Thursday, July 29, 2010

Cooking at Deer Lake

Butler discovering lid lifters and dutch ovens make noise.

On Monday, when the ranger checked in, the first night we were at our campsite, he told us that a fire ban was coming. I don't know about you, but to me camping without a fire is just NOT camping. I think I got this opinion because we don't have a camp stove and no fire means no real food and dry goods just don't make up for a fire-cooked meal. There was a fire ban, but it didn't happen until Friday and thankfully, Microchip and Lily had two camp stoves and let us borrow one of them Thursday night for the remainder of the trip. To my delight, I was able to cook over the fire for most of the time were were camping. Before we left Sir got me a set of stack-able mixing bowls that have lids!! and a second set of metal camping dishes bringing our place setting to 8 and giving me an extra kettle to help keep hot water available. Of course I brought my dutch oven, a couple frying pans and my big stew pot, so my kitchen was nicely equipped.

PC overseeing the bacon process.

Breakfast Tuesday, was hot chocolate, bacon, blueberries and cold cereal. We bought special 'sugar cereal' to take camping. The funny thing though, was when the kid sat down to breakfast, they wanted Corn Flakes, Cheerios and Rice Krispies - the stuff they're used to at home. Sometimes you can never win...

Microchip and Lily's campsite.

We pooled lunch ingredients and for the most part, ate all our lunches over at Microchip and Lily's campsite. We were just across the road from their camp, but they had a bit more room since we had two tents taking up our campsite.

Marinated beef strips, peppers n' onions and tin foil wrapped rice.

That night I cooked fajitas for dinner and attempted a blueberry crisp. It was the first time I'd actually baked in the dutch in over 7 years, so I made a couple really dumb mistakes was a bit rusty on my baking skills. The second crisp turned out much better than the first one which ended up a bit crispier than it should have been - I never took a picture of either of them.

Wednesday's breakfast - Sausages 'n eggs.

Bread baking, butter melting and spaghetti sauce heating. My blue kettle was officially black by day 2.

We had hot chocolate again, little smokies and scrambled eggs for breakfast on Wednesday. That night I baked bread to go with my spaghetti meal. I didn't get any pictures of the meal served - just the covered pots while it was cooking. I guess I must have been busy? I burnt my arm on the fire pit while digging for coals to bake with. It wasn't too bad and we had ice on hand to help cool the burn. I put a burn cream on and bandaged it up, but it wasn't until we joined Lily's camp with supper and she gave me a special burn bandage that my arm stopped hurting. I think I'll need to stock up on some of those bandages - they were amazing!

Leftover sausages, sausage gravy and buttermilk biscuits baking on the side.

Dolly and me at the breakfast table.

Thursday I baked biscuits and made sausage gravy to go with them for breakfast. Of course there was hot chocolate and fruit and cold cereal to choose from like every other morning and we finished up the leftover smokies from the day before. Thursday was also the day Bashful and everybody else joined the camping trip. The number of kids doubled and even with the extra adults were were outnumbered by kids 2 to 1. It was also the last day we could have campfires. I couldn't get enough coals before dinner to make up the brownies I had planned to bake for desert that night, so we suffered terribly with roasted marshmallows and s'mores and cookies and fruit and... well, we suffered as you can tell.

Chiquita and Fairy.

Thursday night I booted PC from the little tent so Dolly could have these little ladies join her for a camping sleepover. They stayed for hot chocolate Friday morning, but rejoined their own families before I got around to cooking our bacon and making egg-in-the-baskets on the camp stove we borrowed. It's one of Dolly's favorite breakfasts (she inherited that taste from her Grandpa in California) and they're a bit tricky to cook over an open fire so the camp stove was a perfect solution.

The final plate of fish.

Whenever the fishermen/women brought in any fish, Sir boned them and gave them to me to cook up as a side dish to whichever meal we were currently eating. I think by the end of the camping trip I'd finally figured out the seasoning/dusting mix for the fish. This was the batch we had Friday evening with Lily's pulled pork sandwiches and all the fixings. I think that was probably my favorite meal of the camping trip. I got sidetracked with keeping my kids and their food together and forgot to get seconds for myself - not that I needed seconds, but those sandwiches were good!

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