This weekend I did something I very rarely do. I completely unplugged. No internet. No TV. No phone.
We bought a camper a few weeks ago and wanted to take it out for one test run before the end of the season. Friday morning we packed up and headed out. There’s a gorgeous campground at the lake just 30 minutes or so from our house. It didn’t take long to get there and get set up.
We got a pretty humongous, awesome site because there weren’t many other people
dumb brave enough to camp last weekend because it was so cold.
Friday we took a long walk, got accquainted with the new camper, had hot dogs for dinner and listened to our local high school’s last football game on the radio.
I got up early Saturday morning and went for a 4-mile run through the campgrounds. I felt strong and was proud of myself for pushing through all the hills. I’d planned on doing 3 miles, but added an extra stretch at the end because my body was feeling too good to stop. I really appreciate it when my husband takes baby duty so that I can run sans stroller. It doesn’t bother me to run with it on a regular basis, but a solo run is nice every now and then, too. I returned to the camper to find daddy & daughter sitting on the couch, eating Cheerios together in their jammies. (Daddy opted out of being photographed. 🙂 )
I took over baby duty and grabbed some breakfast while my husband rode the 3-mile mountain bike loop. The rest of the day was pretty much just relaxing, catching up on my magazine reading, watching Peanut play and listening to football on the radio.
Before our trip, I made up a batch of black bean soup. It’s actually better after it sits in the refrigerator for a day or so which makes it a great heat & eat meal for camp. Here’s my lightened-up version of this original recipe:
Mexican Black Bean Soup with Sausage
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 canned chipotle chile in Adobo sauce, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- two 15-ounce cans black beans, drained
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
- 1 package (14oz.) fully cooked turkey Polish sausage or turkey kielbasa, thinly sliced
1. Heat olive oil in a medium sauce pan until shimmering.
2. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until softened, about 3 minutes.
3. Add the garlic along with the chipotle, cumin and oregano and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 2 minutes.
4. Add the black beans and chicken stock and simmer, partially covered, for 15 minutes. Using a potato masher, coarsely crush some of the beans.
5. Add the sausage to the beans; season with salt and pepper.
6. Simmer the soup for 2 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
7. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with crushed tortilla chips, shredded cheese (I used 2%) and/or sour cream (I used light).
While we were eating, I noticed the gorgeous sunset out the window. Being closer to nature is one of my favorite parts of camping.
Camping fairly close to home makes it possible to get to church on Sunday morning. It does mean getting up a little earlier than we do on a usual weekend morning. We were all dragging a little when the alarm went off at 6:30 as was evidenced by the bed head:
We went back to camp after church, grabbed a bite to eat, packed up and headed home. It was a great weekend and I’m excited to camp regularly come spring.
Do you like to camp?