Hello from Deadwood, SD

Earlier this week I drove from our home in central Iowa out to Deadwood, South Dakota. I thought I’d show you a picture of my “ride”. This is my shiny red rocket I drive while traveling for the Taste of Home Cooking School. Pretty snazzy, huh?

Taste of Home van

I pack it full of literally everything but the kitchen sink. I take all the pots and pans, bowls, and utensils, along with a mixer and food processor. I also have several pieces of AV equipment and the signage needed to set up for the show. Once it’s all packed tight, I feel a little bit like a hoarder!

Taste of Home van - equipment

I spend a lot of time behind the wheel and try to bring along books on CD to keep me entertained for long drives. They really help pass the time. That is until you’re about 4 hours into a drive, and all of a sudden the book can start sounding like a bed time story.  Then, its time to stop and get some fresh air.

Karen driving the vanWhile traveling, I try to visit friends and family along the way whenever it works out. This trip I visited my friend, Kathleen, in Yankton before driving the rest of the way to Deadwood. It was terrific to see her and her family. As I told Kathy, face-to-face visits with a best friend are just so good for my soul.

When I rolled into the Deadwood Mountain Grand hotel on Wednesday afternoon, it was a little overcast. But, the hotel still looked beautiful in the misty rain. We spent several hours unloading my equipment and starting our cooking school set up.

Deadwood Mountain Grand

Thursday morning I woke up to a blanket of snow. Local residents are ready for spring (just like everyone else), but they are also very thankful for any sort of precipitation, because South Dakota’s been so dry. Once the sun peaked out, it was a picturesque day.

Snowy view from window in Deadwood

Sunny day in Deadwood

Sunny view in Deadwood

After prepping our 10 recipes for the evening’s cooking school, we walked up town and ate lunch at Mustang Sally’s. I had a strawberry shake, a cheese burger and fries. I haven’t had that sort of meal in a long time, and I have to say it was pretty awesome!

Food helper at Taste of Home

Last night our cooking school went off without a hitch. I’m so thankful for the great group of volunteers who helped me throughout the whole event. We partnered with the Black Hills Pioneer newspaper, and they do a super job planning the details from start to finish.

Next stop: Billings, Montana!