Last September, as we left our campsite near Ririe, Idaho, we were gifted with about 30 pounds of freshly gleaned Idaho potatoes (read about it here). That’s way too many potatoes for two people! We gave some to our neighbors at our next stop, more to folks we met along our travels, even passed some along to my sister when we visited her in Moab – which she took home to Arizona with her when she left the next day.
The abundance of ‘taters prompted me to search my cookbooks for recipes – and we found a real winner, Slow Cooker German Potato Salad. Once the potatoes were gone, I promptly forgot about the recipe… until yesterday morning when our friend John sent an email that reminded me: “… loved your warm, crock pot potato salad. With some beer brats and fresh green salad it was a very nice meal”.
Oh, man, my mouth began to water immediately!
It was a timely reminder because our refrigerator and freezer are almost completely empty, and we are in Eugene, Oregon – a foodie heaven: Trader Joe’s, Costco, Market of Choice (new to me) and… drum roll here… the Saturday Farmers’ Market, one of our favorites. I had a short list of “regular grocery store” items (this is opposed to “Costco items” and “TJ’s items” and “from the farmer’s market”), to which I immediately added the simple ingredients for the German potato salad and headed off to find out what’s up with the buzz about “Market of Choice” (yes, my email correspondents are foodies, too).
Odel and I usually grocery shop together. Two separate lists, two separate carts, two separate cell phones to call each other when it is time to meet at the checkout line. On Odel’s list: everything that doesn’t require decision-making (canned food, toilet paper, peanut butter, eggs, etc.) and everything that is “his stuff”- diet Pepsi, tonic, hot dogs. My list has all the produce and any unusual ingredients I need/want. We shop from our lists, throwing in anything else that looks good… but with no time to browse an abundant cheese counter at a snail’s pace, for instance. (I do have a little longer if we’re in a grocery store that has a blood-pressure machine, irresistible to Odel.)
So, food shopping as hobby is best done alone. As soon as Odel left with our friend Alex to head to the golf course, I jumped in the Jeep and headed to Market of Choice before the temperature rose too high (yes, we found summer here in Eugene). Oh, what fun!
Market of Choice reminds me of the Nugget market chain in the Sacramento area (only the stores are smaller): a small local chain of stores that combine lovely (overpriced) produce; fabulous prepared foods, hot and cold; delectable desserts; a huge selection of cheese; health foods and bulk foods; and normal grocery items (like toilet paper and Orowheat bread).
Odel has recently been reminiscing about “the best hotdog” he has ever had (and I agree with him on this), cooked over a campfire when we visited with Jeanie and Ray at their ranch in Arizona (readers of Al’s blog will know this as the ranch where the Bayfield Bunch stays occasionally). Ray can really cook a dog!
I’ve been suffering through a bout of insomnia recently. When we met new friends Cheryl and Roger for dinner here in Eugene the other night, I shocked Odel by ordering a beer after dinner. I had the bright idea that it might help my insomnia (the main reason I don’t drink beer is that it makes me sleepy) – plus, I just didn’t want the evening to end, as we had so much fun laughing and talking politics (can you believe those two things go together??) with Cheryl and Roger.
So how does all of this fit together? As I strolled the aisles of Market of Choice, I saw All Natural Uncured Beef Franks and the light bulb went off. Hot dogs for Odel, beer for me, and German potato salad. Woo-hoo!
Back here at home, beer is chilling and potato salad is in the crockpot outside (the better to not overheat Scoopy’s interior). I’ve got a sweet pineapple peeled and sliced, and picked up a few vegetable salads from the Market of Choice deli. Tomorrow's visit to the Farmer’s Market will fill in the rest.
Here in Eugene, we’ve found summer’s warm temperatures – along with friends, old and new. We arrived back at Armitage County Park (click here to read our most recent review) on Wednesday evening, the evening before Scoopy’s 115,000 mile maintenance, and met virtual friends Cheryl and Roger over Thai food at Chao Pra Ya. As we left the campground heading to dinner, we saw our friends Ellen and Alex checking in. We last saw them in Napa and were looking forward to catching up with them.
When we pulled out at 7:30 am on Thursday to drive 4 miles to Cummins Northwest for servicing, we saw that Ellen and Alex ended up parked next to Paul of Wheeling It, yet another person known to us only through our blogs – until now. Back at the park while we awaited word that the maintenance was complete, we spent a couple hours poking fun at the dumb things we have all done in our RV’ing lives – I laughed until my eyes teared up as Paul and Alex described applying magnetized solar shades to their rig’s huge windshields, gesticulating with wild, wind milling arm movements. So, plenty of fun afoot this weekend.
All of today’s photos are from our waterfall-peeping trip up the North Umpqua River Scenic Byway last Tuesday when we were in Sutherlin. We had a beautiful day for it, hiked well over 10,000 steps, and enjoyed ourselves immensely. Refreshing photos for a warm summer day!
|Odel tries his finger in the dike…||… with notable lack of success!|