Osso Buco-Style Meatballs

I found this recipe in a publication that my electric cooperative sends out monthly.  Great Recipe!  A wonderful comfort food on a cold, dreary day.


1 slice whole wheat bread (I used fresh baked, white bread that Dave made)

⅓ cup whole milk

1 pound ground beef

2 oz of smoked bacon finely chopped ( I used 3 pieces of thick cut hickory smoked bacon)

1 egg

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon finely ground pepper

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

3 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese (the real deal – grate it yourself!)

2 tablespoon finely chopped shallots

⅓ cup Olive Oil

1 cup bread crumbs


2 tablespoons butter (REAL)

1 medium sweet onion finely chopped

½ cup finely chopped carrot

½ cup finely chopped celery

1 cup dry white wine

14.5 oz diced tomatoes, undrained


1 ½ tablespoon finely grated lemon zest

⅓ cup minced parsley

1-2 medium garlic cloves, minced.

  1. MEATBALLS:  Combine the bread and milk in a large bowl.  When the bread is soft, mash it with a fork (or fingers), then add the beef, bacon, egg, salt, pepper, parsley, Parmesan, and shallots to bowl and mix thoroughly.  Make meatballs 1 ½ inch- 2 inches in diameter.
  2.  Heat the olive oil in a 1 inch, high sided skillet over medium-high heat.  Dredge the meatballs in the breadcrumbs, then brown them on all sides. Remove meatballs from skillet and set aside.
  3. SAUCE:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Add butter to the drippings in the skillet.  Add the onion, celery, carrots, stirring until softened.  Add the wine and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes with liquid and simmer an additional 5 minutes.
  4. Transfer the sauce and meatballs to a 3 quart casserole dish, cover and bake 1 hour.    Allow the meatballs to cool briefly while you prepare the gremolata.
  5.  GREMOLATA:  Combine the lemon zest, parsley and garlic in a small bowl.  Serve the warm meatballs with a sprinkling of gremolata over each portion.
Sauce in the making.

Camper with No Toilet: Baños en Baja

Our truck camper doesn’t have a bathroom and yet we lived in it for months while traveling through Baja.  People wonder, how does that work?  Good question.

See a video Tour of the Inside of Our Camper HERE.

In short….you find a way.  There are plenty of toilets in Baja.  Some may not be what you’re used to but I promise, they will serve, so long as you are willing.  This is not the time to be picky.

What follows is info on baños (Español for “bathroom”) and using the loo in Mexico.

One of our favorite things is beach camping.  There’s nothing like opening the door in the morning to a view like the one below.

The Pits

Some beaches are tended by locals.  In exchange for a modest daily fee, you might expect trash receptacles, maybe a palapa (shade structure), and a pit toilet.

A pit toilet is, in simple terms, a hole dug into the ground, over which a toilet of some type is positioned.

In Baja the details vary quite a lot.

Some pit toilets have walls and a roof.  While others could be a toilet seat over a hole in the ground and not much else.

Pictured below is a fancy version.  Practically a work of art:

Then there’s the popular modified port-a-potty.  Those plastic things that can be rented for events and such.  They are fit over a hole dug in the ground.  Those pictured below had rickety wood pallet’s serving as the “floor”.  You say a little prayer that the floor holds!  They featured toilet seats painted brown.  Camouflage?  (What you can’t see can’t hurt you???)  Occasionally, a bucket of lime is provided so you can toss a scoop over your deposit.  Lime:  The odor eater since grandpa’s outhouse days.

Don’t Forget the Shovel

The best places are often down the worst roads.  Remote.  No bathrooms.  In these situations,  you grab a shovel and dig a cat hole. Preferably behind a shrub or large cactus for privacy. (Watch out for that cactus!)  Then you squat and do your business in the manner of our ancestors.  What could be more natural?

Indoor Plumbing…sort of?

Of course, there are plenty of plumbed toilets too.  We stayed at a variety of RV parks with bathroom facilities.  Some are very nice.  Others can be a bit rustic or even broken….like the one below.

Even the indoor, porcelain toilets sometimes come with a twist.  For instance The Bucket Flush.  You’re provided a bucket…to fill with water (from a spout on the wall…or a barrel) to dump into the toilet.

And now a word about toilet paper.

Most of the septic systems aren’t equipped to deal with toilet paper.  Thus, don’t flush the paper.  You’re asked to place it in the trash instead.  This is common.  As a result of this practice, the paper is more oft than not, scented.  Yes.  Perfumed toilet paper.  In fact, it’s difficult to find any that is unscented.   I speculate this is intended to mask less pleasant smells associated with throwing used paper in the trash.

If you’re only going to Cabo to hang at fancy resorts, I doubt you’ll encounter the types of toilets covered in this post.  I’ve never set foot in the resorts of Cabo, but I imagine they have they have nice toilets in which you can flush your paper.  You certainly won’t be digging a cat hole!  But I guarantee, you’ll also be missing out on the true Baja experience.

So that’s it.   The bathroom situation can be different than the one you have at home but we certainly had no problem traveling in a tiny camper with no toilet.

Want to see all our videos from Baja?  CLICK HERE.




September 2018 Update

This year we’ve done a lot of traveling in our truck camper.  We’ve made quite a few videos about the camper.

Boondocking on the Sea of Cortez.

In January 2018 we took off on our maiden voyage in the camper/truck rig.  First, we drove west.

Southwest of Yuma, Arizona we crossed over into Mexico at the border town Los Algodones.  From there it was all the way down the Baja peninsula.  (This was our second trip to Baja.)  We rambled around in Mexico for three months.  It was an awesome trip.  We’ve got a bunch of videos we filmed in Baja….see them all here.

When we forced ourselves back to the United States, we went from Baja, directly to Las Vegas.  What a contrast!

On the Vegas strip.

After that, we made our way back to the straw bale house in Texas.

We laid low at the Texas casita for a bit.  But as the weather began to heat up, we started dreaming of the next journey.  In June we took off in the rig again.  This time we went north.

We visited:  New Mexico, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Nevada, and Utah.

In the Badlands.

Another awesome trip on the books!  (I take oh so many photos when we travel….you can always see the most recent photos I post at Instagram.)

As of this posting, we are at the Texas place.  Hanging out and enjoying the solitude, peace, and quiet of this space.  We’re also doing stuff….such as:

  • Making videos from all the raw footage from our travels.
  • Making art.
  • Doing house/property projects.
  • Dreaming up new adventures.

If you’ve got a mind to….check our YouTube channel & my Instagram often.  New stuff is going up in those spaces weekly.