I was invited to a “Hobo Stew and Food Bank Drive” celebration of the 41st, 47th, and 47th anniversaries of three North Ranch couples. The hosts, Mark & Kathy Guidry, listed the canned ingredients you might bring ahead of time and at the same time you could leave non-perishable foods for the local food bank. Although I have had many a Hobo Stew during my years as a Girl Scout leader, I hadn’t heard that title for many a year.
Actually, I make a version of hobo stew every couple of weeks in my crock pot. I brown whatever meat I have or snakes I’ve caught (just kidding) and add what should be removed from the refrigerator anyway (cauliflower, broccoli), then add canned goods (vegetable medley, diced tomatoes, red beans and great northern) to fill it up. I use chicken broth to add liquid if needed and maybe a bouillon cube or two plus plenty of spices to kill anything lethal (kidding again). A little rice adds some thickness to it. A few crackers or better yet, fresh cheesy bread, and it is a meal for the gods. It never turns out the same twice but it is always delicious (well, almost always).
But back to the celebration. The instructions were explicit, “bring your chair, bowl, plate, drink, and eatin’ tools. We’ll do the cooking!” Since I was too cheap to make a 20-mile round trip into Wickenburg for anniversary cards, I created personalized ones using winter and sunset views of our North Ranch 400+ year old, many-armed saguaro we call Methuselah.
It was a perfect 3 p.m. setting for about 200 people who squeezed their 200 lawn chairs into the shade. The host couple dipped the Hobo Stew from an enormous iron pot into our various bowls to be slurped in deliciousness, along with assorted breads and crackers. With so many people living in this RV complex, more like a small village, we often do not see friends and acquaintances unless there is a major gathering like this. Conversation swelled with meeting and greeting; laughter and hugs prevailed. Over 200 cans of food will be donated to the Congress Food Bank as a result of this delightful afternoon soiree. What a great idea! Think about it for your next party. There are many hurting and hungry people out there. God Bless until next week.
Winter in the Wilderness, the first e-book novel published by Minshall, is offered at most Internet book sites. A print edition may be obtained from Amazon, or you can order an autographed copy from the author at Box 1040, Congress, AZ for $7.95 plus $3.50 for postage and handling. The fourth edition of RVing Alaska and Canada is available through Amazon.com.
At 45, Widow Minshall began 20 years of solo full-time RVing throughout Alaska, Mexico, and Canada. Sharlene canoed the Yukon, mushed sled dogs, worked a dude ranch, visited Hudson Bay polar bears, and lived six months on a Mexican beach. She lectured at Life on Wheels, published six RV-related books and wrote a novel, “Winter in the Wilderness.”