A Nice Fall Evening Camping with Mrs. Claws

Looks like candy corn but these are the veggies for the hearty soup.


Hello and welcome to the blog!  Between the erratic weather and varied work schedule, it’s been tricky to plan a camping trip – even a short one.  But Jenny and I did get away on Monday.  The weather was warm and the kitty was hounding me to go out and enjoy some time on her leash.  We did one better.


Longer shadows but still beautiful and peaceful.


On Sunday night the soup veggies were prepped for this [reduced carb] steak and barley soup.  In fact, everything was in the crock pot in the fridge, minus the meat.  After browning the steak cubes, I started the soup cooking at home at 7:30 AM; then worked a short shift on Monday morning.  The soup was finished later that afternoon while Jenny and I played in the leaves at the campground.  The recipe is at the bottom of the post…


Enjoying herself, Jenny explored to her heart’s content.


As Jenny would tell it…  “Yesterday I was tricked.  In the afternoon Brad asked me, ‘Do you want to see the bunnies and the birdies?’ and once I was outside, he stuffed me in the van.  It scared me when the van moved so I raked his shoulder with my nails.  There’s a reason he nicknamed me “Mrs. Claws”.  After driving into town we met his friend Brooke who told me I am beautiful and she kept trying to pet my fur.  I kept my distance.  Once we got to the park we walked in the leaves and I smelled a lot of neat scents, sharpened my claws on trees, and listened to birds in the distance.  Later Brad ate some kind of hot stuff in a bowl that looked like Friskies Indoor Cat food but didn’t smell as good.  While he watched that dumb show with spaceships and a guy with pointed ears, I curled up in his arms.  It was nice to have Daddy to myself.”


Worn out and snoozing on top of Daddy


Well, I certainly had as good a time as Jenny.  It was warm and toasty in the van and with a belly full of soup, it doesn’t get any more relaxing on a fall evening.

The bowl purchased from a blog donation. It’s a treasured addition to the journeys!


The soup might not need to cook quite as long depending on the type of slow cooker used.  It would be great with some garlic or crusty bread but with the barley, a person doesn’t need any extra starch… but oh, would it be good though!

It’s Tuesday afternoon right now… and Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  I have to work that day – there are nine of us – and we’re going to do a little potluck.  I’ve got a couple ideas in mind for dishes to bring and I’m sure there will be a post.  In the meantime, I hope all the blog friends have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy the time with friends and family.

Bradford, Jenny a.k.a. “Mrs. Claws” 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"

6 Responses to A Nice Fall Evening Camping with Mrs. Claws

  1. Jo Harmon says:

    Another camping trip and Mrs. Claws got to go with you.LOL

    Your soup sounds great and I will try it. I found stir fry mix called Teriyaki blend the bag is huge but then I could get 2 uses out of it. It has all kinds of veggies in it and makes a really hardy soup with chicken or just plain veggie soup. But maybe put some of the steak cubes you mentioned. I don’t add barely to the soup I cook it separately and store about 1/4 cp in those small containers.
    I opted to stay home for Thanksgiving as the weather is going to be nasty. I don’t mind staying home at all.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your fur babies

  2. my_vantasy says:

    I love Jenny’s description of your dinner, “Friskies Indoor Cat Food”! LOL! Pets are the best. She may agree with The Little Dog after our last camping trip– “I have smelled some things that I can never unsmell… “

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi. I can only imagine some of the things our fur babies would say. :). Duke loves people good and Jenny finds it repulsive. Maybe that’s why we love them so much. They accept us as we are. 🙂