$2 Gourmet Meals, Railroads & Some Apples – Bishop, CA
We’re winding down to our last few days here in the Bishop boonies. I’ve been battling computer issues which means lots of time wasted cursing at my machine and trying to debug nonsensical error messages. The short of the long of it is that it looks like my hard drive is dying and there’s no way I can do much about it until we hit Desert Hot Springs next month. So, I’ve thrown Paul off his computer & spent all day calibrating color and installing all my various programs & scripts on his machine. It’s been a pain in the rear and will have me struggling for a while, but at least I’m still (somewhat) online….bah, humbug!
On the brighter side we’ve had an action-packed few days fully befitting a rambling RVers boondocking adventure. Also, in a spurt of rare cooking inspiration I managed to create 2 gourmet meals out of a $1.80 carving pumpkin. Genius, was it not? With so many exciting updates there is really nothing left to do except to delve into it….
Gourmet Meals A La Cheap
I’ve always been a rather frugal girl (part of the whole reason we’re able to live this lifestyle as young as we are) and I simply LOVE to discover inexpensive ways to feed, clothe and live. It’s just so darn fun! On the food side I try to buy whatever is in season, and right now pumpkin is the name of the game. Besides the 101 things you can do with pumpkin, my primary curiosity was whether you really needed to buy the more expensive “pie pumpkins” or whether you could create a gourmet meal out of the super-cheap “carving pumpkins” that they sell in giant piles outside almost every store.
Turns out you really can. The larger variety are less sweet and more starchy (the texture is more like turnips or potatoes), but they are excellent for savory meals. I started out by roasting the pieces (around an hour at 425) and then whipped up this fabulous gluten-free quiche recipe with caramelized onions, blue cheese and bacon (my addition). Next day I simmered the left-over roasted pieces for 20 mins with onions, garlic, cumin, chili, broth and coconut milk and then mashed the whole lot into a unique gourmet mash. Two meals for under $2. Fun stuff!
Law’s Railroad Museum
Law’s was a stop on a 300 mile narrow gauge railroad that ran from Mound House, NV to Keller, CA in the early 1880’s. It served a booming mining industry (gold, silver, tungsten) as well as running crops for local farmers. The last train rolled down the tracks in 1960, but the community in Bishop wanted to preserve its history as well as the stories of the surrounding area. Law’s Railroad Museum was born and for the mere $5 donation it costs to get in, it is absolutely awesome!! The 11 acres of open air exhibits are packed with no end of funky machines, historic houses (many relocated from around the area), preserved instruments, old knick-knacks and more…you could easily spend several days just rambling around. A “must do” outing in the area!
P.S. Amanda has a bunch of cool photos of this spot on her blog. Check it out!
Apple Picking & Another Hot Pool!
Part of our foodie love on the road is finding & buying local produce. We always hit up the farmers’ markets wherever we go and often, if stuff looks interesting, we’ll visit the farm too. It’s end of season here in Bishop so the farmer’s market last week only had one open stall, but it turns out the owner, Rick had mounds of unpicked organic apples at his farm just down the road, and invited us over to u-pick for only $1.50 a pound! Both Amanda and I were ALL OVER THAT, so we decided to drive down and go crazy. The farm was a total treat…not only was it beautifully located, but the grounds were impeccable, chickens were running wild (I got a few fresh eggs straight from the coop) and he had a great selection of other stuff. If you’re in the area drop by Apple Hill Farms or give him a call at 760-937-0413. We followed our tasty pickings with a soak in Keough Hot Springs. You can go into the paid resort or enjoy the free outdoor pools just down the road (2nd dirt road to your right before you hit the resort)…guess which one we chose?
And that, folks, is all she wrote. In our short time here we’ve pretty much sucked the marrow out of everything there is to do in Bishop and we leave fulfilled and ready for our next adventure. We have a few more days of hanging here and then we’ll head south. Where we go next I cannot say….after all, I’ve got to leave just a snippet of mystery on this blog 🙂