Our fun with the airstream, selling cookbooks and seeing the country continues . . .
Saturday (Day 6) we drove across Iowa to a fabulous national park called Fisherman’s Corner on the banks of the Mississippi River, which was actually in Illinois (the river is the state line). It was a very small campground run by the Army Corps of Engineers, with beautiful, roomy sites:
We had a delicious dinner, planned by Robert – grilled bison dogs with chili, and broccoli slaw on the side, Yum – and super easy as we purchased an organic, vegetarian chili at Whole Foods:
Note our new picnic tablecloth and matching bench covers from Camping World – highly recommended, as picnic tables in campgrounds are often very dirty!
The next morning (Day 7) we headed back across the river to the darling town of Le Claire, Iowa.
If you are a viewer of a show on History Channel called “American Pickers”, you will be familiar with Le Claire as this is home base for the shop that is the central focus of the series. We went there – it’s called “Antique Archeology” – and no, Danielle wasn’t there. After our visit there, we explored the cute little town.
The favorite for us was a visit to the Mississippi River Distilling Company. They make their own vodka, “artisan spirit” (basically a vodka with a bit more ingredients in the process), gin, and whiskey in very small batches. And, the vodka and artisan spirit were great! The latter reminded me of liquor in Holland called gineveer. We bought a few souvenir bottles:
We stopped for lunch (that turned out to be brunch) at the Faithful Pilot Cafe. Robert’s crab cakes with poached eggs and hollandaise were not that great, but my fried egg tostada with chorizo sausage and cilantro was delicious:
The weather was starting to change (rain on the way) so we headed to the Laundromat to do a few loads of wash, then back to the campground for a dinner of chicken and beef kabobs with ginger couscous (the latter recipe is in A Well-Seasoned Kitchen).
Later that night, the heavens opened up to a most amazing thunderstorm, complete with lot of lightening – for several hours! It rained most of the night and the next morning. Once the rain stopped, we packed up (now day 8 of our trip) and headed to Indiana to Turkey Run State Park.
What a fabulous campground and park – including an Inn, canoeing on the Sugar Creek, and several miles of hiking trails. We took a night off from cooking and dinner at the Turkey Run Inn – quaint, kind of quirky but fun (I wouldn’t go there for the food however). Next morning we hiked a bit then headed for our next stop – Cincinnati.
More to come!
Robert and I packed up the airstream and hit the road for our first road trip of 2012 promoting my cookbook, A well-seasoned kitchen.
As usual, I was worried that all of our stuff would fit . . .
But it did! Cuisinart. . . . check. Blender . . . check. Acrylic plates, bowls, wine glasses . . . check. Stainless steel martini glasses and shaker . . . check. Various pots and pans for broiling, steaming, baking . . .check. Weber grill with utensils . . .. check. It all fit, along with all the food I wanted to bring:
So, on day 1 we drove to Scottsbluff, Nebraska, to the beautiful campground at Lake Minatare, where we set up camp and made dinner – barbequed pork chops and steamed cauliflower with Parmesan cheese and curry:
I also needed to prepare the pork chops for the TV cooking demo/shoot the next day:
Day two started with a cooking demonstration – with the airstream! – for the local ABC affiliate, KOTA. I had a lot of fun with local news reporter Leigha, making Grilled Dijon Pork Chops with Arugula (click on the photo to watch the segment):
A different sort of TV interview for me, as I was solo – just me on camera, talking. I am more accustomed to having someone with me, cooking with me, asking me questions. It was actually fun! Here is Leigha:
We left the TV taping and went directly to the Scottsbluff radio station, KCMI FM to be interviewed by a super guy, Russ. Great time!
Russ was an excellent interviewer, and promoted the heck out of my book for one hour.
From there, we prepared for my cooking demo and book signing later that afternoon at the Kitchen Company in Scottsbluff – where I was cooking with Teresa Scanlan, Miss America 2011!
We had a wonderful time – Teresa is an amazing woman, 19 going on 30. I would recommend watching her progress – she has great ambition (wants to be President of the US!), and the smarts and talent to make it a reality. We were fortunate to be invited to Teresa’s home that evening for dinner with her mother Janie, sister Christine, brother Adam and her maternal grandparents Nives and Frank. Fun evening with a delicious dinner of chicken marsala, noodles, mixed veggies, and delicious yummy chocolates for dessert. A delightful family and we had lots of laughs.
Lots more to blog about but I don’t have time to upload the photos right now – it takes ages using WiFi!
(Note: last post I messed up our “day” count – it is now corrected!)
We made it just fine driving through New Jersey, on and off the Cape May-Lewes Ferry. Stopped in at a grocery store and stocked up on staples and food for breakfast and lunch.
Once in Delaware (Day 10 continued), we checked in at our campsite just north of Lewes, called Steamboat Landing (the only site with room as we planned this trip last minute!), dropped off the airstream and then headed over to meet my college friend, Jim Martin and his family for dinner in Rehoboth Beach. We started off at Que Pasa, a fun dive bar on the beach just across the street from Jim’s beach house. Their Mango Margueritas are delish!!
From there we went to Jim’s house where his wife Celia made us a delicious dinner – vegetarian lasagna, tossed salad, and rainbow sherbet for dessert. I need to get the recipe for the lasagna – it was yummy!
Spent the next day (Day 11) catching up on chores and on the beach with Jim and kids – until it rained! Back to the trailer for drinks – with Jim and his son Ben. Our first guests!
After a cocktail, the four of us went into Lewes, the oldest town, in the oldest state in the country – due to the fact that one of its residents was the first to sign the Constitution. We had a wonderful dinner at The Buttery. Our favorite dish was the crab cakes!
Unfortunately, on Day 12 it rained most of the day so we caught up on work and called on a few retailers in Rehoboth Beach, before having dinner in two restaurants! Jim told us they were the 2 best in the area, and we couldn’t make up our mind which one to go to, so we went to both. First, we stopped into the Back Porch Cafe for a glass of wine, Crab-Guacamole and a tomato salad with pickled grapes. LOVED both dishes, especially the seafood guacamole – have to try and recreate this at home. They post recipes for several of their dishes on their website – check them out (link above)!
From there we went to the popular Blue Moon for dinner Their bar is a famous gay hangout and was packed, even on a Sunday evening! We had yet another fabulous dinner. Favorite dish? Pasta Bolognese – slow cooked beef, pork and veal with tagliatelle, black truffles and parmesan cheese. YUM!
Day 13 we drove to Washington DC, where we parked the airstream at the home of our good friends Dalton and Stacey Delan. We called on retailers and then spent the evening with our friends at their home and had a delicious dinner of eggplant parmesan, pasta, broccolini and yummy pastries from Whole Foods.
Day 14 was more retailer visits, then moving the airstream to Jim Martin’s DC home for our first airstream cocktail party! We served various white wines, deconstructed Benedictine Cheese Canapes (deconstructed because I didn’t have time to assemble them!) and Canellini Bean Dip from A Well-Seasoned Kitchen. We couldn’t invite too many people – the trailer isn’t that big! A few photos:
Next stop – Southwestern Virginia!