Something's happened in the kitchen during our coronavirus quarantine. All of a sudden, bread making is popular, and not just for subsistence! No, you can see pretty bread loaf pictures all over websites, like a new art form! Well, I've been trying to buy yeast since mid-March so I could try my hand at the bread dough. No yeast on the shelves for me! So I have dialed back in time to bring out this everyday product that's been there all the time....
Rhodes frozen bread dough! Now, I can get the scent of fresh bread without scrambling around trying to beg, borrow or steal some yeast! These 2 were just regular white bread, for starters. It made us both happy, even though we did have a little talk about who needs the crust pieces most. Luckily, there are 2 per loaf, so that settled that!
The only National Park on our winter trip was Big Bend. Neither of us had been there before, in fact, neither of us had really spent much time in Texas before. We learned a lot about Texas during the ~3 weeks we were there. It is, as they say, BIG! And this National Park is also a biggie. We camped in Rio Grande Village Campground, and we were lucky to get just about the last open site with electricity in that campground. We were on the east side of the National Park, click on this link to see a map of the area. We drove as far west as the Chisos Basin Visitor Center, a very scenic drive. Not for trailers and large RV's, however, with some tight twists and turns. The picture above was taken at an overlook near that center, it's a gap called The Window between the mountains with a very long range view. We also took a hike on the Boquillas Canyon Trail. It's not very long and not very hard, I was kind of wimpy that day. But we had a great view of the river and the Mexican town of Boquillas del Carmen across the river.
During the month of February, we joined forces with good friends, Bob and Debbie, at a rental condo in Florida. We were on the panhandle, east of Destin and west of Panama City. It turned out to be a great vacation spot! We had plenty of restaurants, bars, shopping, sight-seeing and beach! Our condo was plenty roomy for us to do group activities or watch a movie, but still room to spread out when we wanted to. The kitchen was large and well supplied, so a lot of the meals were cooked right there. Buddy's was a great seafood market nearby, and we enjoyed the chance to learn more about cooking seafood that's not walleye!
With our extra time at home for who knows how long, we have decided to dive into some home projects that would have otherwise been left on the back burner while we cavort across the country. Inside the house, outside the house, and in the trailer, there is an assortment of things to be done so we have some flexibility with the weather.
Here's just a quick look at the before and after of our out front flower beds. We created 3 long flower beds about 20 years ago from rocks that we hauled in from other places. The picture on the left shows how the short rock walls had deteriorated over the years, and many of the plants (all perennials) had either died off from cold winters or had outgrown their spaces. So we (mostly Bob) dug out all the rocks, then started over with the walls. We were surprised at the amount of rocks that had been completely buried, I guess by erosion. We actually ended up with some extra rocks after building up the new walls. The photo on the right is one of the renovated walls. And now I get to buy some new plants! The nurseries around here are open, with changes made for safety of the public. So I've been able to pick up a few things, and will add more as time allows.
I thoroughly cleaned the inside of the trailer, so now it looks like new again, almost! The interior of a lot of the cabinets are white, and they get marks from pans, bowls, canned goods, etc., during the rattling around that occurs while flying down the road, no matter how much I pad or cushion them. Luckily, it mostly comes off easily with those scrubbing eraser pads. And I needed to hang a few things on the walls, in the shower, at my bedside and in the kitchen. The outside of the trailer really needs a good wash, but we'll wait for a warmer day for that. I put a new quilt on the bed, and we'll be camping in the driveway for now.
Inside the house, I've been cleaning in places that I've never cleaned before! Even Bob cleaned and reorganized his workbench in the basement! I cleaned out my entire food pantry/cabinet, which is the only way I can really clean and sort and reorganize the shelves in there. A few new containers to help fit the spaces helped a lot, too. I would love to have gone to the Container Store for a chance to browse their wonderful ideas and devices. That store is heavenly for someone like myself who likes to organize things, or at least try to organize and stay that way!
Another new-to-us recipe to share, a regular pot roast with a deliciously seasoned coating added. Another recipe that we will do again in the future.
Melt-In-Your-Mouth Pot Roast from Taste Of Home.
Cooking time about 6 hours in crockpot on low.
1 boneless beef chuck roast, about 3-4 pounds, cut into 2 pieces
1 pound medium red potatoes, quartered, peeled if desired
1 cup baby carrots
¼ cup Dijon mustard (or less according to my husband but I liked it as is)
2 teaspoons dried rosemary, crushed
1 teaspoon garlic salt
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon pepper
⅓ cup chopped onion
1 ½ cups low salt beef broth (sub burgandy wine or brandy plus water for the broth if you like)
Put the carrots and potatoes in the bottom of the crockpot and then the roast on top. Mix together the mustard, rosemary, garlic salt, thyme and pepper; rub over roast. Top the roast with the chopped onion and pour in the broth. Cook on low until meat and vegetables are tender, for 6-8 hours. There's even a video for this recipe.
I'm trying to remember how to do this! I might need to go back to a tutorial to get this blog post done right!
We've experienced a lot since the year 2020 arrived, and I have been pretty quiet about it in this format. So I've got some catching up to do!
We've been traveling to so many new places, then scuttling home to stay safe as the awareness of what was coming with the coronavirus became very clear. So we did shorten our planned travel by a couple weeks, but we still had 2 ½ months of the worst part of Minnesota winter behind us! We enjoyed our travel with our Airstream so much, she's just right for us! Click on the "Read More" below to read more of my story.
Thank you for stopping by! I appreciate the time you have taken to look for and read my story. I hope you find something that you like!
Hi! I'm Pam! Join me on this journey through the next steps of life!