Camp Chef Shelley

Stop WaitingIt’s Memorial Day Weekend, for many, the first three day weekend since President’s Day. It’s heralded as the start of summer, of camping, of all those things we’ve been waiting for. We’ve got pool parties to attend, new recipes to try out, barbecues are getting fired up. Let’s celebrate!

How do you barbecue? Is it burgers and dogs, is it dutch oven, do you limit what you can do because you are on a grill outside instead of inside in the sanctity of your kitchen? I hope not. Cooking outdoors is one of my greatest pleasures. Of course, that might be because I have no indoor cooking facilities. Seriously!

I cook outdoors on a Camp Chef almost daily. Recently my husband upgraded my Camp Chef, but for the last seven years, that’s been our only cooking apparatus, aside from an electric steamer and a crockpot which are used occasionally.

So let’s talk about what you can cook outdoors. Last month it was my world famous fish tacos, steak with baked potatoes, spaghetti, Jambalaya, Linguine with clam sauce, breakfast – lots of those. I also fixed chicken legs and kabobs, pork chops, couscous, and corn on the cob, among other things. Do you see much difference between what I cook outdoors and what you cook indoors? Probably not. The key for me is fresh and available, rarely do we have anything boxed or packaged, frozen or shelved. There’s no need for that. Does it take preparation? A bit, I have a tiny, tiny kitchen counter in our RV. I do my food prep with awesome knifes and a great cutting board, throw all that in separate bowls and then move it outside to add when needed. The biggest collection I keep in my house is knives and spices.

So as you move it outside this summer, consider the great possibilities you can cook there. Everything tastes better outdoors.

And as we celebrate this holiday weekend, let’s also remember. The purpose of the weekend is to reflect on those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, those who gave their lives for the freedoms we enjoy. Thank you to all in uniform, present and past, and to your brothers-in-arms who never made it home.

Reader’s Read

TBRDo you remember the fundraisers we had in school? From selling chocolate bars to anything-a-thon. My favorites were the Readathons. Who doesn’t like to curl up with a book and read as much as you can? My parents always pledged a penny a page.
Last weekend, I participated in the adult version of that, Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. It takes place twice a year and is an excuse to gather up with your books for 24 hours. The Readathon starts at the same time all over the world, for me that was 7 a.m. on Saturday to 7 a.m. on Sunday.

So what did that really look like for me? I started at 7 a.m. on Saturday, picked up my book and read until 10:30 when I had to shower and get ready for the day. Rich had brought me coffee around 9 so I hadn’t even gotten out of bed yet. After shower was a trip to Velvet Tacos in Fort Worth (wow!) and then we were off to a party. Not just any old party, this one would last all day long – no reading here, there were people to talk to!

We finally were home again around 10 and I thought I should just go to sleep I’ll catch the Readathon in the fall and see if I do better, I’d had a couple cocktails through the day, so I was sleepy. I tossed and turned for an hour though, I’m sure it’s because my brain knew I had made a commitment and I wasn’t fulfilling it. So, on went my reading light and I read until 5:45 a.m. Just an hour shy of the final deadline. I did ok, finished one book – although my TBR (to-be-read) stack had eight books in it, I always set out as an overachiever.

So, it might sound like this event is all about reading, and while that is the focus, there is another one just as important. The social aspect of this Readathon matters. Yes, reading can be social! There was a challenge every hour online that you could participate in on the social platform of your choice. I used Instagram. Each hour brought an opportunity to enter contests, write mashups, poetry, take pictures. It kept the hours moving, just a little check on my phone here and there to see what was up next, do the challenge, check out what others were reading, find some new friends to follow and then right back to work.

I’m so glad I took part – maybe next time it’ll be on a day I don’t already have something planned, but knowing our life, that’s doubtful. Next Readathon is October 21 – just checked my calendar, that’s Gala Day for the Rebelle Rally – maybe I’ll just put two books in my TBR stack 🙂