Archive for February, 2017

Camp Fire Recipe: Potatoes Wrapped in Bacon

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

What do you do when you have a meat and potato guy and vegetarian camping together?  Well, in my case, I fix the meat and potatoes but leave the meat off some of the potatoes.  I know that this is not truly vegetarian but I just do not like a lot of meat.  Below is a recipe that is satisfying for breakfast when combined with eggs, as a side dish to go with dinner, and as an appetizer.   

Camp Fire Recipe:  Potatoes Wrapped in Bacon

Ingredients

Liquid or spray oil

12 fingerling potatoes or 4 large potatoes

6 slices of bacon

Salt and pepper

Sour cream, chives, and/or softened butter

potato.wrapped.bacon

Steps

  1. Start fire to prepare the coals.
  2. Grease the inside of a 10 inch Dutch oven with liquid or spray oil.
  3. Cut the bacon in half.
  4. If using fingerling potatoes, simply wrap the bacon around each potato and place the loose end on the bottom of the Dutch oven.  If using large potatoes, cut the potatoes into quarters and wrap with bacon.
  5. Salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Place the lid on the 10 inch Dutch oven and move to a heat resistant surface.
  7. Move 10 prepared coals to the heat resistant surface.  Arrange in a circle.
  8. Put Dutch oven on the circle of prepared coals. 
  9. Cover the lid with prepared coals.
  10. Cook for 55 minutes.
  11. Once the time period has passed, remove the lid and check for the doneness of the potatoes with a fork.  If the fork goes through easily then the potatoes are done.  On the other hand, if you feel resistance, continue to cook for another 10 minutes.
  12. After the potatoes are done, knock off the coals from the lid and remove the Dutch oven from the ring of coals.
  13. Serve as is or top with sour cream, chives, and/or softened butter.

As tasty as this dish is, there are a few changes that I make depending on what I have.  The recipe above is even better when topped with grated cheese once the potatoes are cooked.  To get the cheese to melt, remove the Dutch oven from the circle of prepared coals.  Take the lid off and sprinkle the grated cheese on top.  Place the lid back on and allow to sit for about 10 minutes.  The cast iron will still be hot enough to melt the cheese.

Another change I do is with the type of potatoes.  Yes, this recipe calls for “white” potatoes but if you do not have any, do not feel that you cannot make the dish.  Fresh sweet potatoes cut into chunks work just fine and is a great way of changing things up.

Campfire Recipe: Maple and Mustard Roasted Corn with Bacon

Saturday, February 25th, 2017

While corn on the cob is delicious anytime, it is especially tasty while camping.  Yes, I have cooked corn in the husk over a campfire.  Yes, I have boiled it in water alongside the camp kitchen and yes, I have wrapped corn in foil and roasted it.  As wonderful as the corn is cooked in these many ways, nothing beats this recipe.  It really reminds me of kettle corn that I get at the fair but with a bonus.  What is this bonus?  Well, as my husband would say BACON.

Campfire Recipe:  Maple and Mustard Roasted Corn with Bacon

Ingredients

Liquid or spray oil

6 ears of corn

2 Tablespoons of olive oil

¼ cup of maple syrup

2 Tablespoons of Dijon mustard

6 slices of bacon

maple.mustard.corn.bacon

Steps

  1. Prepare the coals by building a fire first.
  2. Once the fire is going, put a grilling rack above the fire.
  3. Using a cast iron skillet, place the 6 slices of bacon in the skillet and cook until crispy.
  4. Once the bacon is done, remove the skillet and take the bacon out.  Drain on a paper towel.
  5. Lightly grease a 10 inch Dutch oven with liquid or spray oil.
  6. Husk corn and break into thirds.
  7. Put corn in prepared 10 inch Dutch oven and toss with olive oil.
  8. Place the lid on and carry the Dutch oven to a heat resistant surface.
  9. Arrange 10 prepared coals in a circle on the heat resistant surface.
  10. Put the 10 inch Dutch oven on top of the circle of coals.
  11. Completely cover the lid with prepared coals.
  12. Cook the corn for 20 minutes.
  13. While the corn is cooking, chop the bacon.
  14. In a bowl combine the maple syrup and Dijon mustard.
  15. Once the corn is done, add the chopped bacon to the syrup and mustard mixture. 
  16. Pour over corn and toss.
  17. Serve.

Now that you have made this recipe, you may be looking for some hints.  The biggest hint I have has to do with the maple syrup.  While I have made this dish with the artificial kind, it is so much better with the real maple syrup.  Also, if you do not have the Dijon variety of mustard, do not fret.  Any type of mustard will do.  The Dijon variety is just a little creamier.

Let Nature Lead the Way to Fresh Water

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

Before I get to how nature can lead you to fresh water, let me tell you about an experience I had outside of Cody, Wyoming.  I was out hiking up a mountain with my daughter and some other youth.  While I am a careful camper, I check things at least twice; I missed the fact that we did not have enough tablets to sterilize our water.  Oh, the choice we had.  Drink the water without sterilizing it or go without.  Before we chose the latter, we decided to use our outdoor skills and let nature lead the way to fresh water.  Below are a few signs that will guide you to water.  Some of these will be sources of fresh water that does not need to be purified, while others will still need to be sterilized. Well if you still not comfortable then you can use best electronic water softeners which will give you healthier water.

Mountains

Yes, I said mountains.  What is the old saying?  What goes up must come down.  Well, this is true when it rains.  As rain hits a mountain, it runs down the hill.  It will stop at the base of a mountain in the form of a stream.  The best way to find water this way is to walk along the mountain in a parallel fashion.  As you walk across the mountain in this fashion, you are more likely to come up on a stream or pond.

Trees

The presence of trees is an indication that water is in the ground but it may be too deep to dig for.  A better approach is to look into the forks of the tree.  These are areas where water can collect.  This source of water does not need to be purified if it seems to be fresh.

fresh.water

Bees

One unique aspect of bees is the fact that they do not stray too far from a water source.  As a matter of fact, the water source will be in a three mile radius of their hive.  Once you find the hive, sit down and watch the bees.  Note the direction they are coming from.  If you follow this pattern, you will find water that is easily accessible but may need to be sterilized.

Finches

The finch is one of many birds that will not fly too far away from a water source.  The key is to observe the direction by which the finches are flying but do not jump to follow the first finch you see.  Make sure that there is a pattern to the direction of the flight before you start to follow the birds. 

While it is true that you should take a map with you when you go out in the backcountry, the tips listed above will give you another technique that you can use to find water.