Vagabond in America 2016 travel blog

A Red Cross ERV (Emergency Response Vehicle)

Filling the ERV with camping supplies

Preparing the Trash Can Turkey

Sitting down to Thanksgiving Dinner in July

Back in June, I attended a series of Red Cross classes at the Red Cross Disaster Institute, which was held at the Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut. I took some time as a tourist, visiting the Mystic Aquarium and walking around in Mystic Seaport. But, mostly I spent the time studying for and achieving various Red Cross certifications and meeting with various other Red Cross workers.

This weekend was to be something completely different. A group of Red Cross employees and volunteers went camping together. This was a break from the Red Cross daily routines. No classes to take. No victims of disasters that needed care. Just us having fun! Most of the attendees stayed in tents. A few of us had RVs.

Each morning we had huge breakfasts. One morning we had pancakes and sausages. On the last morning we had "omelette in a bag" with bacon and English muffins. For those that have never attempted to cook eggs over an open fire, you make an "omelette in a bag" by mixing your eggs and ingredients (ham, cheese, onions, etc) in a baggie, then placing the bag in a large pot of boiling water. Despite what you might think, these are very easy to make and taste delicious. Best of all, cleaning up is trivial; just through the bags in the trash!

One evening, we all sat down to a full Thanksgiving Day meal with all the fixings: stuffing, corn on the cob, mashed potatoes, etc. The main course was "trash can turkey". It's not easy cooking a large turkey when you're out camping in the woods. No one staying in a tent has a large oven. Although my RV has an oven, it's quite small. What they did was stake a turkey over each of two fire pits then cover them with metal trash cans. After many hours of cooking, we had two very moist, very well-done turkeys! Since I'm not much help in the kitchen, I took care of starting and tending the fires.

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