"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived" Henry David Thoreau, Walden (1854)

"Judge every day not by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you sow." - Robert Louis Stevenson

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Dutch Oven Cook'n

Last weekend I tried out my newly season camp ovens/Dutch ovens. They are the ones that have three legs and a lid that you put coals on top for an even bake in the fire pit.

I've been building up the garden with compost and also bits of chard wood. Its very good for your garden, along with ash but not to much ash. Chard wood does a whole new thing to your garden. I first heard about the ancient ways of gardening called Terra Preta, its adding biochar as an amendment to your garden soil;

Get some time check this out http://www.philipcoppens.com/terrapreta.html.

So in my garden I'm making little burn spots , cook my food cover the fire with soil to burn out and not have to move it from firepit to garden. So I also started two biochar as well as cook our meal .

I made two dishes one a chicken in wine and another is ,oh boy peach cobbler.

I don't drink wine mostly because it makes my nose numb and I get really sleepy but I've been hearing how good it is to cook with so I gave it a shot and yum yum was the chicken tasty. Such a different flavor this wine gave the chicken.

Here is the cheap bottle of wine I got , I'm sure not a wine connoisseur so I just went by the pretty label, thought it looked good with all the leaves falling.

Well they say to cook with wine that you like so hubby and I had a sip

I didn't care for it but hubby did. I like coffee :)

So cooking the chicken in the pot tell brown, I only used half a chicken breast b/c I didn't know how this was going to go.

Then the chopped onions cooked a little. I cooked both the chicken and the onions using the chicken skin for fat , then removed . Worked out good.

After adding the chicken back into the oven w/ the onions I added the wine and pulled off the fire to simmer with just a few coals underneath of the oven.

No need for putting coals ontop of this dish. Simmering in the garden

I checked and tasted and knew this was going to be good.

Now while the chicken was cooking I worked on the peach cobbler and had that on another little firepit.

Peach cobbler cooking, almost done

On this dish I put coals on the top to make it more like a oven ad get that nice brown on top.

Ta Da!! Its done, a little to brown on the bottom , but not to bad for first time, yum

I also tossed on a couple of potatoes and an onion wrapped in foil. Slice those taters in almost half and pry open and tuck in some butter, sprinkle with pepper. The onion quartered, add sugar and butter. Oh these have a smell that will make the wood critters go crazy. Yum good! Just toss em in the coals and check with fork.

Dinner, hubby and I ate outside, it was a beautiful fall day and dinner was delis

Cup of peach cobbler, oh this was good

Thoughts on camp cooking and cooking with wine. I loved it. Food is always good cookedoutside.

I did do a little over cooking aka burnt on taters and cobbler, but still was able to eat.

I would do a cooking in wine again using different wines. I love cooked onions and the onions did not have a good flavor but the chicken was excellent. So its experimenting with this dish.

I used a simple cobbler recipe and very easy . If you need recipe let me know , most your cookbooks have cobbler recipes. So nothing fancy with this one , just turn out very good.

I thought I'd do a cookout this weekend but my workshop has been going non stop, getting out some Thanksgiving rush jobs out. I'll get a left over turkey recipe and make a dish , oh turkey pot pie in the Dutch oven sounds good to me.

I would like to hear your thoughts on cooking with wine. Got a good dish to share.

Doesn't need to have wine, so share those Dutch Oven recipes.

Thanks for stopping by , have a great week coming up !

tc linda

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Plant Camp Monday's

I'm still working decorating with the orange colors. I don't know but as soon as the spooky holiday is over all the beautiful fall decorations are piled in a cart and ready to get rid of. Seems our wonderful Thanksgiving holiday is getting skipped over more and more.

I want this holiday to stretch out for a long time. I'm not ready for Red and Green yet , I still want orange, corn stalks, mums and pumpkins.

I also like to take the long country roads home and drive slow and see if I can find an ol fence loaded with bittersweet. Love to take clippings. Haven't done that for a long time sense there's bittersweet growing in the woods over at our other homestead.

Heres a pic of some I gather a couple of Autumns ago for decorations

The berries are reddish orange and then when cut they open to a beautiful bright orange very pretty.

I had heard somewhere that you can drink a tea made form them but also heard they are poisonous, so I'll just use as a decoration for now.

Heres some other pictures and also a link for some info on the plant. I haven't thoroughly read all the link so it might have some info on making a tea from the plant or some medical uses.



So do you have this growing on your homestead? Are you like me and want the Fall colors to stay around longer : )

Have a great week and thanks for dropping by the camp.

tc linda

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Seasoning the Irons

Last weekend while out burning brush and doing some garden cleaning and harvesting I decided I need to get those two camp ovens season, some call them Dutch Ovens. I have both types, two with legs and about three w/out legs. And oh my cast iron skillets. I love cooking from them and they have had years of seasoning.

One is a big 20 inch skillet that has been on many a fishing camp trips. And I still use when I', fix'n a big dinner for the family. I remember when we first moved to the woods that I made my uncle a pancake right out on the campfire.

He was expecting several pancakes and he's a big fellow and I thought I'll be cooking all day to fill him up. So I poured and poured the batter while he was watching and filled the skillet full to the edges. I was surprised myself when it was time to flip over, I made it, all in tack. Served him up on a much smaller plate with a flapjack over flow. He still remembers to this day and will bring it up once in awhile

On our last trip I took along a smaller skillet and we made our breakfast out on the firepit. All so good and jsut adds more seasoning plus it still has the smell of our last camp trip. I love that smell.

Now these camp stoves this weekend I was thinking of jsut using the oven inside to season and you can do that but I wanted to see how tossing them in the firepit would work. It worked out perfect and they both seasoned out nice for the first time.

These camp ovens are ready for the peach cobbler that I'll be making this weekend. And maybe do another dish as well. You place the oven in the coals and put coals on top of the lid so it gets good and baked.
I'm going to go ahead and do a Camp Oven cooking on my blog with pictures and recipes. I have this Camp Cooking Book 100 years , recipes from the Forest Service. Lots of ol time pictures and great little short stories. I'll add a few little stories as well. Plus it will get me some good training in cooking in these camp ovens and Dutch Ovens.

Theres nothing like cooking outdoors. The smells and the food is just wonderful. It brings families together around the campfire and even in the winter with snow on the ground you can still make a fire and start cooking. So if you like cooking in your irons follow along because these irons are jsut as nice cooking inside and I do that all the time too.

Share some recipes of your own as well. We'll have fun on this camp cuz theres food : )
I'm home today , planning on heading into my workshop soon, but I'm so enjoying the leaves falling, hearing the squirrels running on the metal cabin roof gathering the falling acorns. Birds busy getting the little acorns and finding bugs before they head underground.
Garden is slowly going into a rest but still have fall cold crops hanging on.

Its a beautiful day.

tc linda
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