Spring Break and Camping At Home

The latest plans involving the RS2ndH include camping in our driveway. We have family visitors coming to spend their Spring Break with us, which is always fun to look forward to! To expand our experience and to give everyone a little more privacy, we park the Airstream on the driveway and treat it like our personal guest house. It’s really the ultimate camping experience, as my driveway is one of the best “campgrounds” I’ve visited. Of course I prefer it with some leaves on the trees, as the filtering effect they give are soft, colorful and inviting. Not this time of year however. Spring will be late this year, even though it was 83 degrees a few days ago. In fact, we’re expecting three more storms in less than a week. I’m hoping they don’t become EVENTS. In fact, timing for fetching our Guest House might be as tight as it was for taking it back to its underground home last time. Welcome to Kansas.

Last year, we washed our Rolling Home before putting it in the driveway. Airstream Gleam is a special sight! It made me so happy to look out the window, but only lasted about 45 minutes until the green pollen came down off the oak trees. EVERYWHERE. Like fine dust, that keeps on coming. That’s right. It’s always something, isn’t it?

In anticipating our visitors, I tested a new recipe. Shared on All Recipes as being served by the Tuck U Inn at Glick Mansion in Atchison, Kansas, I had to try it. I’m so glad I did…it’s going on my regular breakfast menu! For Bacon Lovers!

SPICED BACON TWISTS

1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 T. dry mustard powder
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
1 pound sliced bacon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set a wire rack over the foil. Use a rimmed baking sheet, to catch the grease.

Stir together the brown sugar, mustard powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper. Pour a little of the mixture onto a platter and press each slice of bacon into it until coated. If desired, twist each strip a few times into a spiral, or lie the strip flat and place onto the prepared baking rack. Cook the bacon for 30 minutes if thin sliced, 55-60 minutes for thick sliced, country style.

Note: Twisting the bacon not really necessary, but nice if presentation is important. I personally like lying it flat, as it fits really well on bread or an English Muffin for a bacon sandwich. It’s worth making more of this than you need, as leftovers are simply divine.

Weather Permitting

It’s RAINING! With thunder, lightning and soaking rain. It’s been so long, I’ve forgotten what it was like. With temperatures in the 70’s yesterday and today, there’s a Winter Weather Advisory that includes a Tornado Watch. In January.

A tentative trip is being planned to Texas, Weather Permitting. With a work conference on the calendar, we thought it might be a good time to take the RS2ndH, and combine business with pleasure. Of course, that was early in the month when all was quiet, and weather had not yet arrived. With spring happening in January though, I’m not so sure. Always mindful of the weather, we’re much closer to it when traveling in our Airstream. When the wind blows, it’s raining, snowing or all three, I’m always looking for the nearest storm shelter. Even though there’s freedom in traveling with your own little home, it can also be nerve rattling at times. Whether this is one of those times, remains to be seen! I’ll sleep on it, with dreams of Migas, Puffy Tacos, and Tex-Mex, swimming around my head. Until that time, I may have to make my own. This recipe for enchiladas is one of the best I’ve ever tasted. I completely understand why it was a $10,000 winner, and highly recommend it.

GRANDMA’S ENCHILADAS
Cook’s Country

3 lbs. boneless beef chuck-eye roast, trimmed and cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes
Salt and pepper
2 T. vegetable or light olive oil
2 onions, minced
3 T. chili powder
2 t. ground cumin
2 t. ground coriander
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 (15-ounce) cans tomato sauce
1/4 cup red wine
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Pat beef dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 T. oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Cook half the beef, turning occasionally, until well browned all over; about 8 minutes. Transfer to large bowl. Repeat with remaining oil and beef.

Pour off all but 1 T. fat from the pot. Add onions and 1/2 t. salt, and cook over medium heat until softened; about 8 minutes. Stir in chili powder, cumin, coriander, cayenne, and 1/4 t. pepper; cook until spices darken, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomato sauce, wine and bring to a boil.

Add browned beef, along with any accumulated juices, to the pot. Transfer pot to oven and cook, covered, until meat is fork-tender; 2 to 2-1/2 hours. Transfer beef to large bowl. Strain sauce through fine-mesh strainer, discarding solids, and set aside. (There should be about 2 cups sauce.)

Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees. Spread 3/4 cup sauce over the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish; set aside. When beef is cool enough to handle, shred into bite-sized pieces. Add 1 cup cheese and additional 1/4 cup sauce; toss to combine.

Spray or brush tortillas on both sides with cooking spray or oil, and arrange on rimmed baking sheet. Bake until they are warm and pliable, about 1 minute. Arrange warm tortillas on work surface. Place 1/3 cup beef mixture in center of each tortilla. Roll tightly and arrange, seam-side down, in prepared baking dish.

Pour remaining sauce evenly over enchiladas and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover with foil and bake until cheese is melted and enchiladas are heated through, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve.

Remodeling the RollingSilver2ndHome

Mostly intact!

Well, it’s not much of a remodel really, but the carpet is coming out and an easy-care, vinyl floor is going in.  We’re waiting to hear when the floor is delivered, so we can take the Airstream in for the change.  Another repair needed is to the awning, which needs to come off so some stitching can be replaced.  It came undone in a 45 mph cross wind on our last trip to South Dakota.  Here is what happened to us on that trip, our third voyage in the Airstream.  As written in a postcard to a family member:

Dear ___,  Here is a picture of the Badlands, which were Bad for us.  We left home to spend the first night in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and our Garmin bounced us over every brick road and railroad track in town.  When we FINALLY found the place we were trying to go, it was only a short exit off the highway.  You know how some people name the ‘’voice’’ on their GPS?  Ours  has a new name; “Route Bitch”.  The next day we experienced 45 mph winds while cruising down the road.  When we arrived at the campground, our awning had come undone, along with around five feet of stitching.  We also noticed we had lost the cover on our air conditioner.  Who knows where that went?  After our tour through the Badlands, when we stopped in Wall, SD we found a wheel missing on the Airstream.  Not only the wheel, but all six bolts holding it on had sheared off.  Too bad that when the wheel came off, it dented the aluminum skin around the wheel-well.  The next morning we noticed the fans were barely running and realized the 12 volt system had died; a replacement was sent overnight to the next campground.  After driving back through the Badlands three times to find our wheel, we finally gave it up to the canyons.  It was sad to find Alcoa, who made the aluminum rim, no longer makes rims and our wheel is now considered a “collectible”.  The repairs to the Airstream can’t be made until the beginning of October, since there are only three places to take it:  Alabama, the factory in Ohio, or Oklahoma City.  :O   Whomever said “The Third Time’s The Charm” wasn’t on this trip.

Thinking of You, Be Glad You’re Not Here.

Time for a Drink!

I suppose you might say that everything happened to us all at once.  Surprises occur when you acquire a 10 year old Airstream.  Some TLC is in order, while we ready our Mother Ship for the next excursion. This trip might be known as “When It Rains It Pours” or rather, “When It’s Windy Outside, It Really Blows.” You decide.

POMEGRANATE MARTINI

1-1/2 cups pomegranate juice

2 oz. Absolute Citron vodka

1 oz. Cointreau liquor

Cup of ice

Splash of sparkling water (optional)

Squeeze of lemon (optional)
Shake ingredients in a shaker and pour into chilled martini glasses.

Serves 2