After leaving DC, on Day 15 we drove to a beautiful state park in southwestern VA called Claytor Lake:
We had a great shady, level (very important with an RV I have learned!) pretty campsite that backed up to the woods:
The lake was just a short hike away . . .
. . . and was beautiful, with a sandy beach. Unfortunately it was raining, so no swimming for the Ropers!
We cooked our first dinner in the RV – Lemon-Mustard Grilled Chicken with Caramelized Red Onions from A Well-Seasoned Kitchen, along with steamed broccoli and new potatoes wrapped in foil and roasted on the grill. Fortunately the rain let up so we could sit outside to enjoy our dinner (I forgot to take pictures of the food!).
On Day 16 the rain continued, so we caught up on work at the Wifi hot spot in the main office at the state park. One thing I didn’t anticipate was the lack of Internet access at state and national parks! Again, the rain let up in the evening so we could grill skirt steak and a version of Grilled Vegetable Packets from A Well-Seasoned Kitchen for dinner.
I used yellow squash, zucchini, red and green peppers, red onion, chopped fresh parsley and feta cheese for the veggie packets.
Robert ably handled the grilling. We use a gas grill at home, so it’s fun for us to cook with charcoal while we’re camping.
It was a delicious dinner, if I do say so myself!
On Day 17 we drove to the Smokies in Tennessee. Our introduction to the area was the most fabulous dinner at Blackberry Farm – one of the best meals I’ve ever had! It was so wonderful that it deserves it own blog post . . .stay tuned!!
I resisted buying a grill pan for years – why do I need one when I have a gas grill just outside my kitchen that is accessible most months of the year in Denver? Well, I was in Williams Sonoma one day and they had the Le Creuset Bistro Grill pan on sale, and the salesperson did her job well – and convinced me I absolutely had to have one.
I have to say, after using it for a few months now, I love it! There are times when I just don’t want to go outside in the rain and grill, and this pan is a nice alternative. I tested it cooking various cuts of meat, chicken, vegetables, hamburgers and turkey burgers.
Here is what I like about it:
- The pan is cast iron and coated with porcelain enamel, so it heats very evenly.
- The low sides relative to other grill pans made it very easy to cook kabobs, as they could lie flat (the skewers aren’t propped up in the air by the sides of the pan).
- It seems a bit easier to control the cooking process for foods tricky to control on the outdoor grill – like the Lamb Kabobs I blogged about in April (which I was afraid might crumble), thin asparagus and sliced onions.
- It’s pretty, especially in the Ocean color!
Here is what I don’t like about it:
- It isn’t as easy to clean as I thought it would be. After trying different approaches, what seems to work the best is to heat the pan, then spray it with cooking spray shortly before putting on the food.
Overall I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. You can find it on the Williams Sonoma website for $99.95.