New Cooking Idea and a Road Trip

Greetings and welcome to the blog!  On Tuesday buddy Steve and I went fishing up north.  We had a blast despite some gloomy weather.  There was a major, slow moving rainstorm on the way and we kept a bit ahead of it.

Walk-in area at Little Paint Creek

We first fished at familiar places such as Buck Creek in Clayton County.  The streams were pretty well fished out.  I pointed at the sky and we could see the high tops of the storms that were encroaching on our stream.  To beat the storms we headed north into Allamakee County.  Steve and I fished at Little Paint Creek.  There were a lot of vehicles there – old timers were angling at all the easy-access holes.  It’s unusual to see that many cars and trucks there.  Then I saw the tire tracks from the trout stocking truck and that made sense.  A lot of the old timers follow the stocking trucks for an easy day and a guaranteed limit of trout.

A big ole’ hornets nest hanging from a pine tree.

Knowing the park well, I made a calculated gamble and suggested the walk-in area.  It is also stocked.  One has to drive to the far end of the campground and walk back about 3/4 of a mile or so to get to the best holes… and very few people do because the trail is rocky and it takes a while to traverse it!  After splitting up, I quickly limited out and then coached Steve on where to cast and what bait to use to get the skiddish trout.  They could see us so we had to throw in and hide behind the weeds.

Steve holding our collective catch.

It sure was fun.  Just as we’d cleaned the fish I commented that there were raindrops on my buddy’s jacket.  Within just a few minutes it started to pour and never let up the rest of the day.  The wind was cold and blew from the side.  We had contemplated cooking out and had brought along things to make a nice meal.  As cold and rainy as it was, here is what we had for supper… and neither of us minded!

Steve and I had still gotten in a great day of fishing and both caught our limits of fish.  I drove us over to Decorah to see the waterfalls and the other sights.  We stopped at the creamery and got cheese curds and ice cream.  Steve now has some good fishing stories to tell about the trip and we vowed to do it again this month.

So here was the new cooking idea…  Many of the crew and managers at work love Chinese food.  Some of us were talking the other day about how much we like Crab Rangoon (which actually originated in the US).  So much of the time, rangoons are all wonton wrapper with very little filling.  I made up a little different version – baked pie crust shells that housed the homemade filling.  Savannah loved them.  Also made where some that used a simple strawberry cream cheese spread.  They were a hit and were very easy to make, including using the egg wash.  These little pies were sealed with a fork on both sides and resembled Mexican empanadas.

Savannah enjoying some treats!

That’s about it for now.  I’m planning to do an overnight trip on Monday.  After another beneficial, soaking rain it has turned very cold here and the creeks (“cricks”) are high.  I’d originally planned to make a big power salad for tomorrow’s trip.  Instead, some homemade soup sounds like a great idea.  In a little over a week, the plan is to take another 2 1/2 day trip somewhere, likely fishing again up north with the kitty.  There are new recipes to try… but few comfort like a couple of overstuffed fish and a can of “barley pop”.    🙂  🙂

At the moment, Jenny is crawling all over the computer and threatening to mess up the post if she doesn’t get her walk this morning before Daddy goes to work.  She nearly always gets her way!

Take care and happy and safe camping!

Brad and Jenny
Jones County, Iowa


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About VanTrekker

I am a former vandweller in Eastern Iowa who, for several years (off and on), lived in a 2007 Chevy cargo van. I still travel around Iowa with my tortoise shell cat, Jennifer Stefanie. Our favorite place to explore is the Country Heritage Community, the four far northeastern counties of Iowa (Clayton, Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Fayette). Ride along as we fish in pristine trout streams, enjoy fine home cooked camping meals, and meet new people. It's all possible on a shoestring budget. Happy travels always! --- Brad, the "Van Trekker"

5 Responses to New Cooking Idea and a Road Trip

  1. Jo says:

    Another great fishing trip, the fish look great. You sure did beat the rain but not by much.
    Those Crab Rangoon look great I don’t think I have ever had one, gives me an idea for something different. But I need a recipe my Chef friend. Please.

    Well now that I have had things squared away around here I hope to get out this week.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Jo! Thanks for the nice comments. I didn’t have a recipe but will see what I can do here…

      Crab Empanaditas (makes about a dozen)

      2 refrigerated pie crusts
      4 oz imitation crab, finely chopped
      2 of the 8 ounce cream cheese tubs, veggie flavor
      a big pinch of sugar
      a very small splash of soy sauce
      a teaspoon of minced garlic (optional)

      For the egg wash…
      2 egg yolks mixed with 2T water or milk and beaten

      Mix the filling ingredients, adding sugar slowly until achieving a slightly sweet flavor (to your taste). Using a 4″ glass or bowl, cut circles from the piece crusts. Save scraps and re-roll to make a few more circles. Place about 1 1/2 to 2 Tablespoons of filling into the crust, fold over into a half moon shape, and pinch shut. Seal with a fork, flip over, and seal the other side with a fork.

      Turn to oven on to 375. While heating, put the little pies on a greased cookie sheet and brush with the egg wash. Back 20 to 25 minutes or until the crust is a lovely golden brown color.

      Note: The pastries do start to dry out a bit and separate as you are assembling the last of them. It might be a good idea to egg wash each (or several at a time) as you complete them.

    • VanTrekker says:

      By the way, I just got up early – have to help at work before the store opens. I made some veggie beef soup overnight in the slow cooker. It’s going along tonight if we get around in time to camp. Breakfast of champions. 🙂 🙂

      • Jo says:

        Thanks for the recipe Brad.
        I had one of those mixed bags of raw beans in the cabinet and decided to make them yesterday in the slow cooker, I chopped onion and celery, white yams, a container of veggie broth and added water. I then found a pkg of taco mix and poured that in too. The smell was heaven lol put it in containers and froze 4. We sure now how to enjoy food. 🙂

        • VanTrekker says:

          That sounds really delicious! I ended up not camping last night and just resting up a little. The van is getting a good cleaning. It’s going out of town next Mon, Tues, and Weds… as is Jenny. We’re going back north, perhaps to a different campground. The decent weather will not hold out much longer so we need to take advantage of it. Even the solar is waning a bit so I’m going to thrown in the Honda generator for the ride.

          Take care! I hope you get to go camping soon!