Sunday, June 17, 2012

Camping Adventure #2

We are back from our second weekend of camping. This was at our favorite campground, Quietwoods South in Brussels, Wisconsin. It was another relaxing weekend. No children. No dog. Tammy's parents came to stay with them.

We got to the campsite Friday afternoon and had camp set up in about 30 minutes. For 20 of those minutes I worked on putting up the screened gazebo with the two long shock-corded poles. For a long time it just looked like a dead spider with the legs on the ground, pointing in all directions. Then Tammy found the instructions and it went up much faster.

Friday night's meal was a simple one of natural casing hot dogs, with a cucumber salad and some jalapeno pepper poppers. Nothing fancy, just tasty.

Saturday morning we made the scrambled eggs from our earlier camping weekend (why mess with something if it isn't broken?) Lunch was a treat. We made BLT sandwiches. That means we ate more bread than usual and we had bacon, another uncommon component in our diet. (We avoid it, not because of calories but because of all the sodium in it.) I made mine traditional, with romaine lettuce, a slice of tomato and three slices of bacon, but then I went rogue and added a slice of Vidalia onion and some sweet German mustard. The sweet mustard really complimented the smokey/salty bacon.

Dinner was the main event, with spatchcocked chicken as the centerpiece. Spatchcocking is taking a whole chicken and removing the spine and the breast bone. This allows you to lay it open like a book. It is easy to rub seasoning over all surfaces and it cooks in a short time, too.

This is what a spatchcocked chicken looks like:

I got the fire going and when it burned down to mostly hot embers, I set up the tripod grill and put the chicken on it, skin side down. I had liberally seasoned both sides with Penzey's 33rd and Galena chicken and pork rub. Along with the chicken, I made foil packets of potatoes and carrots with a bit of bacon, and Granny Smith apples, cored and stuffed with a brown sugar/butter/All Bran cereal mix.

Here is the tripod loaded with the chicken and apples. (The veggie packets are on the rocks to the left cooking in the radiant heat from the fire.)

After 15 minutes, I flipped the chicken (not as easy as it sounds on this tripod.)

The veggies took an hour, the chicken about 35 minutes and the apples about 45 minutes. During the entire cooking time it rained steadily. Fortunately there was a lot of tree cover which helped keep everything a little dry. But we decided to eat in the completely dry camper, and the lighting affected the picture of the meal. But here it is on the plate:

The apples turned out perfectly, especially when we went to the little camp store and bought a bowl of caramel soft serve ice cream.

Sunday morning's breakfast was another simple meal of Greek yogurt, All Bran cereal and a banana. And coffee.

No more camping until the end of July now. But in 11 days we leave on our driving trip to Boston, Maine and points beyond. Just Tammy and me. Ethan will be on his trip to China and Bennett will be at home with Ozzy. In the meantime, I will get additional recipes here for you to try for yourself.

This was a fantastic Father's Day weekend. It started with an incredible dinner at the Chef's Table at Chives on Thursday, and ended with a weekend of camping with just the two of us. I am a lucky man!

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