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Location: DownByTheRiver, Central Iowa, United States

Husband of the world's most wonderful wife, father of the world's four most brilliant children, grandfather to the world's eight most beautiful granddaughters and two handsomest grandsons

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

River Walk Saturday

The RRR continues the story of the graduation of Youngest Son from Air Force Basic training. In the picture my son, his wife, little Jelly, and their friend.

Once again I did not need the alarm Saturday morning. I awoke in the French Army tent and realized that I had not prepared a Ranger breakfast for the ladies yet. I dug out my cooking gear and dug through my camping food. By the time they were awake and out of their tent I had the little Coleman backpacking stove roaring and was desperately multi-tasking to get a meal for four ready on one burner. I cut up some bacon (preserved with cider vinegar) and fried it up in the little Boy Scout frypan, saving the grease. Whilst the bacon was cooking I mixed 1 cup of water with a cup of powdered eggs making a dozen scrambled eggs. To that I added a handful of powdered cheddar cheese. The cheese comes from macaroni and cheese packages. I buy them on sale and separate out the noodles which go into Mrs. RRR's pasta canister and the cheese that I save for camping. The eggs were pre-measured into a zip lock freezer bag so all I had to do was add the cheese and water, rezip the bag and knead it.

Then I put the little pieces of cooked bacon into the egg mix and cooked one half at a time in the tiny fry pan. While the eggs cooked I added water and powdered milk to bisquick and started kneading that bag to make pancake batter. When the eggs were cooked, I put them on a plate under another plate and placed a folded towel over it to keep them warm and began frying pancakes. The girls ate them with squeeze margarine and dark brown sugar instead of syrup. I also made coffee and mixed up powdered milk to drink. It was all quite a trick using only a little one burner stove, but certainly no more difficult than doing the same job with a camp fire.

The ladies left to greet Son at the Air Base and I heated water and washed the dishes and cleaned up the camp, then drove in to join them. We all met at the reception center and drove into San Antonio to spend the morning sightseeing. San Antonio had a small river running through down town. To prevent flooding, they have dug it down and lined it with concrete and made the whole length into a garden-like park. Little shops and sidewalk craft businesses line the canal. And there are boats to ride. We had a wonderful morning walking and shopping and drinking gourmet coffee in outdoor cafes. Then we went back to the campground.

At my request, my daughter-in-law had purchased an tamale cooker for me to use camping. It is a 3 Gallon (about 12 liter) galvanized bucket with a rack in the bottom to keep the food out of the water. In other words it is a steamer. We bought a dozen ears of sweet corn. While I prepared the corn and began the water in the bucket boiling, my son put on the swimming trunks I loaned him and he and the girls walked to the swimming pool at the campground for a dip. At the same time I started some charcoal burning and cooked hamburgers over the charcoal. They returned from swimming and we gorged ourselves on fresh corn and burgers. The girls drove him back to the base while I cleaned up.

My call to Mrs. RRR that night was a long, happy one. I fell asleep feeling all was right with the world.


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