Saturday, October 24, 2009


Make your own microwave popcorn instructions included below.

For those of you who follow my emails on various yahoo groups you may be confused by the title of this one. Especially since I had said we were headed to Kansas when we left Boiling Springs on those groups. That had been the original plan.

However, just as we got on the road I asked Gary why we were going to drive 5.5 hours to make about $100 when we could drive 1.5 hours and make $120. He pulled over to the side of the road in a wide parking area and asked me to explain.

The Kansas run was going to be 10 shops, at $10 each. To go to Guymon, OK would net a mere four shops, but they would total $120. We changed our route immediately and headed west instead of north east. Luckily we had not officially locked in to any shops for the longer and less profitable shops.

If you have never traveled the George Nigh Northwest Passage road let me tell you 412 is one rough highway. Typing going down that road was definitely an adventure in tripled letters.

To go from the rich green campground at Boiling Springs in Woodward, OK to the flat lands of the Oklahoma panhandle is an experience. We passed fields of heavy headed sunflowers rotating with the sun as the day passed while the terrain got flatter and flatter.

Since we had not planned our trip to Guymon we searched the availability of campgrounds as we sped down the highway, camper in tow. No national or state parks, no Corps of Engineers parks either. On to private campgrounds. Guymon boasted two. Southwind RV and Panhandle Campground, no information on rates, availability or amenities were available on the website we were on. So we decided to just check them out when we arrived.

In the rush to change route we forgot we needed to purchase fuel before leaving Woodward. The low fuel alarm sounded 10 miles outside of Guymon and the one station we found with diesel would not accommodate our fifth wheel at that time due to the heavy traffic. So we decided to go off load the trailer and then go back for fuel.

First stop South Winds. I’m a person that goes a lot by those “feelings” I’ve discussed before. There was really nothing wrong with Southwind, it was a little ran down and there was no one in the office—they use an honor system there. I could not find a listing of the rates, even though the sign said the rates were posted. However, my feelings radar was going off.

We circled the campground and decided to go on to Panhandle, like I’ve said before my family generally listens to my feelings.

Panhandle is a very basic campground as well, but the feelings were far better for it. They too use an honor system. Rates for this small—roughly two dozen sites—$8 basic rate for the site no hook ups, each hook up (water, electric, or sewer) was an additional $2 per night. We did electric and water up until the last day and then we paid the $2 to dump.

The wind was sharp as we climbed out of the truck to set camp. We both scrambled for our hoodies and did the camp set up in record time. Gary put the small amount of diesel we had in the emergency gas can into the truck tank. Then headed back the 7 miles to Guymon to do our single shop for the day and to get fuel.

Back at the camper we discovered we could not get proper tv reception to make it worth the effort to pull in a show or two before bedtime. So Gary threw Bing and Bob’s “Road to Bali” into the DVD machine and started to pop popcorn.

Before the oil was hot in the big pan we use for this the flame went out on the stove. I looked at Gary and said “I told you we needed propane.” So here it was headed for 40 degrees outside and dropping and us with no propane for the furnace. I was not amused . I don’t handle cold well at all. I was cranky. Gary wanted popcorn and had no gas to pop it. He was cranky.

I added a layer of clothing and suggested he do the same, then told him how to make our own version of microwave popcorn so he could have his popcorn. Soon we were both happy again.

Want to make your own microwave popcorn for far cheaper than you can buy? We purchase our popcorn by the big bag at Sam’s Club. It is roughly $.33 a pound there, a pound will make a LOT of popcorn. To keep the popcorn from going stale before we get the huge bag used up we store it in clean two liter bottles.

Two liters make great airtight containers for grains, flours and of course popcorn. Thoroughly was and dry the bottles before use. Cut the top off of one to use as the perfect match funnel to fill others with. As you fill the bottle periodically and tap it either on the counter top or with your hand to knock the kernels/beans/grains/flour etc. to fill in the gaps. This forces the air out of the container. It also allows you to get MUCH more in. Repeat the process until you absolutely cannot get anymore in. Then screw the lid on tight, label and store in a cool dark place. I personally freeze mine for at least 48 hours before it goes to permanent storage in my grain pantry (a dead freezer). That way if there are any “guests” in the grain or flour they are disposed of. I’ve never had a weevil one in my two liter storage and I’ve been using them for such storage for over 10 years. I find it best to lay them on their sides in the storage with labels on the caps.  You can fit a LOT of two liter bottles on a shelf that way.

Now back to making that microwave popcorn. Here’s how:


You will need:

1 brown paper bag, lunch bag size works best—we used one you get when you purchase frozen foods at Wal-Mart and it was a little too big.

1 tablespoon oil, I prefer olive oil but any cooking oil will work—butter will sometimes burn so I don’t recommend it. If you want butter I suggest adding it after the popcorn is popped.

Seasonings of choice—we used just plain salt that night, but experiment you might just find a new favorite, see info below.

¼ cup popcorn kernels

A stapler or something to punch holes in the sack with and two toothpicks.

To make:

Put the popcorn, oil and seasonings into the brown paper bag. Fold the top closed once and staple shut with 2 staples.. Despite what you may think the staples will not spark in your microwave—too small a surface I guess. If using tooth picks punch two small holes per toothpick and weave the toothpick through to seal the bag in lieu of the staples.

Shake the bag to mix it all up well and then press the air out of the bag so it will lay flat like a bag of microwave popcorn in the microwave oven. Pop on high for approximately 3 minutes, listen closely if the popping slows stop the microwave.

Be careful when opening to avoid steam burns.

Want to experiment with seasonings? Google the phrase “popcorn recipes” you will be amazed at the number or recipes and flavors out there. We love experimenting with them. Two of our favorite sites are:

Once Bing had won the beautiful maidens’ hand and the popcorn was all consumed we headed for bed. Thank goodness for a good supply of blankets.

The next morning I refused to shower until there was heat in the camper. A google search for propane suppliers, a phone call to verify and Gary was off with two large empty propane bottles. While he was gone I did some job searches and came up with a few more jobs that would tie in with our Guymon jobs that could be done as we left on Thursday. We definitely made the right choice going west instead of north.

While I showered Gary did searches for where our next stop would be when we left on Thursday and decided Denver, CO might be our best choice. I did additional searches while he showered and agreed whole heartedly. Now if the weather doesn’t cross us up we could do a decent lot of work, but it will be a long drive there.

After wonderful hot showers we headed out for Springfield, Colorado to do a single shop for $52 and identical one in Boise City, OK. Along the way we ran into a lot of road construction that was definitely smoother than anything we’d been on the day before.

The slow moving traffic gave us time to look around the vast flat prairie and discuss how it would be an ideal spot to watch meteor showers. Yes, we enjoy those too, we spent many a night telling star stories to our children when they were growing up while laying on our backs looking up at the stars all over the US. "American Indian Myths and Legends" selected and edited by Richard Erdoes and Alfonso Ortiz was a favorite source for those star stories.

We were put on to this book by a gentleman called Dragonfly during our rendezvous days that would tell the stories every night at bedtime to the camp children.  He was ready for the nightly story telling he would set out candle lanterns then slowly beat on a drum to tell everyone in camp it was storytime.  Young and old alike came to hear his tales. 

We had planned on visiting the Cimmaron Museum in Boise City, OK but got there too late to do anything but take a photo of the big dinosaur sculpture outside the building. We drove around the outside a bit and marveled at the slice of the giant Sequoyah in the landscaping and read some of the names on the military memorial.

We discussed if we went on to Denver, CO the next day like we were thinking about doing if it would be feasible to stop with the fifth wheel and Gary said he thought he could turn it around in the area we were looking at, but it would be a tight squeeze.

During the day’s drive I had been working on catching up things on my blog and clearing the nearly 7,000 emails I was behind on. It was a great time to do it. We were running low on the space left on our air card for the month so a lot of offline typing was handy. Because I touch type it also allowed me to gaze out across the seemingly endless prairie and wonder just exactly how far I was looking out.

The sunflowers I saw on this section of our journey were all past their prime and awaiting harvesting.

We mused as we went down the highway how much this reminded us of our “Penny Hike” rv trip to Mount Rushmore a few years back and traveling through South Dakota. You could drive for miles and not pass another car then too.

Once back to the camper we decided a check of the Denver weather was a good idea. I also posted queries about it on list. The more we thought about it, the more concerned we became about the possibility of snow. Late that night we decided we weren’t brave enough to try Denver and decided instead to head for Amarillo, Texas in two days. I had found enough work to keep us one extra day in Guymon.

Panhandle Campground only has about 25 sites, but each site is level and a pull thru. They have both 30 and 50 amp sites. The bathhouse is simple, but clean and comfy. In the ladies I discovered it had shower curtains for the toilet stall doors, but that was not a problem. The smell of fresh Pinesol was reassuring and went along with the shining fixtures I saw.

Hot water for the small but efficient bath house is provided via a solar collector. We thought that pretty cool.

Rates are $10 for just the basic site, then you add $2 for each amenity you add, so $2 for electric, $2 for water, $2 for sewer.

Friday morning we rolled out and headed for Texas.

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