New Grilling Toy – And Loose Meat Burgers

Hi and welcome to the blog!  It’s been a busy week with meetings and doctor’s appointments, etc.  On Thursday I’d hoped to camp but we had a round of severe weather that made camping a bad idea – I stayed at home.  Stuff happens!  Let me digress just a bit…


Built like a battleship, this grill was a great deal!


On Wednesday evening I stopped at the Theisen’s Farm Store to pick up some charcoal.  They were clearing out 15 pound bags for just $4 each!  As I walked through the doors, this grill caught my eye.  I was using a rusty, crooked, wobbly old grill with a failing burner.  While it would still heat up, the old one would conk out occasionally at lower temperatures, spewing flammable propane into the air.

Once I decided to buy this 4 burner beast, getting it home was a trick due to the size.  One of the young employees offered to haul it to my place (just 1/2 mile away) using his S-10 truck.  I slipped him a McDonald’s gift card for the assistance.


This grill was made for walking… NOT!


Because things at the trailer court tend to grow legs, I purchased a nice piece of log chain.  The next step will be to wrap it tighter and add some hardened bolts to hold the chain together… making it even more difficult to cut.

The grill was used on Thursday and Friday.  It worked great!  I’d hoped to camp Friday night but once again we had dangerous weather; multiple tornadoes touched down just south of Decorah.  There was flash flooding in much of trout country.

Instead of an outing, Friday was spent at home cleaning the kitchen.  Progress breeds motivation … which breeds more progress.  I hope that momentum continues!


Cooking hack… Wal-Mart sells tiny little plastic containers (3 for about a buck) that work well for pre-mixing spices. They also have tiny little resealable bags.  Check the craft department…


Saturday was the first opportunity to get this recipe posted… something I had made up from scratch and tweaked over the last month.  Sis cooked these the other day and loved them.  I decided to simmer this recipe in a saucepan on the side burger of the new grill.   As you can see, Mister Duke decided to try the food before I could finish the pics.


Mister Duke checking out the loose meat sandwiches and grilled squashes.



These sandwiches are tasty and easy to make and reheat.  It’s convenient to mix the spices before they are needed for cooking.  I plan to pre-assemble spices and do the same thing for homemade tacos on a future trip.


Thanks for the new shirt, Sis! — VT


Speaking of camping, the work schedule is chaotic this next week – with many small shifts and every other day off.  But there is a chance to slip in an overnight trip and that sure sounds like fun!

Take care and happy camping, friends!

Brad and Jenny and Mister Duke
Jones County, Iowa









Brad and Jenny and Mister Duke
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"

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