Wednesday, September 15, 2010

other things

Since we came back from vacation, there has been plenty to keep me busy. Two days before we left for Pennsylvania, the husband brought this home and said, "Can we keep it?" "Sure, why not," was my reply.

I've been scurrying around looking for items to outfit it in time for some weekend camping this month and next. That has been a fun project. I can't wait to take it out for its maiden voyage.

A few shots of the inside...notice in the upper right hand corner the repurposed CD rack that is now a perfect towel and wash cloth holder. I replaced the bedspread that came with the "queen-sized" bed with one of my quilts...much cozier. The camper sleeps eight...I'm guessing they're talking little people, not full-fledged adults, although the dinette is fairly roomy and the sofa makes into a very comfortable air mattress bed. It also has two bunks near the bathroom. I realize that some of you may not consider this to be "real" camping, but I'm old and I need my own bathroom, especially in the middle of the night. No tents for me.

These little guys have been occupying a lot of my time this summer. Now that they're back in school, I have a little more free time.

(Lauren wears an eye patch every day to correct amblyopia. She loves feeding and petting the chickens. Matthew is such a good talker at two years old. He was collecting acorns and trying to walk the plank at the same time. Not easy.)

(Gaige and Nathan are working on posters that now grace their wall at home, and here, too. Kaitlyn is trying to figure out how to combine Barbies and farm animals. I don't really think Barbie is much of a farm girl though. I've also been babysitting my grand-dog Loki a bit.)

And some pictures for you lichen likers.

This is what I will be doing for the next couple of months. I'm the Popcorn Kernel, (yes, I said Popcorn Kernel ) for our Cub Scout pack. That means I am in charge of sales, ordering, distribution of product, and awards for the lucky sales winners. Of course, everyone's a winner if they sell anything at all. We can't have upset Cub Scouts, y'know. There is one thing I will not do and that is wear the ridiculous foam ear of popcorn hat. I don't look good in green and yellow.

Finally, no really, finally...last Sunday I made the best pizza I think I have ever eaten...anywhere...and you know I don't like to brag on myself, but it was that good.

I made a half white and half whole wheat crust. Grilled some eggplant, zucchini, thick-sliced onions, and all colors of sweet peppers until they were almost tender and had some good grill marks. But first, I brushed all of the veggies with olive oil, then sprinkled with salt and a good garlic-herb seasoning (my favorite is Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute). Except for the eggplant, which I left in circles, I rough chopped the rest of the veggies.

To assemble the pizza:

Pat out the dough and cover with your favorite pizza sauce.
Top the sauce with sliced mushrooms, any variety, and frozen, thawed spinach, squeezed dry.
Top with mozzarella first, then a medium sprinkling of shredded asiago cheese.
Arrange grilled veggies on top of the cheese. Then sprinkle with Parmesan, or if you prefer, parmagiano reggiano.
Bake at 500 degrees for about 12-15 minutes, depending on how dark you like it. I start checking mine at 10 minutes.

I ate until I was stuffed. Yum-oh!


Cindy said...

Oh I am so jealous of your motor hotel! It looks so cozy! Michael and I talk about that stage of our lives frequently...even though it's many years away ;-)

Your grandkids are adorable!

Love the lichen! I first read that as "lichen lickers."

steviewren said...

I'm jealous of your RV TOO! I used to love camping. When the children were young, we went tent camping every summer. When the 2 oldest were teenagers we got a used pup-up camper. After my divorce the youngest two kids and I went a couple of times taking as few accouterments as possible. Like you, I'm too old to tent camp and sleep on the ground anymore. I know the two of you will have fun!

It looks like you've had a full summer with the grands. They are adorable.

Oliag said...

My but you have been busy!

I am just loving that camper! It looks nicer inside than many homes I've seen:)...Mr O and I are looking for a used camper too but probably half that size...but it must have a bathroom:) You have given me the urge to get more serious about the search...I am anticipating your posts about all the places you have traveled too...

...You know I like your lichen!

Your grandchildren are growing fast...aren't we lucky to live near them?

Meanwhile your pizza has me drooling...time for lunch:)


Natalie said...

What a satisfying post! I am filled up with Bear Swamp goodness.
And I approve your new camping arrangement... you will have so much fun!

Ruth said...

Hungry now. And I had a big lunch out. The pizza looks mmmmmmmmmmmm.

It's great to see inside your homey camper! Love your slick trick of using the CD holder for the towels and washcloths, brilliant.

When I saw Matthew, I thought, who is that? Are you kidding me?

Char said...

my sister sings the praises of camping with a camper. :) makes me wish i could afford one for my photography ramblings. congrats!

the pizza looks divine.

Sandy Nawrot said...

I don't know what I want to comment on first! I love tent camping, but RVs are super cool too (and not so horrible in the Florida heat and humidity. And bugs. And rain.) The kids and gorgeous and healthy-looking. And I want some of that pizza! I think I may need to make me one. It has been awhile since I've rolled out some dough.

Wanda..... said...

At first Susan, I thought you topped the pizza with fried green tomatoes, that might be good too! I remember trying your dessert bar recipe, which everyone loved, last Christmas!
Autumn is the best time to enjoy that camper, but be careful, the cute grandkids might turn it into their playhouse!

Cora said...

Love the new little traveler!! Fun fun! Thanks for sharing a great recipe...looks yummy! Good luck Kernel!!

Barb said...

Oh - I wanted to comment on your beautiful grandchildren, the fabulous lichen shots, and the cozy-looking camper, but now I'm too distracted by the delicious looking pizza. Next time your Hubby comes to Rifle, you must definitely come along.

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Wow, I love the motor home! I am with you, I never want to be far from my own pottie. ☺
Great pizza!

Susan said...

Well, Cindy, there probably are some lichen lickers out there somewhere. Who knows? You might be able to get a high from it...hehehe.

Those years will get to you faster than you want them to, believe me. Time goes so fast when your kids get into high day she's a freshman, the next she's walking with a robe and mortar board and you're bawling your eyes out because she's not your baby anymore. ((sigh))

Susan said...

Hi Stevie! It's nice to see you! There's nothing like a camping trip! It's been 17 or 18 years since we had our pop-up and I've missed going. Of course, this will be a lot more luxurious than a pop-up! I can't wait to take a big trip out west.

Susan said...

I love it too, Oliag! In fact, I told my hubby that I was thinking of moving's a lot cleaner than the house! It's not a huge one, 26-ft. to be exact, but it's plenty roomy with the slide. I think that is essential if you're going to be spending a couple weeks at a time.

It's just amazing how fast they grow! The baby isn't a baby anymore, he turned 2 in July and they're already working on potty training. Once he's out of diapers, any vestige of babyness will be gone. :(

Susan said...

Thank you, Natalie! I like that...Bear Swamp goodness. I think that's my goal here, to bring goodness and laughter to people's hearts. I'm glad it makes you feel that way.

Susan said...

Ruthie, I KNOW! Isn't he huge?!! He's already as tall as most 4-year-olds. I think he'll be as tall, or taller than, his dad, and Jaye's 6'4". He has big feet and hands, too.

I'm glad you like the camper. Maybe we'll haul it up to its home state of MI next spring and find a nice camping spot near a lake. Wouldn't that be fun?

Susan said...

Oh, Char! You should get one of those little teardrop ones that look really retro. They're made in Europe somewhere. They're just right for one person. I used to follow a blog where this writer travels around the country pulling one behind her. You would get some amazing photos! I wish I could remember the name of the blog.

Susan said...

Sandy, I only tent-camped once and that was enough for me. I felt every little pebble, and that was on an air mattress! And I had to go to the bathroom 5 times during the night, and every time I had to go, I made David go with me, because it was so danged dark in that state park campground. Plus it drizzled rain all night long, which made everything clammy and sticky. Bleh. Not my idea of fun, thank you very much.

I love homemade pizza...we hardly ever order one delivered. Of course, we live 5 miles from town, so by the time they get here they aren't worth eating anyway.

Deborah said...

Hey there, Kernel - nice to see you! (Still confounds me how the English got that out of 'call-oh-nell')
I'm thinking I could probably live in that thing. Tiny houses appeal to me and having one with wheels could be pretty interesting. Might be an issue if I had to back up, though.

I grant you that zucchini and eggplant and peppers are wonderful things, but I'm not sure I'd want that combo on my pizza. One or the other, maybe. And where's the chesse layer? I'm sorry, but as much as I love parmesan, it doesn't pass the melt test. My personal favourite is Greek, but I still find guilty pleasure in pepperoni pizzas. Over here they've never heard of pepperoni, at least not the kind that you eat. I've given up looking for it, but since I discovered chorizo, it doesn't matter anymore.

Susan said...

Wanda, believe me, that horse has already left the barn! They immediately wanted to take it over. We had to put a stop to it...those rowdy older boys can really make a mess of things if given the opportunity. They don't really ask to go in it now. I hope they will still like camping when we actually get to take them.

Hmmmm, fried green tomatoes might actually be good. Maybe I'll try that next time. Or maybe just grilled like the rest of the veggies.

Susan said...

Thank you, Cora! We can't wait to try it out next weekend. Hope the weather is good.

Susan said...

Thank you, Barb! I'll consider that an invitation! ;) He has said for years that he wants me to go, but I hate to upset the buddy balance thing. He and his friend have been doing this for 25 years. But we will definitely be coming to Colorado on a camping trip in a year or two, after he retires.

Thank you for your nice compliments.

Susan said...

Thanks, Natashya! Yeah, I don't want the pottie to be very far, especially in the middle of the night. I've been down that road and I'm ready to go down the other one.

JackeeG4glamorous said...

Awesome post! Loved the RV and the grandkids (too cute) and all. Sounds like you are a busy grandma! Enjoy your fall trip!

Susan said...

Hiya, Deb! I could definitely live in it, if I were alone. I even go out there sometimes in the afternoon and take a nap, or just sit on the sofa and read. I bet they have campgrounds in Calgary, eh? We haven't been to Canada in a loooonnnng time. Yeah, the backing up is a bit tricky, but hubby is doing okay. Of course, the real test will be next weekend when he has to back it into a trailer spot. My niece (a veteran camper) says everyone always stops what they're doing to watch the newbies get situated. It's always nice being the laughingstock. :)

There's cheese on there! It's underneath the veggies, and there's plenty of it, too. I put mozzarella and asiago. I really love the flavor of asiago. I'm a veggie lover, and contrary to popular belief, that combination was simply devine. I sliced the eggplant pretty thin. You couldn't possibly put too many veggies on one for me, even if I have to eat it with a knife and fork. The one on the left that you can just see a smidgen of had pepperoni on half, and less veggies. You probably would have liked that one more. One half was plain cheese for the kiddos.

Susan said...

Thank you, Jackee! I'm really looking forward to some cooler fall weather and wearing jeans and sweaters. I might even decide to like winter this year after the awful summer we've had.

Deborah said...

My bad. I went back to reread after I left my comment and MOZZARELLA jumped out at me. But you beat me to it!

Campsite entertainment sounds a lot like the narrow-one-lane-road-great-big-bus type we get over here. I love it.

Elle Bee said...

THat trailer is awesome!!! And you've made it into such a lovely cozy home! Happy camping. :o)

Your pizza seems like the tastiest way to use up some of my eggplant. Yum!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Wow! That pizza looks delicious. We love all those things. I've never made a homemade pizza.

The camper looks like a place you and your family will have lots of fun... and I'm liken the lichen.:)

Susan said...

Thank you, Elle darlin'! It's starting to feel like a second home. I'll be glad when the new smell is gone though...not crazy about that.

You should definitely try some of your eggplant this way! If nothing else, at least grill it. The best way to eat it in my opinion. Well, I love eggplant parmesan, too, but grilling is a lot less calorific.

Susan said...

Bella, making homemade pizza is no more difficult than driving to get one, or dealing with the goofy order takers for delivery! You're not one of those people who are afraid of yeast, are you? If so, get over that notion. It's really so simple and easy. Maybe I'll do a pizza-making lesson for a post.

I have plans to visit all 50 states in that thing, so watch for me in your neighborhood! :)

Anonymous said...

You have had a very busy summer. That pizza looks so good! My Mom's coming to visit tomorrow and I'm thinking we should try it.