Sunday, June 28, 2015

Almost Heaven South & Mobile Photos

Kathy and her three daughters are here from Texas for their annual visit and she decided to take some photos to show her friends back home where she goes every year, so I decided to put them on here as well.

This first shot is while she is laying in bed in the downstairs sun room which is the bottom left of the second shot.

Than she walked around the yard and got some of the house and plant life.

She went up on the neighbors hill and shot this one of the whole place then the second one through the trees at the road.

One of the things she wanted the Texans to see was what real trees look like - of course the folks from California Redwood Country might say the same thing about ours.

This shot is of the Mobile Almost Heaven South - it's being prepped for our upcoming trip.  So far it has gotten a power surge protector, an upgraded fan in the bathroom and several little odds and ends items fixed on the coach and the front end was aligned.  What remains is having the chassis and generator serviced this week then start packing up.

As you can see by the tracks in the rocks, the driveway is not quite wide enough.

And finally, she got this shot of our cove and wished she had a ski boat to tackle the glassy water.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


6/28/15 event date

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Chile/Salsa Verde

While consolidating from two to one freezer - yep, no need for two without the BBQ business - I discovered a piece of Hawaiian pork roast from our blogger party in 2013.  We had been wanting to make green chile so I went in search of a Chile Verde recipe and found one that sounded good at and matched the ingredients we had on hand, or at least thought we did.  You can click on the link to check out the original recipe but below is what we made.

We decided we wanted to have some salsa verde on hand so we made an entire recipe of the sauce then added some to the diced pork to make the chile verde.  In the freezer, I had discovered what I believed was a bag of roasted chiles but they turned out to be roasted red sweet peppers.  So we ended up using them for in place of the yellow bell pepper and we used canned chiles for that part - I also grilled the tomatillos to char and soften them a little.  We started with only three quarts of chicken broth knowing we could add more as needed.

Salsa Verde - adapted from


    • 3 quarts chicken broth - homemade
    • 3 lbs fresh tomatillos, husks removed and grilled to char and soften, remove to a bowl
    • 2 large yellow onions
    • 6 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 tablespoon sea salt
    • fresh ground pepper, to taste
    • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
    • 1 can with 5 whole chiles and one small canned diced green chiles, with liquid
    • 2 fresh jalapeno peppers, chopped with seeds
    • 2 roasted red peppers from the freezer
    • 1 cup cilantro leaf, coarsely chopped
    • Directions

      1. In a large stock pot over high heat bring the chicken broth to a simmer and add the onion, garlic, peppers, cumin, S&P.  Cook until veggies are soft - about 30 minutes.
      2. While this is cooking, grill the tomatillos until charred a little and softened, remove to a bowl
      3. Add the tomatillos with bowl liquid, canned chilles with liquid, and cilantro to the blender and puree.
      4. Empty blender and puree the vegetables and broth from the pan.
      5. Add everything back to the pot, adjust seasonings and thickness (add more broth or cook down to get desired).  We liked it as it was and pronounced it ready to eat.

The sauce turned out to be very good but some of the meat in the chile verde tasted a little old - so no post about it.  While we used canned chiles, I believe roasting the tomatillos and using the roasted red peppers got plenty of that flavor into the mix.  And while the chile verde was just okay, what was very good were the burritos Bev made for breakfast from the salsa verde.  The first one was stuffed with sausage, eggs, and refried beans and the one below with smoked chicken, eggs, and hash browns.  I hadn't decided if I was going to post about the salsa until this burrito got delivered to me.

It was delicious and of course the star was the salsa verde - the red peppers took away from the brighter green color.  Since this batch turned out so good, I can imagine how good it will be when we have some good roasted Hatch chiles - hopefully picked up when we visit CO this year.  The rest of this salsa batch will go into the freezer for the next time we need a verde fix.

Thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.


6/12/15 meal date

Friday, June 5, 2015

2015 Western Trip Planning

One of the places in the country I've been to but never spent much tourist time is the Pacific Northwest and so it is on the docket for this years RV journey - this may be my dream trip.  The plan I've put together involves angling from home up into the area with a few stops along the way then coming home as we see fit at the time - if we do my full plan as laid out, it will be 10 weeks.

One of the hard parts of living in the East and going west is just getting out of this area and into where we want to go and that will take us several days with the only multi-day stop in North Platte, NE so this rail fan can visit the giant Union Pacific rail yard.

From there we will continue toward the northwest with 4-7 day stops in the following places:

1. Cody, WY - to see the town, the scenic mountain drives and the east side of Yellowstone,
2. Coeur D'Alene, ID - to see the town, the surrounding area, Spokane, WA
3. Ellensberg, WA - to see wine country, Bonneville dam, Lake Chelan, Leavenworth
4. Anacortes, WA - to see Seattle and the area north of it.
5. Shelton, WA - to see the Olympic Peninsula area and Mt Ranier
6. McMinnville. OR - to see wine country, the OR coast, the Columbia River gorge, and Portland
7. Bend OR - to the the local towns, the mountains, Crater Lake

We will leave Bend on day 53 and from there we will start back home and make it quick or slower depending on our desires but including a few days in Denver at a minimum.

Several of my NW blogger buddies have already given me many suggestions and I read several blogs of folks who spend time there, but I would still appreciate any advice that anyone has to offer.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.


Monday, May 25, 2015

Drive In The Correct Lane

One of my pet peeves is what I call left laners, or middle laners for that matter.  When I was learning to drive, you only moved from the right lane to pass someone and now, it is the lane with the least traffic, especially on roads with three or more lanes.  So I was very happy to see this signage form Rhode Island.

Click on the shot to enlarge.

Traffic moves better and it is safer if everyone would abide by this - there would be a whole lot less darting form lane to lane - think about it.

Thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South and hope you've had a great Memorial Day weekend.


Monday, May 18, 2015

Two Rivers Landing RV Park - Low Country Boil

Our RV club had it’s May rally at the Two Rivers RV Resort in Sevierville, TN but we were unable to attend due to a previous commitment.  We were available on Sunday and the rally hosts invited us to come up for the day for a repeat of the low country boil we made at last year’s rally in the Charleston, SC area.

Before discussing the meal, here’s a little about the park beginning with a shot from Google Earth.

As you can see, it sits on the French Broad River with 55 sites – 25 pull-ins on the river and 30 back-ins with a river view – so all of the coach fronts face the river.  They had such good photos on their website, I decided to use them rather than take my own

This is such a nice place, I hate we missed out camping here, especially in that end site parallel to the river.  For comparison, the nightly rate for the riverfront sites here is $65, the highest rate at Anchor Down is $69

and the rate for the KOA in Mt. Pleasant, SC is $70.

I guess it's all about location, competition, and the KOA name as this site is not in the same league as the other two.

And now back to the rally.  We made the hour and ten minute drive and spent the afternoon visiting with club members before firing up the big pot.  Using Zaterain's Pro Boil as the spice, we cooked up a batch of Low Country Boil of red potatoes, kielbasa, corn, and shrimp and dumped it on the butcher paper covered tables for the 15 hungry eaters. These shots are at the end of the meal as the piles of food have pretty much disappeared..

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.The meal was a hit and we enjoyed spending time with our club friends.


5/17/15 event date

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

RV Trip Leg Two – Charleston, SC

I had previously posted about our first stop on this trip at Anchor Down RV Resort and from there we made a return trip to the KOA in Mt. Pleasant, SC, where we hosted a rally last year.  This re-visit was made because we enjoyed the area but mostly because SIL, Pat, couldn’t go last year.

We decided to stay in the same place as we liked being on the Mt. Pleasant side of Charleston and the things that area had to offer without going into or thru downtown Charleston.  There are some other nice campgrounds around but the nicer ones are south of town.

This is our site facing the nice boomerang shaped lake.

We ate two meals at one of our favorite places – Page’s Okra Grill – and these are shots of our breakfast meals.

Pat had the Raspberry Waffle ($5.25) which she thought was just okay.

Bev had TJ’s Hot Mess (a split biscuit with southern fried chicken breast topped with scrambled eggs, pepper jack cheese and sausage gravy all for $6) and she had a side of pimento cheese smothered home fries ($3).

I got an even better shot of hers last year.

I had the Shem’s Creek Omelet (three eggs with scallops, shrimp, and pepper jack cheese) with pimento cheese grits ($9.60).

Both of our meals were very good, just as last year, and we all think their fried chicken may be the best we’ve eaten.  While the food was the same, after a couple of big time write-ups, they were much busier.  I can't say I ate seafood for every meal but counting leftovers for some lunch and breakfast meals, I was well over 50%.

While I relaxed and dog sat, the girls visited two farmers markets, spent one day shopping in Mt. Pleasant, and two days shopping in downtown Charleston – I’d rather take a flogging.

We also got to spend a very pleasant evening with old college friends Doug and Marty, during which I showed them how I make grilled Oysters Rockefeller and they showed us how to make their delicious no-filler crab cakes.

We did drive over to check out the Oak Plantation Campground, which we thought was very nice then drove down to Kiawah Island, which I had always wanted to see, only to discover that the entire town is a gated community.  At least it was a nice little drive through the Live Oaks and pines.

We made the trip back home in one nine hour drive and while I was tired, I’m happy to report that we had no engine failures this time.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


4/24 - 5/4/2015 event dates

Saturday, May 2, 2015

2015 Blogger Party Cancelled

Hi All - While the list of potential attendees for this year’s get together was high on quality, it was very low on numbers so we will cancel for this year and see how things look next year.

Thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South