Comfort Food & the Furnace

Hopping John almost done

Hopping John almost done

This crisp weather is making me want to cook rib-sticking comfort food.  Last night we had homemade hopping john over brown rice, and I can’t remember when I’ve eaten a more satisfying meal–although I did go a little too heavy on the hot peppers.  😀

The mobile RV guy checked the Casita’s furnace this morning.  He found dirt dauber nests in the outside vents and thought that might have been the problem.  When he turned on the furnace it just purred.  But he decided to leave it running while he cleaned the back of the refrigerator and the water heater with compressed air.

Then we heard it. Clank.  Clank-clank.  Clank-klittety-clank.  And it continued to get worse.  So a new fan motor is definitely needed.

He is also going to install my new battery wiring kit from Little House Customs since I don’t have the hand strength to crimp the cables.

A camp fire from an earlier cold weather camping trip

A camp fire from an earlier cold weather camping trip

And he promised to get the job done in time for our trip to Alabama.  I am so relieved to know that will be taken care of!

I am getting excited about the upcoming cold-weather camping and imagining the fun of huddling around a nice campfire.  Got to remember to stock up on hot chocolate and mocha.

We will not be taking our nice propane campfire on our upcoming trips.  We learned that it’s great for atmosphere.  But when it’s really cold, it doesn’t put out enough heat to keep us warm.  We need the real thing then!


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  1. cozybegone

     /  October 23, 2013

    You make me want to get my stew mojo geared up! Glad you’ll be furnace happy for meet up! Just took off, damn it feels good! 222 miles to go 🙂

  2. EmilyO

     /  October 23, 2013

    Hmmmm, I feel some chili coming on at this house – stew sounds good too. I am off to the grocery store!

  3. Jane

     /  October 23, 2013

    Temps to drop to 31 degrees in Central
    Alabama Saturday night !! Bring your
    Electric blanket!

    • Jane, that’s about what it is where I live across the Georgia line from you.

      As long as I have a big campfire, a working furnace, and lots of warm fuzzy clothes — and the wind is not whipping, I will be okay. I hope!!!

      They were predicting 28 for Friday night here, but I see they’ve revised it to 30. Anyway, that is cold for these southern bones!

  4. Horst Kelly

     /  October 23, 2013

    Hopping John….do we have recipe to share…my stomach is gnawing just looking at the photo… glad to hear all is going to be well for your upcoming trip…safe journey…Horst sends

    • Horst, I don’t use recipes, except in baking. I make everything else up as I go along. I browned sausage, added onions, garlic, sweet peppers, celery, and simmered those together for a while, then added cooked dried black eyed peas and canned tex-mex tomatoes. Then I just went through my spice drawer and added whatever looked good. I think I used celery seed, cardamom, cumin, hot red pepper flakes, a little basil and some powdered ancho pepper — and probably a couple of other things that I’m forgetting.

      I probably would have added some okra if I had had any.

      Thanks for the good wishes. I can’t remember when I’ve been so happy anticipating getting out! (Probably right before our last trip.) 😀

  5. Alabama? Are you coming my way? I passed by your way on I-20 today.

    • Yes! Cozygirl is going to be at one of the COEs there. I’ll email you which one as I’m not sure she would be comfortable with my publishing her itinerary.

      It would be awesome if you could join us, too!

  6. Marsha

     /  October 24, 2013

    Hoppin’ John looks yummy. We have our first snow accumulation here in Michigan. Our final camping trip of the season before we put the Casita away for the winter was this past weekend. Daytime temps were great and it was sunny. Sunday morning we woke up to 34 degrees, but a roaring fire in the firepit at the campground chased the chill away.

    I think of soup when the days get colder. May make some split pea, which is my all-time fav.

    Happy camping; I’ll do so vicariously through your blog.

    • I have never made split pea soup. Now I’m curious. Will find out how to do it and give it a try.

      As always, I will love having you along on our travels, Marsha. 🙂

  7. You cook like me, what ever looks good goes in the mix. You stew sure looks good. I’ll have to give it a try.
    Want to bring ready made things when I go camping so I just have to use a small pot to heat them up.

    I feel you excitement. It will be good to have heat. I’m going to have a site with electric so I can at least run a little heater at night.

    • I love canned chili and hot dogs, chunky clam chowder, and other non-hassle foods when I’m camping sometimes. Other times I really enjoy camp cooking. Generally I like to cook when I am going to have company to eat with. If it’s just me, then sometimes just cheese and grapes are great.

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