Starry, Starry Nights" display of Christmas lights set to go in the park. We figure they'll open the gates tomorrow evening. This evening, with the historic downtown area in the background, at least I could get a preview:

Starry starry lights Llano 11_27.jpg


Edited by Smithy (log)
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Does food just taste better somehow when you are hoofing it? Lovely views and that jarred sauce looks tasty as well.

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They bill themselves as the Deer Capital of Texas, but I think they could just as effectively advertise themselves as the Barbecue Capital of Texas.

Actually, I don't think they could.

Because everybody in Texas already knows that the Barbecue Capital of Texas (even officially so proclaimed by the Texas State Legislature) and (in my opinion, anyway) therefore Barbecue Capital of The Whole Entire Planet Earth, is Lockhart.

http://www.lockhart-tx.org/web98/visitors/bbqcapitaloftexas.asp

If Llano ever tried such a cheeky thing, believe me, they would just piss everybody off.

There's a lot more competition (heated competition anyway) to be "Barbecue Capital" than there is to be "Deer Capital." Nobody cares if they want to call themselves that.

But "Barbecue Capital of Texas"?

Them's fightin' words.

:cool:

,


Edited by Jaymes (log)
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They bill themselves as the Deer Capital of Texas, but I think they could just as effectively advertise themselves as the Barbecue Capital of Texas.

Actually, I don't think they could.

Because everybody in Texas already knows that the Barbecue Capital of Texas (even officially so proclaimed by the Texas State Legislature) and (in my opinion, anyway) therefore Barbecue Capital of The Whole Entire Planet Earth, is Lockhart.

http://www.lockhart-tx.org/web98/visitors/bbqcapitaloftexas.asp

If Llano ever tried such a cheeky thing, believe me, they would just piss everybody off.

There's a lot less competition (heated competition anyway) to be "Deer Capital" than there is to be "Barbecue Capital."

You know?

:cool:

,

Jaymes, you've just given us a reason to put Lockhart on our itinerary sometime. We noted that they have a state park, but haven't explored the area. Thanks!

...and no, I'd rather not piss off a Texan. We get a bang out of their anti-litter motto: "Don't Mess With Texas". :laugh:

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Much BBQ in TX. study and taste. study and taste.

stop and study if it smells good, as the RV passes by..

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Ahh, Texas barbeque. Even though we aren't in the BBQ Capital of the State, we found some good stuff, and we put it to good use for Thanksgiving.

Millers smoked prime rib.jpg

Our Thanksgiving feast was for just the two of us. That didn't prevent me from having lots of fun in the kitchen...even though this kitchen is on wheels.

I brought some sourdough starter from home, and have been feeding it sporadically - that means about half as often as it should be fed. It's just so badly buried in the refrigerator that I forget it, poor thing. Last night I hauled it out onto the counter, measured some out, fed the rest, and let it sit. This morning I started mixing batter for sourdough bread. I should say here that "batter" and "sourdough bread" in the same sentence make cognitive dissonance for me, but the instructions seem to run along this way.

The sourdough batter looked happy and healthy.

Bubbling sourdough.jpg

I mixed in the requisite flour, salt, sugar, and (it says here) yeast (because this is a quick version), mixed per instructions, and got a wonderful upper-body workout trying to get the dough to a properly "alive" and "stretchy" status.

Thanksgiving bread before baking.jpg Thanksgiving sourdough smaller.jpg

The loaves I formed looked good, but upon baking you can see that one of them split badly. I really think I'm making loaves that are too big, but if some reader has a better idea, please chime in!

The rest of our feast wasn't difficult, just time-consuming. I am perpetually in awe of folks who can pull together an entire feast, along the lines of a Thanksgiving feast, without losing track of their helpers, their plans or their wits.

Our feast, all told: that exquisite bbq'd prime rib, cut into slices we could barely manage; horseradish sauce on the side (my sinus-clearing activity for the day)

Braised baby potatoes and carrots,with dill and parsley

Steamed asparagus with hollandaise sauce

Good fresh butter, and slices of the bread mentioned at top of this thread.

There were things that could have been done better: the bread, for instance. But the foods ranged from "okay" to "I'd go out of my way to have this again!"..So we figure we've won out, even before counting our ordinary blessings. And we have many.

Thanksgiving feast.jpg

Happy Thanksgiving/Hannukah/Thanksgivukah, everyone!


Edited by Smithy (log)
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Whoops. Last night I reported that we'd had "barbecued prime rib". It was smoked before we bought it. Not barbecued. Never confuse the two, at least not here in Texas.

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But it did make for a tasty Thanksgiving so far I can tell. I am enjoying reading your posts.

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But it did make for a tasty Thanksgiving so far I can tell. I am enjoying reading your posts.

Thank you!

We're headed west toward the Big Bend country, where coverage is spotty. Posting may be difficult for a few days.

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What a difference a few hundred miles make!

From Texas Hill Country and its abundant oaks we moved westward; the grass turned yellow; juniper and yucca began to appear, and at last we saw mountains. The Davis Mountains arise in a most unlikely way from the Chihuahuan desert to around 8,000 feet, and the scenery and ecosystems to be found there are wildly different than at the lower elevations.

Oak scrub near Llano 400x300.jpg Davis Mts 400x300.jpg

On the north side of those mountains is Balmorhea with its waters and a state park that we'd never tried before. We'll be back. The cienega (wetland) at the park was interesting, but by the time we arrived we were far more interested in food.

Balmorhea sunset.jpg Balmorhe cienega.jpg

We enjoyed the scenery, then said "Zatarain's to the rescue!" Dinner was Zatarain's red beans and rice, with some andouille sausage chopped up into it. I didn't bother photographing the meal, but in case you don't know Zatarain's boxed mixes, here's what to look for.

Zatarains to the rescue.jpg They also make a low-sodium version.

One of the many lovely things about Texas is its picnic areas. Unless otherwise marked, you're allowed to stay there for 24 hours. I don't recall whether there's a prohibition against pitching a tent, but since we're in a trailer it's a moot point. We generally stop at one for lunch along the way: open out enough of the trailer to get at the refrigerator, and enjoy a salad. Many picnic areas are developed according to a theme, complete with information signage about the area in question; almost all have grills. Texans know how to picnic!

Wagon picnic area 400x300.jpg Teepee wayside rest 400x300.jpg

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