I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for myself and Allen last year in our camper (in North Dakota) and I plan to do it even better this year!
The main challenge lies in the planning stage. Continue reading
Don’t get me wrong, I love it that Allen’s job lets us see the country. But there are some things that really suck, like missing your friends and family, and not being there when they need you the most.
Hi! We’re Rachel & Allen and we live full time in our 2015 Grand Design Momentum 385 fifth wheel toy hauler. We travel the country for Allen’s work, often only having a couple days notice of where we need to be next. And we love it!
Thonotosassa… Try saying that 3 times fast!
Thonotosassa (I love the name) is home to the Big Top Flea Market, aka Rachel’s version of heaven!
Allen had to work today. And last Sunday. That kinda puts a damper on the so-called weekend! He works on broadcast towers, you can read more about that jazz here… But they are trying to hurry and finish this job so we can get the heck outta here… I don’t really want to be around when they close the highways! They already closed parts of I-80 that we took to get here. Seems like we left San Francisco just in time to get through the mountains with no snow…
So it’s just me and Charles hanging out today watching football. Luckily the Bengals play tomorrow night so Allen will get to see the game regardless!
I forgot to show off our new home decor I picked up while we were in South Dakota…
They are those wall decals that just peel and stick. You can remove them and move them with no damage. I think they are perfect for our camper. I try not to put holes in the wall if I don’t have to, part of the reason I love Command hooks also! “Home Sweet Home” is above the front door and the other is in the bathroom behind the toilet (I didn’t know where else to put it!)
Here’s the recipe:
Layer the following in the slow cooker, in this order…
- 1 large onion, quartered, and separated
- a pork butt or shoulder roast (mine was about 3lbs), make sure you salt and pepper this guy very generously
- a can of chipotle peppers in adobo
- a can of Dr. Pepper at room temp (use two cans if you have a giant roast-one was enough for me)
Stick the lid on. Turn it on low.
About 4 hours in, flip the roast over. Flip it again in an hour or two. If it is falling apart, take it out and shred the meat. If not, give it another hour and check again. Once you get the meat out, try and skim some or most of the fat off the top without getting rid of too much juice. Shred it and put it back in the pot for another hour, making sure all the meat is soaking up all that juicy goodness.
I served this on warm flour tortillas (I just heated them in a dry pan over medium heat for about a minute on each side). I topped it with some homemade pico (my version follows), a few sprigs of cilantro, and some pepper jack cheese. Delicious! And we have plenty left over for dinner tomorrow…. I think you should try this tonight! (P.S. I’ve been loving The Pioneer Woman‘s recipes, that’s where I found this one! She made hers in the oven, but since I have a camper oven, I prefer my handy dandy slow cooker.)
Pico de Gallo
- 4 roma tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and diced
- a good squirt of lime juice
- a palmful of chopped cilantro
I hope you are all having a better Sunday than my super hard-working, loving boyfriend!
Oh, and by the way, Allen said the Potato Bread I made this week beats out all the others for best yet! And I’ve kind of decided that If I keep it in a ziplock baggie vs. the bread baggies I bought, it stays softer and fresher longer…
Lyle, the engineer on the tallest broadcast tower in America told Allen and the guys yesterday that they were going to turn into true NoDaks before we get out of here. Yikes! I think he means that they are going to somehow adapt to the crazy cold and windy weather that all the locals keep describing as “nice”. That’s not the term I would use!!
Yesterday I met the maintenance man for Hillsboro Campground and Motel. He moved his camper down to the insulated water spicket section. Everyone is kind of huddling together now the temps are dropping below freezing. I didn’t catch this gentleman’s name so I’ll just refer to him as Lyle #2 for now. Lyle #2 works on the beet farm then does maintenance type things for the motel and campground. He’s done this for 5 years. He’s 71. He got his first motorcycle in 2010 (a Harley that he quickly swapped for a Honda that wants to be a crotch rocket that he now loves, even has the jacket to prove it.) He had a travel trailer for thirty years until recently he traded that for a 27′ fifth wheel. He misses the travel trailer.
Lyle #2 said that he put all the “new” spots in back in September and did them all in less than 2 weeks because they had 71 campers here for the beet farm! I can’t imagine that many campers in this park! But I could see it being nice in the summer.
But the rush to get the spots built explains the super soft gravel and mud. (And also the catty-wompus way the electric and water hookups are in the middle of the yards) Lyle #2 said these 71 units were mostly class A’s with retired folks, this group is called a “Camp Force”, and they left here October 15 to head to Amazon to work for Christmas. Then they go out to California to work another farm, come back this way for potatoes then the beets again. But Lyle #2 isn’t sure if they will all be back next year because the beet farm didn’t pay the premium price and some of them didn’t even make their expenses.
I found my conversation with Lyle #2 to be very interesting. I’d never heard of a “Camp Force” before. I’ve heard of full time RVers going to work for Amazon but not necessarily traveling as a group and going from farm to farm for the different harvests. Anyhow, Lyle #2 was on his way to shut the water off in the “old” section of the park so I headed back inside with Charlie to thaw out our hands and paws! We have not become No-Daks quite yet!
I AM really starting to like this town. I had a feeling I would before we got here. Wednesday, Allen got off early because of nasty weather, so we went over to Granny’s (the local watering hole) to see if we could find somewhere to watch the Thursday Night Football game. We wanted to avoid driving all the way to Grand Forks (35miles) in snowy weather if at all possible. Jackie is the bartender at Granny’s most of the time and she was very friendly. They have free popcorn too! But their TV’s are kind of small so we wanted to check out Reno’s also (the local sports bar). Jackie described it as a little more modern.
Reno’s was a lot newer yet not as cozy. But still, Reno was very friendly and said he would definitely have the game on for us. They also have a full menu (mostly fried appetizers and burgers) and we need to eat when we drink!
A local guy bought us some shots. Jackie showed up to chat a bit. I made a plan to take Charlie to Granny’s for the 8am Happy Hour Saturday morning (didn’t happen!) (and yes, 8-9am is Happy Hour for all the guys that work at the beet plant) and I also got the OKAY to have mail sent to Reno’s. (The campground is kind of weird for mail and they just have a box on the street that nobody checks regularly). So it turned out to be a great night. Allen was sufficiently late to work Friday while re-evaluating his life choices and Charlie woke up with her Bengals shirt half on/half off… Just goes to show our first major outing in town was a fun one!
We also stopped by Olsen Hardware, NAPA, and the lumber store looking for one of those boot brush cleaner thingies that you put outside… No luck… Our garage is seriously a mud room now! I got to run into Uniquely Yours Craft Boutique while Allen picked up an adapter for our air pump. We couldn’t reach the dually tire valves without it. I found some wooded salt and pepper shakers that I think are super cute! I was looking for metal ones, but no luck there.
Allen is working today (Sunday) as well as yesterday since they had that weather day. But the next day off we are going to go into Grand Forks to Walmart and stock up on some food. Dale’s Food Pride (local grocery) is almost as expensive as San Francisco and I’m over that! But I guess they can charge whatever they want since they are the only place around.
Yesterday I made my first loaf of Pumpernickel Rye Bread and I think it came out really good. I do want to get some caraway though to add and I think that would boost the flavor a bit more. I’ll wait to get Allen’s opinion before I post the recipe. But if I do it will be here, along with the Hillbilly Chili and Chili Bread I’m making today! Perfect for a chilly football Sunday… Cheers!
Oh my goodness, it’s COLD here!
If it were summer time I think this place would be a lot more enjoyable. As it is, there’s not much to do in town. We are staying at the Hillsboro Campground in Hillsboro, North Dakota. Hillsboro is 1 square mile, right off I-29 and almost exactly halfway between Fargo and Grand Forks. There’s a grocery store, a hardware store, and a sports bar.
There’s also a city park where they have a pen full of mule deer. We went to see them yesterday and feed them carrots. I dressed Charlie in her reindeer outfit thinking she would blend in. But she did not care for the deer and the deer did not like her. The park is pretty. The Goose River goes through it. There’s a swimming pool also.
Joyce runs the campground. She also runs the motel. And the senior assisted living center. And the Chicken Shack (at the campground, which is closed now, I’m guessing for the winter). And she runs the Hillsboro Laundry, which is also at the campground. She is one busy lady. There is wifi but it only shows up on the computer, not on our phones.
Joyce will be shutting the water off to most of the park for the winter, leaving only about 8 spaces with water, ours being one of those. We had to go buy the noodle insulation and the heat cord (for water pipes) to make a longer heated water hose so it doesn’t freeze. We had a 20′ one but it wasn’t long enough. The water spicket and electric is pretty far away. They are either right behind the sites or off the side. The spaces are long enough but soft-ish gravel. I wouldn’t want to park a heavy class A here for sure.
Charlie is just shivering non stop, poor pup. We have compromised to keeping the heat at 64 degrees. We have to pay electric for everything over 525kwh so we turn our electric space heater and the fireplace off at night and when we leave. We are also going through some propane. Luckily there’s somewhere in town to refill our tanks. (All 5 of them). Most of the time we are keeping the garage door closed. We left the bike in there and Allen’s toolbox. So it’s definitely being used as a mudroom now!
I even went and bought some “utility” boots for this hard winter we are about to face! Although Walmart didn’t have hardly any winter stuff out and I’ve seen a lady in flip flops and a girl in a summer dress with just a little cardigan over it. Meanwhile, we are wearing thermals and hats and gloves!
We are heading into Grand Forks today to watch the Bengals play. It’s the closest place I think we will find NFL Sunday Ticket. (I definitely want to have a tailgater by next football season-it would save us a ton of money just not having to go to the bar and watch!) And since we are about 40 minutes from anything we are being very responsible and designating a sober driver. I got the unlucky straw this week so Allen will get to act like a drunk toddler by himself!
We were also responsible enough to get our flu shots the other day when we went into town to go to Walmart. #adulting ! I never thought I could miss Walmart so much! But they still didn’t have our Scott RV toilet paper so I’m stuck with Campa-Chem. At least it’s 2-ply! *sigh*
Cheers to football Sunday! Who Dey!