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Fall Break & Campfire Cooking

2020 brought new meaning to "Fall Break". I fell. I broke. On Friday, October 9th, I was coming down the stairs into the kitchen as the cat came running up the stairs, out of nowhere. As I tried to avoid the cat, I lost my footing and pitched forward, landing face first on the tile floor. My husband had to take me to the ER and they did x-rays on my head, shoulder, elbow, wrist, and knee - all of which were in agony. Two-hours later, they sent me home saying nothing was broken, but I did have a concussion and some bad sprains. The next afternoon I got a call from the ER Doc saying the radiologist had reviewed my films and found a fracture in my right shoulder. Ironically, I already had an appointment on Monday to see the orthopedic surgeon for my left shoulder. I'd had an MRI on it just a day before my fall.

We were supposed to take the camper (aka Basecamp) and go to SW Arkansas - bigfoot country - to explore, hike and get away. Instead, I'm in bed, watching YouTube videos and editing Book 2 of the Veritas Codex. I'm also suffering from a bit of regret because my favorite part of camping is cooking over the fire.


When my husband and I were first dating, our first vacation was a camping trip to Red River, New Mexico, Mesa Verde, Colorado and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. I knew it at the time, it was a test. My husband loved camping and he wanted to make sure I was a good camper too. Our first night in Red River, we made camp in a tent along side the river, in a pouring rainstorm. Despite being August, it was very cold. During a break in the rain, he managed to start a campfire, and I proved my worth by making my favorite red beans and rice over the fire. That was the meal that won him over, and secured our future, I truly believe. We can't go camping without a pan of red beans and rice. Even though we've gone to a plant-based diet, I had planned to make the same meal, sans the beef on our trip this week. Alas, it'll have to wait.

In the meantime, I thought I'd share the recipe that inspired Lauren Grayson's campfire specialty. This is a very simple recipe and can be made at home too, but it tastes so good when made over a good fire.


Red Beans & Rice

1 can Ranch-style beans

1 can Kidney beans (drained)

1/2 onion, diced

1 lb ground beef (can use turkey, plant-based meat substitute or omit entirely)

Slap Yo' Mama seasoning (or other Cajun seasoning - can also use hot sauce) - to taste

1 cup rice

2 cups water

Cook onions and meat in a skillet and drain grease (just cook the onions in a t. of olive oil if you're omitting meat). Add ranch style beans and kidney beans, and seasoning, stirring to heat through

Meanwhile, prepare rice per package directions.

Serve beans over the rice. Can serve with tortilla chips, if desired.


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