Thursday, June 30, 2011

The end, for now

That's what the message at the bottom of my cup says.

But I said I'd tell about how I made the rhubarb crisp, so I won't go back on my word.

Because I didn't bring sugar along, I had to come up with a sweetener of some kind,
especially where the fruit in question was rhubarb. I used a packet of pre-sweetened apple cider mix, a drink that's supposed to be mixed with boiling water. It even had some cinnamony flavouring in it, so it worked well.

For the crisp part, I used two packets of easy morning porridge and added
some dollops of butter (no margarine tagline will ever convince me not to use butter).

It turned out to still be a pretty tart dessert, so we topped it with vanilla yogourt and then really zipped it up with a swirl of huckleberry syrup we'd bought at a touristical spot along the way.

And because last time I said that this blog was ending it turned out that I was lying, well, all I can say is that it's ending for now.

There's still a drop of morning coffee in my favourite cup, so who knows?

In the meanwhile, the big limb will still carry on.

And rememember, don't be stumped when somebody asks, "What's fer supper?" Use what you have on hand and don't be afraid to mix things up and substitute -- even if the ingredients may initially seem strange. In truth, now and then, the meal might not be so great. Supper happens. But sometimes you'll find you've come up with something remarkable.

Happy suppers!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Ultimate, as in end

Yesterday I was tempted to use the word 'penultimate' to indicate almost the end. But it seemed too fussy a word for something as simple as supper. Still, I'm using 'ultimate' to describe this, the last of the evening meals on this journey in The Rattler.

After the feast we had last night, a trip to the same fish shop seemed like a good idea. The shopping list was short -- a chunk of fish (which turned out to be ling cod) and four oysters.

Because it's still too cold for anything resembling a beachside picnic, supper was yet another oven affair.

We piled the fish and oysters onto the same pan, laying them over a bed of
fresh seaweed. I'd begged a bit of cilantro from the fishmonger, so the whole thing even looked good going into the oven.

The weird little tabouli I'd made with the leftover couscous (and yes, I used more of that packet of mint tea for seasoning) went into the microwave and turned out to be not half-bad as a casserole.

The round of accompaniments was seaweed salad, green salad, and hunks of avocado. Really, hard not to call it 'ultimate'.

After the treats of these last few days, it's hard to imagine what we'll be eating once we're back home.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

West Coast Feast

We managed today to close the loop -- and we're back in Port Townsend, the U.S. town where this adventure really began.

We were last here for three days in March, and managed to get almost the same campground spot we stayed in back then. The ocean outside the bedroom window (what a headboard!) is every bit as beautiful as I remember it.

Tonight's seafood feast was a lot more grandiose than the one we had the last night we were here (at spring equinox), as we stopped by a dockside seafood shop when we pulled into town and bought some fresh-off-the-boat treats.

I'll admit, it proved to be quite the menu. Prawns with a Thai green curry (though I cheated -- no coconut milk, used one of my special white Ovaltines instead) and a bunch of fresh vegies. Clams steamed with garlic and freshly-picked seaweed. Melted butter with garlic, a bagel instead of bread. Seaweed salad with sesame oil (bought at the fish shop). Then, because all the pots and pans were occupied, instead of rice, it was couscous in the casserole dish.

Happiest of all, I didn't have to do the dishes!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Late night barbecue

After a day with plenty of traipsing around – visiting the ‘Bavarian Village’ at Leavenworth, then a round of golf for the D.M., and pokey museum stroll for me – supper was stylishly late.

Steak and corn on the barbie, along with a crispy green salad. Just right!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Back to improvisational cooking

After two days of not cooking (a wonderful meal at a Mexican restaurant one night, the next night a supper of burgers and corn dogs on the midway), we’re back in The Rattler again.

The Dear Man used the barbecue to put the finishing touches on some thick-sliced smoked pork hocks. I doctored up a packet of scalloped potatoes by adding little bunches of broccoli and then cooked it in the microwave, as tonight was definitely not an oven night.

The salad was a mix of Greek and Italian –- tomatoes and cucumbers and onions tossed in with a few spikes of romaine. The dressing was the last of some Greek roe spread (Taramosalata) mixed with olive oil and lemon. I sprinkled some garlicky crumbs and plenty of Parmesan over top. Maybe I'll have to call this Greco-Romano salad.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fiesta Cubana

Well, maybe not terrifically festive, but the supper was built around a packet of supposedly ‘Cuban’ rice and beans.

I’d taken some chicken breast cutlets from the freezer and we doctored those up with the basil/ginger chicken rub then sautéed them in the big iron skillet.

With green salad alongside, the supper was bueno.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sloppy Josés and Noodley Canoes

Chili powder, cumin and basil are the only spices I have on board, but all three of them made an appearance in tonight’s concoction. Not exactly chili, but not exactly Sloppy Joes either.

Because I wanted to use up the rest of the beans from last night, I thought a kind of ‘fake chili’ might work. And because the burger buns are still fresh…well, maybe you get my line of thinking. Since the campfire was so cooperative, the cast iron skillet got a workout over the fire -- it might have even made the meat taste better.

There was still a bit of the macaroni salad left too. To change it up a bit, I added mayonnaise to the last of it. With some crispy lettuce leaves as the ‘canoes’, it was fun to pile on the noodles and eat like a couple of kids.

Messy food is always best outside at the picnic table. And it was a true bonus that the bears didn’t decide to join us.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Burgers a la Wild

June 21 #457
First official day of summer, and for once, the weather went along with the plan. Tonight was supper on the barbie, served up outside on the picnic table.

After hiking up to Avalanche Lake, we were both plenty hungry, so this was going to be a big meal.

When I’d cooked up all those noodles last night (they blew up and made waaay too many), I’d kept some aside and made a macaroni salad. With 24 hours for the flavours to blend, it was a nice accompaniment for the burgers. And cooking along with the burgers on the barbie were some freshly-picked oyster mushrooms we’d found.

For the sake of tradition, and to round out the meal, we heated up a tin of pork ‘n beans.

And even if I am the only ones who eats them, dessert was marshmallows roasted on a stick. My kind of camping!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Cheesy macs with railway tracks

The plan had been for a barbecue, maybe even a campfire so we could cook hot dogs on sticks. But once again, it was too darn cold – yet another night for making supper in the oven.
The dogs were a given, a pack of New Orleans smokeys. The mac part was another story, as we’re down to mostly exotic sorts of cheeses.

There was a bag of big fat ‘cut ziti’ so noodles weren’t a problem. But all there was in the way of cheesy sauce was a jar of mushroom Alfredo.

I grated down some nubs of Parmesan for sprinkling over top, then stirred the chunks that were too small for grating into the noodles and sauce.
The smokeys? Split in half and laid side-by-side they made a cozy topping. And leaving the oven door open while we ate meant that all that leftover heat could make The Rattler cozy too.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

North meets South

When we were travelling through more southern parts of the U.S., we had occasion to try biscuits and gravy. What they call gravy there is different than what I'm used to. Their 'gravy' is more what I'd call a white sauce, only it generally has bits of sausage in it. At least, that's my northern perspective on understanding it.

Because I thought we might sometime want to try this 'white gravy' (maybe even with grits), I cheated and bought a tin in North Carolina, I suppose for just such a day as this.

I made a chicken meatloaf (ground chicken, onion, egg, crumbs from some seasoned pita chips) and when it was almost ready, I arranged packaged biscuits around it. I heated the 'gravy' on the stove, along with a tin of corn.

I suppose if this were really a Southern meal, the greens in the salad bowl would have been fried -- and maybe even the meatloaf would've been. Still, it's a fun reminder of some of the places we've been.

Adventure in a bowl

The real adventure has been our drives and hikes yesterday and today. Lots of rough roads and curving mountain routes -- even a sighting of a mama Grizzly with her cub.

The adventurous part of this supper was trying to figure out what to put into that bowl.

The Dear Man requested noodles, but stir-fry was what I had in mind, and I was thinking rice. Easily enough, a compromise appeared -- two packs of Asian soup noodles, made with much less water than specified by the recipe.

Base for the stir-fry was the usual -- plenty of chopped-up fresh garlic and onions sauteed in olive oil.

I'd saved about a quarter of last night's tenderloin, so slices of pork were the next ingredient into the pan. For flavouring, I tossed in the bit of juice I'd gleaned from the pork pan and the last drops of our homemade jalapeno hot sauce. Fresh green beans, followed by yellow pepper and the last of the broth looked as though they might do it, but somehow the dish was tasting flat.

Nearly hidden in the flavourings basket was a packet of spice for making satay chicken wraps -- and who knows when I might have bought it. I tore it open and sprinkled a bit over top of the mix. It seemed to work as the final ingredient. Or, maybe we were just hungry from all that tromping through the bush.

Friday, June 17, 2011

A supper for keeping us warm

We're camped on the east side of Glacier National Park at St Mary Campground. Despite the fact that it's nearly summer solstice, there's plenty of snow on the ground and the wind is mighty cold. That meant that supper had to be an oven affair.

Happily, I'd taken a seasoned pork tenderloin out of the freezer in the morning, so all I had to do was pop it into the oven and make accompaniments.

A packet of sour-cream-and-chive scalloped potatoes looked interesting. Nonetheless, I decided to doctor them up. Besides adding chopped-up onion (pretty much routine to spice up these boxed side dishes), I sliced a soft tomato and arranged it over top.

Fresh greens for salad rounded out the main courses, though we actually had a 'real' dessert as follow-up.

During the afternoon, I'd used a lot of strange ingredients to make a rhubarb crisp (with fresh stalks from the friends in Red Deer). The recipe was weird enough, it will likely get its very own post one of these days.

In the meantime, all this baking went a long way towards making The Rattler cozy tonight, as it's pretty darn gusty and cold beside all those mountains looming above us.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

South of the border

The only border we're south of is the U.S. one -- and silly me, I forgot to make us eat nothing but oranges for lunch, so the border guard tossed our little bag of them into the bin. We hadn't planned to come south so soon, but the weather in Alberta (not Alberta's fault) made it pointless to stay.

After two nights of fabulous food with friends in Red Deer (Alberta steaks on the barbie, a fat and juicy Hutterite chicken the next) followed by one night of pub fare (during the dismal game), we're back to RV cooking, relying on our own resources.

Because this jog in the trail came unexpectedly (thus the fiasco with the oranges), supper was pre-determined by ingredients on hand. Some perfect avocadoes made me think of guacamole. The rest of the meal fell into place around it.

I assembled some enchiladas that used up the last of the cheese and chicken as well as some broth I'd made. But because that didn't seem like enough, I pulled out a tin of beef tamales -- a discovery I'd made in a grocery store somewhere along the trail. Inside the tin, the tamales were individually wrapped in what seemed like parchment paper. In truth, they looked a little scary, but they turned out to be surprisingly good.

With only two more weeks' worth of suppers before we get home, and lots of odd pantry items left in the cupboards, I expect some of our meals are going to get pretty interesting.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


After an afternoon spent wandering through the Royal Tyrrell Museum, I've still got dinosaurs on the brain -- all those herbivores and carnivores...

The leftover baguette looked promising towards a couple of sandwiches, but the question was -- what to use as filling?

I opened an odd container of emergency rations, a packet of camper's food, pulled pork. Because I thought it looked and smelled a little dull, I started it off with a skillet full of onions. I then added the meat, along with chili sauce and -- because it seemed kind of dry, some tomato juice. After all that, it wasn't half bad.

But the star of the show was the corn on the cob -- amazingly sweet for June. Slathered in butter, it tasted like a true Prairie treat.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Cool/hot and easy

After three days with friends in Saskatoon, the road beckoned, and so did the need for a grocery store.

Because we're on the way to see other friends, we only needed to grab a few things, and were able to be in and out of the store in a flash.

Among our grabs was one of those reliable convenience foods, supermarket-cooked chicken. This one was supposed to be a 'Stampede Smoked' variety, though it turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. It seems they'd slathered it with some sort of 'smokehouse' barbecue flavouring, but only at the last second, so the sauce hadn't even been absorbed into the meat -- just floated on the skin like thickly applied too-red make-up.

Whatever. Thick slices of the chicken worked just fine as part of big individual salads, one of the nicest one-dish meals around, especially in warm weather.

As for the hot part of this cool supper was the improvised salad dressing. I thinned out the last of the wasabi mayonnaise with olive oil until it was a good consistency for pouring. Cool and hot at the same time!

With homemade homous (made by Robert, our host in Saskatoon) and a baguette, this was a wonderfully easy Saturday supper -- perfect for while we watched the hockey game.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Not quite according to plan

Although I've been trying to use things before we reach the border, I hadn't planned on needing to cook everything from the freezer. Unfortunately, our little fridge has had a hiccup of a glitch (at least, I'm hoping that's all it is). It's decided to go on holiday and stop being cool.

This has meant a meal that's much too big for two, starting with appies of crab cakes from Carolina. With slices of cuke and wasabi mayo for dipping, this dish was probably enough -- only, uh-oh, there was still all that other stuff, thawing and getting soggy!

The main course was spicy Italian sausages with fries (not recommended for heart patients), with a not-quite-Greek salad of onions, peppers and feta cheese.

For 'dessert', there were still three Angus beef burgers staring at us, but we decided to set them aside for tomorrow's lunch.

After this crazy cookout, all I had to toss from the freezer was the too-soft-to-take-a-chance-on peas. I reckon the border guards should be impressed.

PS Luckily enough, we can let the fridge rest, as the next few days we'll be staying with friends, so there won't be any need for RV cooking.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A pair of broccolis, elks wild

Once again, we're nearing the border, so I'm doing my best to clear out those items they might not like us bringing across. Because we'll be entering Canada at Saskatchewan, I know they're sometimes fussy about meat. So I thawed two elk steaks from the little freezer, and then made up a salad with most of our produce, including last night's steamed broccoli.

Just about everything went on to the barbie -- Vidalia onions, little red potatoes, the last of the broccoli -- and, of course, the elk.

As for the Poker analogy, I'm still sifting through the lessons I got last weekend. A gambler, I don't think I'll ever be.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Easy Sattahday Night Supper

Because I hate to throw away good food, tonight’s supper was a casserole that only had to be heated up.

Last night, I’d combined the leftover pasta salad with the previous night’s ‘green pasta’ dish. I’d also sliced up the two leftover sausages and added them into the mix. When we didn’t finish all the vegies I’d sliced to top the burgers (tomato and green pepper), those made a nice topper for the casserole.

While the pasta dish heated in the microwave, a little pot of broccoli steamed on the stove. With a bowl of green salad, we were set.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Burgers on the barbie

For all these months, even when we've cooked on the barbie, we've mostly ended up eating inside. It's great to finally be able to eat outdoors. Maybe it's just because it's June.

Along with cheeseburgers on the barbie, there's that pasta salad I dreamed up last night. For vegies, there's cooked-up onions and shrooms. For salad, there's a plate of sliced tomato and pepper and lettuce -- tonight's 'salad' goes on the burger.

While the meat patties were something I pulled out of the freezer, the buns were a matter of female co-operation. The little town we're in has just one tiny store, and the only burger buns there came in packs of eight -- way more than we could use, with too many left over to even fit in the freezer.

But the store also sells sausages on hoagie buns, so the women there figured they could find a way to sell me two of those -- just the buns, no sausage, thanks. We laughed together over how we'd found such a happy and easy solution.

The buns are a little big for the burgers, but we just chopped off a part of each. No doubt the remaining bit will find some purpose tomorrow.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Pretty traditional

After last night's order-in pizza in a hotel room (hey, the only reason we were there was for the Canucks), tonight's supper feels pretty traditional. At home, we have this so often, it's almost a standby.

I call it green pasta -- the mooshed-up avocado sauce has to be nice and garlicky to be good. The accompaniment, made on the barbie, isn't the usual Italian sausage, but a juicy 'beer bratwurst'.

Because the pasta cooked up to way more noodles than I'd expected, I put a bunch aside and made a pasta salad that should be nice for tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Yet another wild combo-nation

Now that we're here in the midst of lake perch country, what do we eat but ocean perch. That's the fish that conveniently happened to be in the freezer, and with the weather being blustery and winterish, I knew that this was an oven night -- yet again.

Because the range of my spices is quite limited, I had to think hard about how to season the fish. Lemon juice and butter made a good start, but for more flavour, I dug around and found something called a 'chicken rub'. Not a feathery massage, but a combo of ginger and basil. A sprinkling of this and the fish were ready for baking.

My little casserole dish filled with packaged scalloped potatoes fit right alongside the pan with the fish. For colour and fun, I tossed a few of those little carrots in with the potatoes. Because they're so small, they kept perfect time, cooking right along with the taters.

My extravagance? A spinach 'souffle', one that -- by the time we ate -- had absolutely no puff to it at all. But still, it was rich and delicious.

And the salad's single concession to all this weirdness was the last of the pickled beets chopped into it.

Hard to classify such a strange meal as this. Still, it kept the cold out, and left us hoping the change of calendar page tomorrow will bring some warmer days.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Soup's on!

We've spent the last few days at a condo with (still more) family, so there hasn't been any 'RV cooking' since Thursday.

Tonight, after putting in a fair share of miles (about 2/3 of the way across Minnesota), I knew it was a night for bowls of soup.

We had terrific leftovers from our weekend at the condo (too many chips and treats, of course, but this is holiday time), including most of the breast of a barbecued chicken.

The Rattler's had a little problem needing some attention, so as soon as we pulled into our site, the Dear Man got out and started conferring with the locals over how best to rectify the trouble.

While all that male bonding was going on outside, I used the chicken to start a pot of soup. I chopped a lot of carrots (maybe it just seemed like a lot, because they're those mini-snack ones) and threw those into the broth, then rustled up a salad as accompaniment.

To fortify what probably would have been a pretty boring soup, I added a packet of one of our assorted Asian soup mixes -- this one had tiny bits of tofu and threads of mushrooms, as well as just the right amount of spiciness. A pack of lasagna worked just fine as a kind of 'noodle' addition, though really, what a combination of cultures in the pot.

Still, nicely warming for a night that promises to be rainy, cold and stormy.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Emptying the freezer

(Okay, almost. I suppose there's still a bit on reserve in there.)

Last night was supper out at a restaurant, quiet conversation with a family member I hadn't seen in years. Food for the soul as the main course.

But today saw us drive the breadth of Upper Michigan and the top of Wisconsin, so by the time we stopped, I knew that supper had to be something easy.

When we'd visited my sister, she'd given us a big container of delicious beans she'd made as taco filling. They rode in the sink during the day, and were thawed to just the right degree for spreading in a pan so they could heat through in the oven.

The last two beef burritos (from where, Oregon? Washington?) curled up next to each other in my casserole dish and I poured about half of a little tin of V-8 juice over top of them. The rest of the juice went into the rice pan on top of the stove, along with a whack of chili powder and beef-bouillon (from packets).

Yesterday's lucky tomato convinced me of the value it could add to any meal, so when I saw a beauty near the checkout in a filling station, I had the sense to buy it. With a bit of onion and olive oil, it made for a just-right salad for the meal.

Oh yes, how could I forget? The magical ingredient that makes just about everything better: cheese. What would we ever do without it?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Lucky detour

As so often seems to happen, our reliable trailblazer, Simon, led us to something we hadn't expected to find -- morels.

Although we've been keeping our eyes open as we hike around, we haven't yet spotted a single edible mushroom out in the bush. But because Simon took us on a roundabout route when a road was blocked, we passed through a neighbourhood where a woman had a roadside stand, selling morels in little containers. Naturally, we were sold and took 'em along.

I was also in a nostalgic mood, as tomorrow we'll be going to Sault Ste Marie, the place where I learned to make "Betty's Mac 'n Cheese." The night seemed to demand I make a stab at re-creating her famous casserole. Since onions and tomatoes are components of her version, in the morning, I'd compromised in my mind and decided I'd have to forgo the tomatoes. Only when we stopped at a gas station for sub-style sandwiches, the server asked if I'd prefer the tomatoes in a container, so the sandwiches wouldn't get soggy before we ate them. When I asked her to please do the same with the lettuce, she agreed and made an even bigger container of same. Perfect. One batch of tomato (and pre-cut at that) ready in the fridge for the final touch to the pre-packaged mac 'n cheese. And even the base for a tiny green salad.

I rounded out the salad with plenty of purple onion and the ever-reliable green peas from the freezer. Really, for living out of the larder, I'd say we're doing pretty darn well!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Back on the road

After a week of visiting family -- parked outside two different homes -- we're back on our way again, and having a supper that was cooked up in the Rattler.

We crossed into the U.S. again earlier today, so to keep the border folks happy, we had to be free of produce. And then, because we're going to go back into Canada in two days, we haven't stopped for new groceries, especially fruits or veg. That means that tonight' meal is one of those 'creative' ones.

We had a chunk of leftover pork from our barbecue at Leo's last night, and that provided the protein base for a noodley conconction.

I started by opening two packs of 'individual servings' of Pad Thai Noodles, giving their ingredients a good sniff, and deciding what I could do to perk them up.

After the usual bits of onion and garlic, I tossed in strips of pork, then spiced up the mix with additions of sesame oil and three different sauces: chili, hoisin and soy.

There wasn't anything for salad, but the addition of frozen peas at least gave us something green to look at. But really, when you get to eat outside by the fire, it's really just a matter of having something warm.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Using up the last of almost everything

Because tomorrow's the day we should make it to Niagara and the border, we're pulling out the crisper and shaking out every last drop of vegetation.

Supper started out early in the day, riding in the sink as it thawed and we drove. And no, it isn't olives, the container just worked for some tomato sauce that went into the freezer, probably as long ago as Utah.

The salad was crazy -- and yes, it did contain olives. Also feta cheese, onions and the last scraps of anything green I could scrounge up.

Biscuits are hardly the traditional garlic bread accompaniment to pasta, but as they baked, they warmed the unit nicely and besides, there were enough for tomorrow morning's breakfast.

P.S. Because we'll be staying at our auntie's, who is one of the world's champion cooks, there probably won't be another posting for a week or so. And who knows, with the food she makes, we might just decide to stay!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday night, what else?

Yep, it's pizza night.

This time, it's one that's been doctored up some. Mainly because the D.M. looked after the the supper tonight. He perked it up with a tin of smoked oysters and nice big chunks of fresh garlic. And he did miraculous job of scraping together a salad to go with it.

There was just enough room afterwards for one of our nifty desserts. Besides, we didn't want to get into trouble at the border for having any leftover ice cream in the freezer.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A place for remembering

Tonight's camping site was an incredible spot -- smack in the midst of a Civil War battlefield. It almost felt sacrilegious to be parked where we were. Still, that was where the man on the golf cart led us.

I'd thawed some pounded steak meat (minute steaks, I think they call them here), and the Dear Man cooked them perfectly on the barbie, even melting cheese over top. He also steamed two ears of corn in their husks there as well. (How I hadn't seen them in the crisper is one of those mysteries of life, but somehow they took me by surprise.) And then there happened to be one lonely tomato lying in the little fruit hammock, so once again, we had ourselves a lovely, complete supper.

When we sat down to eat, we paused and thought for a moment about all those boys and men who'd died, probably on the very spot where we were relaxing with our meal. Food for eating and food for thought.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Barbecue pork and vegies

Because we're making our way towards the border (heading back to Canada in a few days), we're doing our best to use up our fresh food, especially anything that might be construed as meat or fruit or veg.

The other night when we had the Chinese takeaway, I ordered a side of barbecue pork (okay, I guess it should be 'barbecued' -- for some reason I call it 'barbecue' pork). Tonight, I cooked it up with lots of garlic and onions, and at the last, added a whack of green beans. The greens are getting down to the bottom of the crisper drawer, but that's exactly what I'm aiming for.

The flowers? They're from the golf course at Nags Head, where we made our farewells to Carolina's Outer Banks.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Southern fish fry

Wandering around Ocracoke was the source of a couple of food adventures. At the recommendation of friends on the mainland, we sought out a lunch of shrimps and grits. A bowl of grits is not all that much different than a bowl of hot cereal, except that it is different. Especially when spicy shrimp are served over top.

Lunch was enough to get us into the spirit of things, so we sought out a fish shack and bought some local goodies, including a couple of soft-shell crabs. My only regret of the day? That I didn't run out to where we were parked to grab my camera for a quick little video. It didn't take many seconds at all for our guy to clean the little crabs we bought from him. Snip, snip, and the heads were gone; a twist of the thumb and the innards were out.

He convinced us they had to be fried, so that's what I attempted. Only without flour or fine breadcrumbs on board, it was tricky. Best I could come up with was a packet of cornbread mix (an item I couldn't resist, I think it was 39 cents). I beat up an egg with some milk, then dipped the crabs into the mix to wet them. After that, they went into the cornmeal, then into the hot oil while I hoped for the best. Thankfully, the Dear Man also cooked up some grouper on the barbie. Green pepper and avocado with lemon juice made an odd but tasty (and surprisingly complementary) salad.

I don't think I would have convinced any Southerner with my results, but hey -- we were in the mode -- and camped right next to the dunes with the surf pounding hard, we weren't about to complain.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Getting readjusted

After a few days of healthy (and yummy) food at my sister's, we were off to Carolina's Outer Banks, specifically Ocracoke Island. The ferry ride from Cedar Island was smooth as silk, with the water ruffled only by the occasional family of dolphins.

We found a crowded but friendly RV park and pulled out the barbie. We'd bought some pre-cooked chicken, but it was all the better getting reheated on the grill of the little Weber unit.

For our side dish, we had the leftovers from the previous evening's Chinese takeaway (rice and Szechuan chicken, plenty of vegies), along with the usual green salad.

As for the photo, that was appies -- source of a couple of treats, stolen fresh from the sea.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Dry camp special

It isn't all that often that we end up at a site where there isn't electricity or water, but this was one of those nights. We ate while it was still light out, so this photo at the top doesn't yet show our special little lantern.

We'd splurged and had lunch at a wonderful little restaurant in the heart of Kentucky's Shaker country. After the starter basket of cornbread, I wasn't able to finish what I'd ordered, a vegetable and 'potato dumpling' dish. The 'dumplings' turned out to be gnocchi, but I didn't mind, still there was too much to finish, so I asked the waitress to pack it up and we took it home to the Rattler.

Tossed with some olive oil and basil, the leftover gnocchi dish turned into a very nice salad -- one that went very well with the chili I'd pulled from the freezer (last of the food from our 'real home'). And yep, those two little pieces of pizza are leftovers from last night. Gosh, but I love the way we manage to use things!

And I do love the glow of our little folding lantern!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Not even Friday

We're staying away from grocery stores, as we're planning to visit my sister soon. She's a great cook and we're looking forward to eating at hers. In the meantime, we're using things up around here. And even though it isn't Friday, the traditional night for this supper, it's pizza.

Tonight's a bit of an experiment, as we're trying an unknown brand, two little pizzas which I bought because their boxes were just the right size for our RV-sized freezer. Because the oven's tiny as well, we have to bake them one at a time.

There are even RV-sized bits of pepperoni on this starter, pizza number one.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Double-protein exotica

There's something about the cool weather that makes for hearty appetites. Even though it was too cold to eat outside, it was dry enough for the D.M. to operate the barbie. Yet another item from our little freezer: elk burgers!

The side dish was a tin of peeled fava beans, an item we picked up in a Muslim store in (of all places) Dodge City, Kansas.

The burgers are topped with the last of our Romanian sheep cheese. The bowl of salad isn't visible, but as just-about-always, it's there. I felt I had to pop a bit on top of the burger along with that nicely grilled onion.

Probably not your average RV cooking. Still, we're staying happy and definitely not going hungry.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Cozy comfort

This post is a bit of a cheat, as there's been a big interruption in postings. Disasters of the technological variety. Still, thanks to the date stamp on photos and crazy notes I often keep, it should work. And thanks to being able to fiddle with post dates, well, it's sort of a "Back to the Future" feeling...

I'm not sure what we did in our past lives, but cold weather continues to travel with us. Still, we know how to stay warm.

Our main was a surprisingly good mac-and-cheese (one of those upgraded versions of the classic KD). I often add tomatoes, but since I didn't have any, frozen peas went in with chopped onion. A salad on the side and -- I'll admit I am puzzled -- some sort of mystery dish on the side.

Feels good to be back on the blogging trail. Normal and even kind of cozy.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Supper in a bun

Back from a few exciting days in Montreal. Here again near Louisville, in 'my old Kentucky home', The Rattler.

My plane arrived late enough in the afternoon that the quick little barbie the D.M. had planned sounded just right. But then the weather decided not to cooperate, and the heavens opened yet again. Oh sigh.

So out came the cast iron skillet for sausages and onions and peppers cooked on the stove. Swiss cheese melted into the sausages too!

Besides the cut-up vegies, there was a miraculous spicy bean dip (instant -- just add boiling water, voila! Oops the Montreal influence lingers...). You might notice the less-than-elegant measuring cup used to serve up the last of the salsa. Oh well, it's supper, not dinner, so pardonnez-moi.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter, belated

There wasn't a posting for supper on Easter Sunday. We splurged and went out for Chinese that night -- and even went so far with our spree that we stayed at a motel.

Because the last two days were big driving days, they haven't been conducive to fussing with a meal.

But today has been a day for catching up on things like laundry and emails. And with the rain pelting down (in Louisville, KY), it was a good time to turn on the oven.

Again, because I was without my usual seasonings (fresh rosemary and dill), I decided to make do with what was at hand. I've always seen recipes suggesting mustard as a way to prepare lamb, and the exploded bottle of Dijonnaise that got squished in the fridge door seemed to present a good opportunity.

The 99-cent cheesy scalloped potatoes worked well. Heck, I even fooled around with a packet of the mysterious 'brown' (what flavour is 'brown'?) gravy.

Vegies and a salad, and even a little bowl of pickled beets. Happy Easter, despite the fact that it's a few days late.

P.S. There won't be any supper postings for a while, as I'm heading off to Montreal for a few days.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Fish 'n chips

Not exactly what we'd get if were in a pub in B.C., but still, for a quick little supper, this worked.

The halibut filets were smaller than the package had promised, so it was lucky that I'd planned to make the last of the Easter eggs into devilled eggs.

Some nights, it's a matter of time and what's easy from the freezer. Tomorrow will be better, I promise.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Almost the kitchen sink

After putting in a lot of miles this afternoon, by the time we stopped (it was crazy trying to find a site, but that's another story -- maybe a movie), supper needed to come together fast.

What's the fastest and most happy-making supper I could think of? Soup.

I mixed two different packets -- spicy seafood and a hot-and-sour base, so the results were hot hot hot.

Naturally, I threw in an assortment of strange additions. For protein, I chopped up the last of the lunch's meat, pastrami (which amazingly, turned out to be very good). As for salad, I didn't bother, but put it into the soup pot. A big bunch of broccoli and at the last second, a whole bunch of spinach.

A tube of those yummy (and fast) biscuits went into the oven and made the perfect addition.

An odd combination, but satisfying.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Not Christmas Eve

All that red and green in the photo probably looks more like Christmas than springtime, but this is the night before Easter.

Even though we'd used up a lot of that turkey breast from the other day (the big salad, plus two lunches' worth of sandwiches and wraps), there was still a bunch left, so it went into a tettrazini-ish pasta. Red pepper, basil, and spinach went in too -- along with lots of olive oil and Parmesan.

Because one of the eggs had cracked when I boiled them, I didn't really want to dye it, but it worked out perfectly as part of the spinach salad.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easy Friday

We spent the day driving and exploring, so by the time we set up for the evening, supper had to be something easy.

I'd found some frozen burritos way back in California, and tonight seemed to be the right night for pulling them out.

While they heated in the microwave, I chopped up some lettuce, tomato, and an avocado. But then, because they looked too dry and white, I sliced some cheddar and melted it over top.

With salsa, they turned out to be more than pretty all right. And really, the whole prep took all of ten minutes. Just my kind of Friday night supper.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Cool supper for a hot night

Today, we stopped at a supermarket and fell for the idea of a pre-cooked turkey breast. I don't know if it was a matter of just thinking Easter or what.

When we stopped for the day, we were in a place that felt too hot to cook. The turkey, along with a bunch of greens, peppers, onions and tomatoes made a heaping big sort-of-chef salad.

Naturally, I wanted something-we-didn't-have to top it off -- ranch-style dressing.

But we did have chive and onion cream cheese, so I used a fork to whip some of that with milk and our usual (homemade) salad dressing. A bit thick, but flavour-wise, it worked.

Even a few sunflower seeds (which seem appropriate for Kansas, where we are) showed up in the cupboard to top it off.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dry camping has its challenges

Like, no electricity (save for batteries) or water (except for what’s in the holding tank or in the jug under the sink)…

Luckily, the propane-powered stove works under just about any circumstance.

I don’t know who convinced me to pre-cook our supper yesterday, but I did.

We’d found a specialty meats place and stocked up on bison and elk and other goodies, including a packet of goat meat. I did some cross-cultural seasonings, low-heat cooking the goat with a Thai red curry base. Lots of onions and garlic in the pot too. But then, what else is new there.

By rights, tonight I should have added coconut milk and Thai basil. But despite the deep (if tiny) pantry here, I had to make do with coconut juice. I put half the coconut juice into the sauce, along with fresh cauliflower. The other half of the little tin went into the rice as half of its liquid.

Salad? Not tonight. The last of the somewhat-tired-looking greens went into the pot at the last minute, as a pseudo substitute for the Thai basil that should have gone in.

Still, for a supper by lantern light, after a long day’s hike, this was satisfying.

P.S. I lied. There was sort of a salad. The little yellow colander is on the table, holding the extra cauliflower florets that offered hand-picked 'salad' for the taking.