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Finding My Voice

Posted by on Apr 17, 2014 in Community, Featured, Uncategorized, Updates | 0 comments

Finding My Voice

“What do you DO, Camille?” How on Earth do you explain what you do? It’s a terribly intimate question, one I have too many answers for. It’s almost like asking who I am, in a sense. I cook. I travel. I explore. I drive a semi truck. I am a co-owner of a trucking business. I am dabbler in television. Though no one has yet bought the show we’ve been selling, but hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Oh yeah, and I write. Until about eight months ago.  Make that almost a year. I have several drafts in my folder, great ideas one and all, but I couldn’t find the endings. They just weren’t there. Until now. I’m not sure if my circuits overloaded. I’m not sure if my “genius” has taken a long overdue hiatus. Maybe I have juggled my careers and life so precariously that all the balls fell to the floor at once, and I wasn’t quite sure how to go about picking them up again. A good friend sent me a TED talk, by Elizabeth Gilbert, and I urge you to follow the link and watch it for yourselves. It explains a lot about what artists of every genre go through. I am simply showing up to DO MY part. www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius The one thing I’m sure of, is that without putting words on paper, or a screen, I’ve lost a part of myself I can’t afford to lose. How many times have I sat here and wondered where to start? Should I write about the transition I’ve gone through? How about some of the adventures I’ve had? How to balance the two without losing my readers’ interest? Oh wait, do I have ANY readers left? Well for better or for worse, here’s a few of the things I neglected to mention. Starting in March, I signed on with Tricon Films, left Swift once and for all, paid my truck off, and I made the first move to repair the most important relationship I’ll ever have. Deep breath 2-3-4…. Even writing the words makes me short of breath. Transition is a pretty word for change. As humans, we resist change.  I was, simply put, in shock.  All of these things I’ve struggled and bled to achieve. I had little faith in surviving at times. I didn’t believe in myself. I should have. I met with Tricon in late February, after months of corresponding. I was a nervous wreck. I mean, here I am, a virtual nobody, sitting down for lunch with people that have flown a couple thousand miles to talk about the possibility of making a television show. With me. One of my closest friends orchestrated a fancy lunch at the restaurant he runs. I made my quail dance on my plate like Benny & Joon. Nervous much? As it turns out, they’re a great group of people. I had no reason to be nervous. As we discussed the possibilities, I started to feel something I hadn’t felt in a long time. Hope. I kept thinking, “Do I really have a shot at doing what I love?” I DO have a shot at it. Maybe in a different way than I had initially suspected, but I digress. We made plans to shoot a “sizzle reel”, with high hopes of one of the bigger networks picking up the show. Then the hard part, waiting for that day to arrive. I thought it would be difficult. I was riddled with fear of the unknown and thoughts of not measuring up to the expectations of so many...

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Normalcy in GG World?? Surely Not…

Posted by on Oct 17, 2012 in Featured, Highlighted Travel, Updates | 0 comments

Normalcy in GG World?? Surely Not…

By now y’all are more than ready for another update to my crazy life. It’s never a boring, sedate place to be. Your Gypsy Gourmet has not stopped traveling the countryside in search of the perfect bite. The wheels keep rolling, both in business and life, and there’s been some major changes, AGAIN. Remember that driver I’d hired? Gone. There is no longer a mystery man, or a second truck. I’m now mentoring a student on the Freightliner, and getting a little closer to paying off Buella. About the time I thought life was easing up a bit, I had to recover my beloved truck, Buella, in Phoenix, AZ. She was filthy, and not in great shape. Somewhere along the way something had gone wrong with the communication in my world, both with my business, and in my personal life. Everything happens for a reason, of course, but it seemed to me when it started raining it began to pour. I ended both partnerships. Well, really one was ended for me, and the other was for his own good. Those of you who have followed this blog from the beginning, know where my heart has always been. It will remain where it has always, and I do promise my faithful readers when the time is right, I’ll let you guys celebrate with me. Just for today, however, I’m keeping my lips zipped and waiting for the outcome just like you. When I got to Phoenix, I cleaned my girl within an inch of her life. I set up the inside just the way I like, and proceeded to go through the engine maintenance like a good owner should. While the shop had a hold on her, I decided to do something I’ve grappled with doing for the last few years. Become a certified mentor for Swift. I took my certification classes and was approached and requested to be a mentor by a very nice young man named, Brad. I am sure I got very lucky, as we get along well, and he’s an all around great person. We come from very similar backgrounds, he’s terribly intelligent, and it feels a lot less like work, and more like I’m teaching my buddy Brad how to navigate the Swift system and highways. As soon as we were almost ready to being our first journey, I got some news from the shop that Buella was in need of a whole new clutch assembly. Crimeny Sakes! Eight payments to go and an expensive repair. My helpful and excellent mechanics at the Swift corporate shop in Phoenix, assured me it would be done post haste. Jeff Feagins, the service operations manager for the shop, carefully oversaw the project to make sure it went off without a hitch. Many folks have a lot of terrible things to say about my company, but you won’t EVER hear a bad word out of my mouth. My support staff has been the reason I’m still out here on the road. Whether it’s been the follow up from people like Brian, Becky, Richard, Mark, Eddie, and Joran in Rapid Response, Cindy in dispatch, or Jeff  and Chris in the shop, the people here have always given me the best support anyone could ask for. So, when folks talk trash, pay no mind. Every company has it’s strengths and weaknesses. Mine is no different; it’s how you navigate those challenges that matters. Thanks, team. Brad and I have been skipping across the states hauling varied loads from place to place, even getting to spend some time in Georgia with my...

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Update in the World of GG

Posted by on Aug 26, 2012 in Featured, Updates | 0 comments

Update in the World of GG

I can almost hear my faithful readers hiss each time they pull up my blog and see the same post. I am sorry, dear readers. (Grimace) I’ve been in a whirlwind of activity with so much going on in a short time frame, that alas, the blog and y’all have been sorely neglected. So this time instead of taking you on one single adventure with one recipe, I’m going to take you on several adventures and catch you up to date on my crazy life. You guessed it, the blanks will be filled, and the secrecy around my quasi (and I DO mean quasi) celebrity status will be laid at your feet. This tale should be a movie, yet is only the catch up on a few months and weeks out of my life. Nuts? Yep. Craziness? Some of that too. So hold on to your seats my loyal readers, the ride only gets better from here!     The Magazine A few weeks ago I was approached to be a columnist for the online magazine, The Long Haul. Luisa Nims, the CEO of The Long Haul and I had been corresponding for almost a year. During that time I was helping her with a few side projects she had cooked up. I was blown away by the offer, fledgling magazine or not, because what a great opportunity to reach more people! Luisa has created a magazine for the transportation industry and those who drive it. Her vision is to fill the existing void with something akin to what Vanity Fair is to fashion. High end, exquisite pictures, serious information on technology, products we actually use, trends in the industry, and even fashion. I’m terribly excited for the debut at the end of August, and will be updating the progress as we go. The Long Haul will be available on Apple newsstands soon, and more information can be found on the website http://www.longhaulmagazine.com/. As soon as I accepted the strangest thing occurred. Several loads fell into place in an almost divine succession that landed us in Portland, OR, where Luisa and her family reside. Luisa and her husband Mike graciously extended the offer to stay with them for the weekend. Luisa and I were able to put together a few missing elements for the debut magazine. We were also able to cook, laugh, and relax. They have the most adorable twin daughters, Abby & Zoey, who made the trip bright and sunny with their sweet selves. It was an awesome experience. I seem to be blessed with the ability to meet the most extraordinary people, and Luisa and her family are no exception. They are incredible people extending not only their warmth and hospitality, but providing an amazing opportunity to a budding writer. I am ever so grateful to work with them and to call them friends. Dutch-oven roasted chicken w/herbs               The Grip Just as I was gearing up for one deadline, hot damn I rounded the bend with two. I had dropped a line with local editor/owner, Jessica Gregory of The Grip, in what is now my hometown of Griffin, Ga. I had asked her if she needed any contributors for our independent newspaper. I thought it would be a great way to share some of my experiences on the road with my community while getting a little more writing in. Of course, I had sent this to her a couple weeks before the magazine opportunity came up. So in comes Jessica with a resounding yes! Omg, omg, omg. Turns out the very...

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My Southern Menagerie a Damn Yankee’s Attempt at Collard Greens

Posted by on Jun 8, 2012 in Food, Updates | 0 comments

My Southern Menagerie a Damn Yankee’s Attempt at Collard Greens

Hey folks! Gypsy Gourmet is back on the scene halfway across the country missing my “adopted” siblings (Jared & Ashley) like mad. I received a random text basically letting me know that there was fun in store for the weekend and am I coming home? Unfortunately scheduled maintenance and necessary repairs are keeping this team on the road. The final nail in the “homesick coffin” was, “P.S. Your Bubba misses you and is HUNGRY.” Ms Carol Ashley & Jared Now I’m thinking of Georgia and everything I have come to hold so dear. Ms Carol is my downstairs neighbor and my “east coast mama”, her husband Mr Charles is a quiet man, loves to eat, and is our fix it guy. Ashley is Ms Carol’s daughter, sister of my heart, and is carrying my new nephew Dustin James who is due this September. Ashley’s eleven year old son CJ is my favorite Butts County Braves baseball player and a sweet young man. Last, but by no means least is Jared, Ashley’s husband. He has been my soul brother, my protector, and an excellent friend. He’s that guy who’s always there to lend a hand, share a meal, or be a good listener. People say you can’t choose your family and while that’s partly true, I think I’ve chosen my extended family well. Or maybe they chose me. Either way they bring a whole lot of joy to my world. I love each and every one of these people like they’ve always been mine. The sweetest moments of this last year in Georgia have included these amazing people. They keep me motivated to work harder, so I can stay home longer. CJ up to bat @ season open ’12 Jared and his temperamental tractor   Our southern feast The characters in this play I call life don’t end here. I have an incredible menagerie of friends and loved ones both in Georgia and all across the country, but we’ve got to save something for future blogs! Just know y’all, you will most probably will get a call asking if I can include you, and y’all have NOT been forgotten. That being said let’s get on to the food!   My daisies from Niki While home I prepared another feast for the eyes and the senses, with plenty of help from Niki. We had baked chicken, potato salad, coleslaw, several fresh locally sourced fruits, jalapeno cheddar cornbread muffins, collard greens, and a summer berry trifle that I’m including in my next blog. We went with a few healthier choices to keep the guilt at bay, but didn’t sacrifice too much on our traditional southern fare. While I’m on the subject, my education on southern food just began a little over a year ago. I am originally from Minnesota. I have lived all across the country and just settled in Georgia last year. I have been told that for the first year I’m a “transplant” and after that I am referred to as a “Damn Yankee”. While some look at it as a slur, I’m proud of my “Damn Yankee” status, and have tried like hell to make the South proud by fixing traditional dishes on my own with as little deviation as possible. However, I am who I am, and do add a bit here and there to suit my tastes. We all know that most folks ain’t seen nothin’ like me yet, so hopefully I’m forgiven for being an original. This particular feast included traditional collard greens, which I am in LOVE with. They’re a super food packed with good vitamins and are yummy enough I could eat a bowl and forget the rest. I thought I’d give y’all the recipe I...

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Much Needed Home Time, Georgia

Posted by on Oct 11, 2011 in Food, Updates | 0 comments

Much Needed Home Time, Georgia

Welcome blog friends! I’m hailing y’all from the house, just to let you know the gypsy gourmet doesn’t always cook on the road.. I noticed that there were so many pictures on my iPhone that weren’t necessarily from the road that I have to give a little love to the home kitchen. I am well pleased to be home after 5 weeks of grueling work out on the road. Many changes have taken place, i.e. I’m no longer based out of Richmond, VA for dispatch, we’re now based directly out of Atlanta. I have also just finished up a photo shoot and interview with CNN chronicling my journey as the gypsy gourmet, and my career in the trucking industry. It will also introduce you to the love of my life and the light of my world, Chris. The weather is starting to get a little colder, and I am all about some comfort food. Here’s a few pictures of some homemade pork carnitas that I made into tamales that turned out absolutely amazing. The recipes and instructions will follow. I just was missing the warm Arizona weather, it was super chilly when I got to the house, and I was ready for a challenge. I miss having all of the really great conveniences of my kitchen at home, when I’m on the road. Like running water, a dishwasher, and a lovely assistant, who just simply makes my world brighter with her happy chatter, goofy faces, winning smile, and energy.(Are all 16 year olds like this? I’m thinking I’m just lucky.) So without further embarrassment to her(ily brat), here’s what we came up with. Pork Carnitas 2 1/2 – 3 lbs boneless pork shoulder, cubed into 1 1/2″ pieces 1/2 each yellow, red, and orange peppers, rough chop 1 lg sweet onion, rough chop 1 jalapeno sliced 1/4 in thick with seeds 3-4 lg whole garlic cloves 1 pkg Sazon Goya 1T. Cumin 1 1/2 t. Paprika (Spanish or Hungarian) 1 1/2 t. ground black pepper 1/4 t. cayenne pepper 1 T Tony Chacherie seasoning 1-2 T. Mexican Oregano 1-2 t. dark red chili powder 8 oz prepared chicken stock (Swanson’s is okay, or Better Than Bouillon) Instructions I prepped the vegetables as indicated above, tossed the meat and vegetables in the spices, put it all in a 13×9 glass baking dish, added the prepared chicken stock, and covered it in aluminum foil. I figured low and slow was best, so I popped it in a 300 degree oven for about an hour and a half. Remember, that all ovens are different. Mine is electric and pretty close to right on temperature, but ovens will vary. The end result you’re looking for is tender, pull-apart pork that can be shredded. All the vegetables will just fall apart along with your meat and broth. The easiest way I’ve found to accomplish this is by letting the mixture cool some and using the paddle attachment on my Kitchen Aid mixer. You can do it with a large fork or your fingers too, but I’m at home and want to be done, thus my method. If you’re in a hurry, this meat mixture, some toasted corn or flour tortillas, and a little pico de gallo make a fast no muss dinner. I, however, was looking for the challenge of making something I’d only seen made once on television, Guy Fieri on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, Albuquerque, NM. Crazy that I’ve never attempted this before, after spending five years in Arizona, but true. I enlisted Annalysa, Chris’s 16 yr old to help, as she had assembled them...

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