Last Update: 4/20/2018

#Vanlife Interrupted

Van upside down in middle of street, cop car next to it

Circumstance has got Vanholio off the vanlife road and sweatin' in South Texas – maybe permanent! For the next month or two, he's playin' Mr. Handyman. Probably won't be updatin' this blog, neither.

Fixin' Up the Rental House ta Sell

Now, I ain't never gone inta detail about how I make my money. 'Cause it's none a your goddamn business! But you're about ta get a little window.

Down in South Texas, Vanholio's got this house he's been rentin' out as one income stream. It's where he lived before vanlife.

Now, I say "house," but it's really an overgrown shack. Definitely some Baltic Avenue shit.

Last two years, he's gone through four sets a tenants – FOUR! – and not one a the bastards finished out the lease! Latest just skipped last week. Fuckers!

Between lost rent, more repairs, and management costs, this income stream is more an expense stream.

So I'm givin' up on this landlord shit. Early this week, I drove the wide expanse a Texas, got settled inta the house, and started cleanin' this shit up. Thankya Jeezus they didn't fuck the place up serious! Just a little scruffy round the edges.

Vanholio's gonna take a month'r two ta get 'er fixed up, painted, and spit polished, ready ta sell!

But Devil's Temptin' Me Off the Road

Once Vanholio made the decision to come back ta Texas and fixerup, a wicked idea hit him like a goddamn truckload a horseshit laced with anvils. That idea? Move back home.

See, I got most my people 'round here. While I weren't lonely at all wanderin' around in the van, the idea a seein' my people more regular's got me excited. Imagine that!

Other seductive thoughts been comin' inta my head, too. Like: "How 'bout enjoyin' the place once ya finally got 'er fixed up like ya always wanted?," and "Wouldn't a little wood shop be nice?," and "How about plantin' fruit trees and a garden, puttin' food up?," and a course, "Wouldn't it be damn nice ta have a full kitchen again?"

Yessiree, Vanholio's bein' tempted by the Devil a Domestic Bliss! He may succumb. Never did say I were a saint. In fact, I sure as hell ain't.

What's the End Game Here?

Not sure. I'm gonna take a month or two off the blog ta fix this place up. We'll see if stayin' put is gonna be or just a passin' fancy. They's pluses and minuses both ways. I'll let ya'll know.

Gettin' mail on the road? Traveling Mailbox! (review)

Also See ...

Read More »

Last Update: 4/13/2018

Ya'll Come on Down ta Pie Town!

cherry pie and ice cream on paper plate

White chocolate cherry pie, if the curiosity is killin' ya. Made by The Gatherin' Place in Pie Town, New Mexico – a town of three pie shops on US 60, and that's mostly all.

Well, there's also an RV park that allows tents. Hikers on the Continental Divide Trail like ta stay there ta rest, catch up on internet, and for a shower – and ta get mail and grub in town. That's pretty cool. But it does mean you might sit down by ripe hikers at a cafe. I did last year. It added a certain earthy perfume ta my eggs!

Oh, #vanlife folks: They got free campin' in the woodsy park on the south side with water and shitters. Decent Verizon signal, too.

Most famous place in town is the Pie-O-Neer Pies. Someone even made a documentary about it!

But The Gatherin' Place is Vanholio's preferred pie stop. Good food and free WiFi, too. They used to have killer barbecue, but no more, I lament.

Pie Town has been a center for badass pies for almost 100 years. In 1924, some guy name a Clyde Norman started a pie shop in this tiny ranching hamlet out middle a nowhere. Word got around, and folks started coming for pie from hundreds a miles. So they changed the name from whatever the hell it was before, 'cause it was good for business. Today, the tradition continues.

They got an annual pie festival, too. This year it's September 8, 2018. Might have the county rodeo same time. Not sure.

This manifesto was originally posted on Vanholio's Steemit blog.

Get mail on the road – Traveling Mailbox! (review)

Also See ...

Read More »

Last Update: 4/10/2018

Sproutin' Pinto Beans in the Van

two pinto beans split open showing tiny sprouts

Vicki at Gypsy Clipper's been learnin' Vanholio on vanlife sproutin'. Sprouted beans, grains, nuts, and veggies is easier ta digest, less farty, and more vitamin packed than dry. Real easy ta do, and cooks quicker, too!

This ain't just for hippie-dippies. Read what WebMD says about it!

How to Sprout in the Van – Super Easy!

Followin' Vicki's advice, here's what I did:

  1. Got regular ol' bought-at-Walmart dried pinto beans.
  2. Soaked 'em about 5 hours (4-6 recommended).
  3. Drained 'em.
  4. Tied 'em up in a t-shirt.*
  5. Hung the t-shirt in a dark place in the van.
  6. Got 'em out about 20 hours later.
  7. Cooked as normal.

No big fuckin' deal! Tasted fine, too.

* BTW, it's that hangin' 'em in up in a cloth that makes it easy. Most sproutin' guides advise this setup with jars. Bad news for a van – takes up room, fussy, and fragile. Usin' a t-shirt, hitchhiker towel, bandanna, or whatever is so much fuckin' easier!

Gypsy Clipper Artisanal Food Operation

Vicki's inta all kindsa indoor farmin', sproutin', fermentin', and more shit in her van. Who knew ya could take all this homesteady stuff on the road! Hear what she says herself!

What's Next?

Vanholio's next vanlife foodie goal is bakin' homemade bread in a solar oven made from a windshield reflector. Stay tuned! (But it might be a while ...)

Get mail on the road – Traveling Mailbox! (review)

Also See ...

Read More »

Last Update: 4/05/2018

#Vanlife Podcasts – A Bigass List!

white media van with antenna and dish on top

Living in a van down by the river? Wanna be? Want podcasts on the car, RV, digital nomad and vandweller lifestyle? I’ve collected this huge list of vanlife-related podcasts!

Did I overlook some? Are some of the links defunct? Comment below, and I’ll update!

Gettin' mail on the road? Traveling Mailbox! (review)

Read More »

Last Update: 4/03/2018

Curin' and Storin' Smoked Pork the Lazy Way

Smoked pig tails in kosher salt

Nothin' Vanholio loves in his beans more than some smoked, cured pork – bacon, ham, hocks, tails, and the rest. Gives it that downhome flavor. Here's how he gets it on the vanlife road.

Why Can't Ya Just Buy Smoked Pork for Vanlife?

But goin' solo and livin' in a van, they's a problem. The smoked meats at Walmart and grocery stores is sold in too bigga packages, about as much as he uses over a month or two.

And most modern smoked meats ain't fully cured ta last without refrigeration. Instead, they got minimum salt so as ya don't have ta soak 'em first, like ya do with traditional cured meat.

So that leaves two choices: Get some kinda freezer set up to hold the extra or buy old-fashioned uncooked, cured pork.

Well, settin' up a freezer that'll be cold 'nough ta keep meat fresh for a couple months without goin' off or gettin' freezer burn, is easier said than done.

Buyin' old-fashioned smoked meats is an option. But it's expensive. And if I buy local, I gotta source the places (ain't many!) and adjust my travel plans to hit 'em. If I buy online, I got the smallish hassle a intersectin' their delivery ta my route.

So why not make it myself, I asked?

Salt Down Store-Bought Smoked Pork for Vanlife – Easy!

The how-to's I found online for curin' meat are all about startin' from scratch (like in the video below). Makes sense for sticks-n-bricks folks. But Vanholio ain't got much room, nor patience either.

Thought ta myself: Why the hell don't I just buy some at Walmart and pack it in salt? That's how it all started way back when!

That's just what I did! Bought a package a smoked pig tails, which are perfect size for one-person batches a beans. Broke 'em up into smaller pieces. Then packed 'em inta a plastic jug with coarse Kosher salt all around.

The salt keeps out bacteria and absorbs more moisture from the meat. It gets saltier and tougher, like the old-fashion kind.

Now, were I wantin' ta season vegetables, I'd need ta soak the tails overnight ta drive out the extra salt. But as I'm cookin' dry beans that take hours anyway, the tails salt my beans as they cook out. By the time the beans is soft and the meats fallin' off the bone, it's just about right.

No, it's better than right. It's damn well Heaven on Earth! Yum, yum!!!

Is Storin' Modern Smoked Pork in Salt Safe?

Well, I ain't makin' no guarantees. What I can tell ya is that I've had that pork salted over a month in the van, sometimes in temps up ta 90 F (32 C). The latest I pulled out smelled fresh, tasted fresh. (I nibbled a bit raw ta check). Cooked up delicious. I never got so much as a rumbly tummy nor the burps, let alone the trots.

It's your own call if ya wanna give it a whirl. Be smart. But it worked out just fine for Vanholio! Kicked up the quality a his vanlife cookin' a bigass notch!

Old-Fashion Cured Pork From Scratch

Interestin' video. Not how Vanholio does it (as you read above). Love the Townsends YouTube channel, BTW.

Get mail on the road – Traveling Mailbox! (review)

Also See ...

Read More »