Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Spring Camp Set Up 2016

Our camping trip in the Spring of 2016 looked like this. The weather was warm and we had little rain so the ten by ten tent was set up over the galley without walls. At the side of the teardrop camper I set up the umbrella with curtain as a privacy area. This takes about seven minutes to set up. The umbrella goes in the stand and is moved into the proper position. I unfold the curtain and clip it to the umbrella and add a few weights to the bottom of the curtain. A few tie downs are used to keep everything in place during windy weather.
On the left you can see I used a TV tray table for the electric cooler.  Now we have side tables that attach to camper and the TV tray no longer travels with us. Under the galley you can see an extra water container and a piece of wood. The wood is used to prevent dishes from sliding through the glass cabinet doors while in transit. I will give you more information about this in a future post.

A view from the other side shows the fly over the top of the camper. We forgot to bring the tent poles for this but it still worked out fine without them. The fly is important because it prevents rain from coming in the roof vent while the fan is in use and it provides some rain protection while getting in and out of the camper. It also allows quicker set up and tear down because it stays attached to the tent frame and we don't need to haul a second tent around.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Dutch Oven Cooking Demo

Hello everyone!  I hope you are finding ways to beat the heatwave we have been having across the country over the last week. We were able to join other teardroppers last week for Teardrop City 2016 which was held at Fort Chiswell RV park in Max Meadows, VA. It was hot during the day but it cooled off nicely at night. It was nice to be in higher elevations to beat the heat. If you have never been to a Teardrop City event, I highly recommend going. The next one will be held in 2018. Just join the Tearjerkers website to find out about all upcoming Tearjerker events. It's a free website so go check things out. Just click on the Tearjerker logo to get into the sight.

I volunteered to do a Dutch Oven (D.O.) cooking demonstration during the Teardrop City event and will share some recipes with you. I consider D.O. cooking outdoors as an extension of my kitchen and adapt my everyday recipes to fit my different size ovens.  For teardrop camping I usually use a two quart D.O. for most meals. This will serve two to four people quite nicely.

 Here are the attendees of the D.O. demo. They braved the heat to hear what I had to say. Thanks go out to all of those who attended! As promised, here are the other recipes for the food cooked during this demonstration.

I hope you try these recipes on your next camping excursion!

Ham and Noodle Casserole
1 1/2 cup diced ham
1/3 to 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup carrot cut into matchsticks
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
6 ounces frozen cut green beans
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon, crumbled
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup - 10 1/2 ounces
1/2 cup water or milk
3/4 cup uncooked medium egg noodles (1/4 inch wide by 1 1/2 inches long)
1/2 cup crushed potato chips
Place ten hot charcoal briquettes under a two quart dutch oven. Add fat to the bottom of the pan and place lid on the oven. When the oil is hot (after about five minutes), place the ham, onion and carrot in pan and cook until vegetables are tender. Keep the lid on the pan and remove only to add ingredients. Add the beans, tarragon, soup, liquid and noodles to the pot and stir until you have a creamy consistency. Place about 9 coals on the top of the lid and cook until noodles are done. Leave the coals on the bottom too. After about twenty minutes. Stir and sprinkle with crushed potato chips once sauce is thickened.
Serves 3 to 4

Pearl's Apple Pie Breakfast
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 can jumbo size flaky buttermilk refrigerator biscuits
1 can apple pie filling
Place butter, brown sugar and cinnamon in a small pan and heat until butter is melted and set a side to cool.  Line a nine inch spring form pan with parchment paper so that paper comes about one inch up the side of the pan. Cut biscuits into quarters and place evenly across the bottom of the pan. Stir the butter mixture well and pour evenly over the biscuits. Spread the pie filling over the butter mixture and place in a prewarmed twelve inch dutch oven. Prewarm the oven by placing 7 coals on the bottom and 18 coals on the lid about five minutes before adding the spring form pan to the oven.  Bake for 40-45 minutes. Halfway through the cooking process, turn the lid 1/4 turn clockwise and the oven base 1/4 turn counterclockwise. This dish is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and is not doughy although there will be pie filling on the toothpick. The biscuit that peaks out on top of the pie filling should also brown nicely.

In a small bowl, use a fork and mix together:
2 tablespoons softened butter
4 ounces cream cheese
Slowly add
3/4 cup powdered sugar
Spread over the warm pie.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


 My husband picked up this six by ten foot Silver Shadow by Little Guy in July 2015. It is white aluminum with black fenders on a black steel frame. The vintage fenders and baby moon wheels were a selling point for us.  We like vintage and antique things.
I spent hours on the internet researching gear until I came up with a plan and began to execute it.  It tooke days to compile the list of items we would need.  I scoured the house to see what we already had that we could use and then I searched some big box stores and the internet to find the rest of the items.  It took me over a month to track down most of the gear we would need and then I had to customize several of the items to fit our needs and the camper.
I spent several days looking at 10' x10' straight leg tents for the back of the camper. Many people set up two tents side by side. One tent goes over the camper so that the top vent can be opened during bad weather and you have some protection from the elements when you get in and out of the camper.  The second tent is set up behind the first one or beside of it so you have an outdoor room.  The straight leg tent allows you to set up two tents together quite nicely.  The tapered leg tents do not allow you to place two tents side by side so keep that in mind if you are tent shopping.  I finally decided on this little red number because I like red and it came with walls.  It's a Quictent brand and I cut the window out of the front wall so that it fit nicely over the camper. I had to hem a few feet on each side to finish the seam once I cut out the plastic window.
10' x 10' SilvoxGM Pop Up Canopy - Red
  I then ordered the red and white striped outdoor fabric so that I could make a curtain for the back window and the fly for the top of the camper. There is a vent with a fan on top of the camper and it needed covered so that it could still be opened when raining.The galley is back there under the rear hatch and I want some protection from the weather while I am cooking. I opted for the fly instead of setting up a second tent to cover the camper. It's less work to set up.  We just leave the fly on the tent frame all of the time. The striped fabric lends to the vintage feel.  Wait till you see how I have used more of this striped canvas fabric to customize our campsite!  More about that in an upcoming post.
This camper photo was taken on our second outing in October 2016. It was cold, windy and rainy that trip.  It rained every day except  for the day we left. I was so glad to have the tent walls and the fly over the camper. We were able to enjoy meals in the tent without getting soaked. It rained sideways on this trip and we stayed nice and dry!  The top of the tent did collect water and we had to dump that off every now and again but it only took a minute to take care of. 
 It's all a work in progress so I will be sharing new things as I add them and give you a tour of our little glampy camper!