Travel and Tourism
What a way to start my day! I got up and started the usual routine, taking the dog out, making my morning tea, and getting Austin up for breakfast. The day was warming fast (in a vehicle that happens even at 50 degrees outside) so I decided to open the front door and dinette window to allow some cool air in. And this is where it hit, as I started to open the dinette window, it shattered! Really! I got it open maybe three inches and then that horrible, disconcerting quiet little ‘clink‘ that brought the window to pieces and me standing there holding the metal frame that was supposed to be attached to the glass.
Now if my rig was a bit older I might expect the occasional mishap, but this had to have been karma because it bit me again later in the day in a few ways. After taking two hours to clean up the glass from on, under and inside my dinette, I realized that the time I had spent was supposed to have been used typing my already late submission to the UUCEP newsletter, sorry Sonia! It was also Wednesday, and Wednesdays are laundry days so that means schlepping everything to the laundry facility and giving up a couple hours of my life that I’ll never get back. After all of this I had 60 sweet minutes to sit back and enjoy the quiet (or type like I should) before heading to the USO for my weekly volunteer shift.
So, I sat back, plugged in and turned on my laptop and put the boob tube to something meaningless while I heated some water for tea. But no, not to be. Within ten minutes the lights went out, not just in my camper but in the entire park. And they stayed out.
I finally gave up and gave in, leaned back, closed my eyes and rested for about ten minutes, thinking of how wonderful tomorrow just had to be as Austin ran outside and hopped on his bike along with all of the other kids in the park. Then I mustered my energy, got the lantern from it’s hiding hole, got ready for my USO shift and spent a wonderful evening with some of America’s finest.
And today? Today is a great day. In fact, every day is a great day!
To find out more about the USO, visit www.USO.org.
Cooking a multi-course meal in a 2′ x 4′ kitchen can be a bit daunting, but this year our meal was a success. With only two of us and a tiny oven, I wanted to make just the right serving sizes to have for our dinner and few leftovers.
My first plan was for the turkey. I decided on crockpot cooking and a 3# Butterball turkey breast. The breast comes in a plastic bag with the turkey wrapped in a string net along with a bag of gravy starter.
I started by taking the turkey out of the string net. There were two large pieces and a few small chunks. After cleaning the pieces, I set them aside and cut a red onion into 8 chunks and readied two garlic gloves. I layered the ingredients in the crock pot as such: 1/3 stick butter, 1/2 of the onion chunks, 1 diced garlic clove, 1/2 the turkey, spices, 1/3 stick butter, 1/2 bag baby carrots, the second 1/2 of the onion, second clove of garlic, all topped with the second 1/2 of turkey, skin side up. At the very top I added the last 1/3 stick butter and spices and 1/2 cup water. I cooked this overnight (about 8 hours) on low, then changed the crockpot to the “warm” setting from morning until time to serve.
Next I went about making the side dishes. With only two saucepans, I had to cook, clean, and cook and clean again. I first made the cranberry sauce from fresh cranberries (the only way to have it!) Easy to make for two in a small pan with 1/2 bag fresh cranberries and 1 cup sugar boiled with 1/2 cup water until the berries open and the sauce thickens just a bit. I then put the sauce in a bowl in the refrigerator to cool and thicken, washed the pan and started on the gravy.
At first I tried the gravy that came with the turkey but my son and I both agreed that the gravy just did not meet up to our standards. I then tasted the au jus and it was perfect as-is so we decided on using it. The last two dishes to be made were the stuffing and mashed potatoes just before ready to serve.
And although in a tiny space, we had a delicious homestyle Thanksgiving dinner made just for two!
*** PLEASE NOTE: This schedule has been updated as a living document.
Click on “Schedule” above for our most current listing!
traveling tUUsome 2013 schedule
January 1: Leave from UUCEP
January 6: Albuquerque, New Mexico
January 13: Dallas, Texas
January 20: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
January 27: Oxford, Mississippi
February 3: Birmingham, Alabama
February 10: Lawrenceville, Georgia
February 17: Sarasota, Florida
February 24: Greenville, South Carolina
March 3: Fayetteville, North Carolina
March 10: Williamsburg, Virginia
March 17: Washington, D.C.
March 24: Frederick, Maryland
March 31: Wilmington, Delaware
April 7: Devon, Pennsylvania
April 14: Cherry Hill, New Jersey
April 21: New York, New York
April 28: West Hartford, Connecticut
May 5: Providence, Rhode Island
May 12: Concord, Massachusetts
*Insert visit to CLF and UUA this week!
May 19: Portsmouth, New Hampshire
May 26: Portland, Maine
June 2: Burlington, Vermont
June 9: Ottawa, Canada
June 16: Ann Arbor, Michigan
June 23: Columbus, Ohio
June 30: Charleston, West Virginia
July 7: Lexington, Kentucky
July 14: Knoxville, Tennessee
July 21: Little Rock, Arkansas
July 28: Tulsa, Oklahoma
August 4: Overland Park, Kansas
August 11: Kirkwood, Missouri
August 18: Bloomington, Indiana
August 25: Oak Park, Illinois
September 1: Madison, Wisconsin
September 8: Minneapolis, Minnesota
September 15: Des Moines, Iowa
September 22: Lincoln, Nebraska
September 29: Sioux Falls, South Dakota
October 6: Bismarck, North Dakota
October 13: Laramie, Wyoming
October 20: Golden, Colorado
October 27: Salt Lake City, Utah
November 3: Bozeman, Montana
November 10: Moscow, Idaho
November 17: Seattle, Washington
November 24: Anchorage, Alaska (by air!)
December 1: Portland, Oregon
December 8: Reno, Nevada
December 15: Berkley, California
December 22: Honolulu, Hawaii (flying again!)
December 29: Paradise Valley, Arizona
December 31: Back home to El Paso!
Austin and I spent the afternoon Wednesday mapping and tweaking our route for next year. After getting a few spots on the map we could see some better patterns and it changed all of our dates for the year! It was very exciting to see the locations in a concrete form, knowing we’ll be starting out in just one more month. Amazing to have this opportunity!
This map will stay at the UU Community of El Paso (UUCEP) in the Children and Youth Religious Education (CYRE) department. UUCEP is our starting point on January 1st and our ending point on December 31st.
I’ll be posting the entire year’s schedule this weekend. Hope to see many of you as we reach your locale!
*You can also find us on Facebook as “traveling tUUsome”