Back from the Woods

We are back from our little camping trip.

It rained pretty much the entire week we were out there.

On Sunday I got so cold from being soaked and still trying to help with the actual reason we were out there, that I got full body shakes, and ran and hid in the tent with our dogs and all the sleeping bags and blankets I could get my hands on. Once the sky stopped dumping on us and the men-folk got a good fire going, I came out of my little cave and warmed up by the fire.

So after all my begging for recipes, I didn’t even get to test any out. I only manged to pull the dutch oven out once… And I made Pillsbury cinnamon rolls in it. There was no real opportunity to try out my biscuit recipe after that first round (because of the rain), so there is always next time. I might try it in the oven and see how it all comes together in a more controlled area. We need to made a better fire pit, so we can still have a big fire, but I can also use the coals to cook with. I’m envisioning a key-hole fire pit in my dream camp.

I also only managed to get two photos of the dutch oven in the fire… and none of the finished product. We ate them too fast to even think about pulling out the phone to get a picture.

I learned that I did not pack enough coffee or coffee cream for my current level of caffeine addiction. And Party Cups don’t handle hot liquids very well. Next time I’ll pack sufficient coffee, coffee cream and coffee receptacles.

We ate pretty well the entire week. I brought hot dogs and we didn’t even have to resort to eating them. We did have some smokies for lunch a few times, because they are fast and easy, and I almost always choose them before hot dogs.

I pre-assembled an amazing cheesy garlic bread at home, and stuck it on the fire the first night we were there. It was very delicious, and I will be making this 18 million more times.

My cooler packing skills were on point in our new cooler. I had 4 frozen 2 litre bottles of water in there, and they were still half ice after we got home from the trip. I froze every food in there that I could other than the fresh veggies to help keep everything cold until it was time to consume. There was also other cold packs and stuff in there, but I find the frozen water bottles the best. Plus, you have an extra drinking water stash if needed.  We also topped up our other coolers with the drinks in them with ice from some treks to town. Drinks in their own coolers, keeps your food in a more temperature controlled zone.

My hair was so gross by Saturday, that I resorted to washing it in the freezing cold creek. Man was that refreshing, and COLD! But I got all the mud and mats that were starting to form out of it. If I was a smarter (possibly more civilised) human, I might have taken the time to warm some water up with the kettle on my camp stove and washed it with warm water. But I’m not, so I didn’t

We have sooooooooo many berries out there, that I made mental notes of where some of the best patches were for the next times we are out that way. Raspberries, Blueberries, Strawberries, Gooseberries and Honeyberries.

Also, I observed an AMAZING array of plants that I didn’t really know were wild here. There were these adorable little yellow pansies pretty much everywhere. The flowers were smaller than the nail on my pinkie finger. There was lupin plants everywhere… I can’t wait to go back and see them with flowers on them, I mean, unless there are other plants that have leaves EXACTLY like my lupins in my garden. Marsh marigolds were everywhere wet, with their wonderful butter-yellow and cream flowers. Same leaves and scent as the marsh marigolds at my parents house, but not bright yellow. There were honeysuckles and these cute little white trumpet flower plants… I think I need a book about native plants in the Kootney region of BC because DAMN I am interested in that Ish. I would like to learn the names of the plants rather than “the tiny yellow flower one”

Well, I am up to my ears in laundry, since everything we took camping was soaked, so I need to get back to forging through it all, so I can have my kitchen floor back. I’ll get a garden update together soon, even though I’ve been a bad plant caretaker and let some of my seedlings die from neglect. Opps… Soon, it will all be updated soon!

(I haven’t been out to my community garden plot since the first day I planted the things out there, so I should probably go check on that. When I do, I’ll update you on that project as well)

There were these beautiful lillies everywhere. Trilliums maybe? I’m not sure.


Love this creek… technically a river I guess


Any idea what this plant is? It grows similar to willow, but it isn’t Willow.


Pretty sure this was around Fernie (maybe?)

  

iPhone doesn’t like to zoom


Crowsnest Mountain

  

Back in Alberta ❤

Share your off-grid recipes?

Hey guys, Sorry for the lack of any posts or updates on the regular as of late. I have been sucked into Pinterest and getting ready for our first big camping trip of the year. (which also means I have been getting all my plants ready for going outside and living without me for almost a week.

But more on that later.

In all of my Pinterest-ing I have discovered a big lack of actual real ingredient recipes for cooking in a Dutch Oven over a fire. There are a lot of basic “how to cook in a dutch oven over coals” posts, but not many recipes. My best friend bought me one for Christmas a few years ago and I have never really had the opportunity to try it out (well, I did once, but I forgot it on the kitchen counter when we left for the mountains).

Here is the thing, I want real recipes. Not ones that include other things that have 36 ingredients themselves. That is one of my biggest pet peeves of pinterest recipes… When people say “Only 3 ingredients” but then those three ingredients contain 100 ingredients combined and half of them are shelf stabilizers, preservatives and colour. I want some legit real ingredient recipes. Do you guys have any to share? They don’t necessarily have to be specific to Dutch Ovens, but that would help. I’m new to this Dutch Oven thing, but I can bake up a storm in a regular oven. I want to be able to do the same with just a campfire.

For this trip I have decided that I am making biscuits for sure. I found a real recipe… one that I can pre-assemble all the dry ingredients, then just add water at camp (I should mention that we are completely off grid there).

Since I have been so lacking in anything recipe or craft related around here for a while, I will be trying to get some posts written/photographed while we are out there. My biscuits could be a fail, or they could be the best biscuits I’ve ever had.

While I’m here appealing for recipes, any sort of cooked-over-the-fire (or in the coals- you get the idea) recipes would be fantastic. Especially for things that don’t require refrigeration. Our cooler space is limited. And unless someone makes the big trek down the mountain to town, we won’t have ice to replenish, so it would be good to have a few things on standby for those occasions.

Thanks everyone! I can’t wait for some new suggestions to try out. (and sorry for the lack of photos on this post)

Grow Your Own – Italian Seasoning (Completed)


You may have thought I forgot all about my project last year of growing my own Italian Seasoning… But I didn’t. At least not completely. I did get all the herbs dried and put away in individual bags. I just never got around to adding them all together into a seasoning mix. Or writing a post about drying the herbs here. So here we are, finally, with a wrap up on the Italian Seasoning I grew all by myself! (everything in the photo above came out of my garden!)

Continue reading “Grow Your Own – Italian Seasoning (Completed)”

One Pot Pasta

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I had never heard of One Pot Pasta, until I saw it on my Pinterest feed a couple weeks ago.
Why have I not heard of something that will decrease the amount of dishes that pile up in my house? Why was this not a thing in my life until now? Geeeez maybe I need to crawl out from under my shelter rock just a little so I can learn about more one dish meals.

And why didn’t I think of this myself?

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I think this will be much better in the summer, and with some planning. Basically I saw it on Pinterest,  thought about it the whole next day at work, and then came home and made it with things I had in my kitchen.

I didn’t follow any specific amounts. I dumped things in a pot and crossed my fingers that it would work. If you need amounts, check out this site, Martha Stewart, or just Google “one pot pasta” and you should find something just right.

I used a large can of diced tomatoes, half a block of frozen spinach, the rest of a bag of frozen peas, fresh garlic and some spaghetti, some spices, and enough water to seem right.

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Then it cooks until the pasta is al dente

Then you are done. Seriously… Easy peasy… Just top with some cheese if you are so inclined, and enjoy.

While this canned/freezer vegetable version was delightful, I can hardly wait to try this again with fresh vegetables from my garden. I think that home-grown taste will MAKE this dish. Fresh tomatoes, some zucchini, spinach, kale, garlic, fresh herbs… DREAMING of summer.

This dish was perfect for a long and busy day at work. It literally took me 20 minutes (including cooking time). I intend to make this on a more regular rotation, because it is that good, and incredibly easy.

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Coconut Butter Granola

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I spent  a “little” time on Pinterest the other night.

I was looking at gardening things mostly.

And food.

And crafts.

And horses (always horses, despite the number of pins I actually have on my Pinterest board about them).

All of this, while I was working on the Coconut Butter post. So I had coconut butter on my mind, and in my mouth… And then on my Pinterest Feed. ..

How Sweet Eats posted a Coconut Butter Granola post back in February, last year. And I had to make it right now.

So I did, only I changed a few things. Adding Quinoa was a delicious decision, that I am glad I made. Maple Syrup added a nice sweet flavour, because I was out of regular honey.

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Coconut Butter Granola

2.5 cups Old Fashioned Rolled Oats

1 cup Sliced Almonds

1 cup flaked Coconut

1/2 cup Quinoa

1/2 tsp. Sea Salt

Toss the above ingredients together in a large bowl. Have a large wooden spoon on standby, because you will need it when things get hot…

2/3 cup Real Maple Syrup

1/2 cup Coconut Butter

2 tbsp Butter

2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

Melt the above ingredients in a small saucepan – Stir to combine while melting.

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Pour over the tossed dry ingredients, and stir with the wooden spoon until everything is coated in the Coconut Butter/Maple Syrup solution.

Spread out on the prepared baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes, then toss everything around, then bake for 10 minutes and toss everything around, then 5 minutes, then toss, then 5 minutes, then toss… You get the idea. Once everything is a nice golden colour, stop baking and tossing. You don’t want to burn it. I ended up doing about 35-40 minutes of baking total – with the 2 rounds of ten minutes, and then 3-4 rounds of five minutes.

Let this sit for at least an hour to cool, and then pour into glass jars, to store. It should keep about 2 weeks, if it lasts that long.

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PS: Your house will smell AAAAA-MAZZZZZZZ-ING after you make this… In case you needed an extra nudge to make it.