Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Harvest Applesauce

I'm sure that for those of you who don't get all excited about canning and eating, the last bunch of posts have been BORING! Bear with me for one more post.  I am excited to see that people are finding my recipes while googling-and so just HAVE to add one on applesauce--in the event that it may make someone's day.  I have made applesauce for the last 4-5 years, and usually can a few jars to enjoy later in the year.  This year I found a bushel of them on my back porch, and started wondering if I could use my big roaster oven (used for soup at our church fundraiser) to speed the process.  I am pleased to say it was a success-so I felt obligated to share the process.  It didn't speed the time to make it--it actually took longer, but it did free up my time spent stirring and watching a pot boil--not to mention that it did make it much easier to process a large number of apples, rather than fix them all in small batches.
I started with 3 huge bowls of tart apples, I think that these were Lodi apples.  My original recipe calls for 8 lbs, or about 24 cups of peeled, cored, and sliced apples--I doubled that recipe for my roaster oven--and it was just enough!
Here's the REAL star of the show--my pampered chef apple peeler, corer, slicer gadget, bought for half price about 10 years ago--man will I be SAAAAAD when it dies, it has worked a million apples for me in it's lifetime!! It makes fast work of getting the apples ready.  Then I use a paring knife to cut the whole, sliced apple in half and throw it in the measuring bowl.
There's my 48 cups of apple slices in the roaster.  I set it at 250 degrees, threw in 4 cups of water and let it simmer for about 3-4 hours.  I stirred it occasionally--not because I had to, but because I couldn't stand to NOT look--realize that each time you open the roaster, it adds on more cooking time.
It's done when you can easily mash it up with a potato masher.  Some people put it through the food processor, but we like ours a little chunky.  You can see the difference between the chunks on the right and the sauce on the left of my roaster.
At this point, you throw in sugar and cinnamon, and any other spice you might concoct.  We prefer brown sugar over white, and for this batch I used 2 cups of brown sugar and 3 tsp cinnamon.  You may certainly adjust the sugar to taste--we prefer ours on the "less-sweet" side.  Remember--this is an ART, not a science!
I let it cook in the roaster for about another hour or so, and then called the taste-testers!!
2 smiles and an empty bowl later, I think they liked it!!
Below you will find the recipe for the smaller batch, which I just cook in a large saucepot on the stove.  I decided to freeze this batch, so I put the sauce into quart freezer bags and threw them in the deep freeze.

Homemade Harvest Applesauce
8 lbs cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced (about 24 cups)
2 cups water
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
In an 8-10 qt pot, combine apples and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes or until the apples are tender. Mash or put through food processor to make the desired consistency. Stir in sugar and cinnamon. Bring to boil. Ladle into sterilized pint jars, leaving ½ inch head space. Process in boiling water bath for 15 minutes for pints or 20 minutes for quarts. You may also put into freezer containers and freeze. Yields about 6 pints. I sometimes add 1 cup red hots (decreasing sugar to ¾ cup) and cook it until the red hots are melted.

You'll be SOOO sad when your supply is gone and you have to resort to the boughten kind again--TRUST me!! While you are waiting on your applesauce to work, don't forget to throw a fresh apple crisp in your oven--you won't be sorry!  This was so easy, that I think I will go pick some more apples and do it again next week--Hey, we go through a LOOOOOT of food around this place!!  A glutten for punishment??  Probably so! Have a great week!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

You Might Be. . .

the mother of 4 children. . .

a cooking leader. . .

a fanatical canning machine. . .

or you might just be PLAIN CRAZY

when you can go through 14 pounds of sugar in one single day. . .

and have to start buying your sugar in bags like this

. . .AND be able to use more than 3 sacks of each in a year!!

I opt for Crazy!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Pear-y Good Preserves

So, do you remember this big bag of pears I found last week?? They were finally ready this week.  Grandma was kind enough to write down several recipes for using them--including the pear honey that Cindy had mentioned last week--and I was chomping at the bit to try them out.  Now, I know that you guys think I have totally lost my marbles to be excited about spending all that time in my kitchen--but I LOVE it!! And never to cease to amaze myself as to how excited a few little jars of some pretty sparkling colors can make me feel. 
Truly, this wasn't hard--and not all that time consuming, if you were only going to make one of the recipes.  I had alot of pears, and alot of energy and ended up making 2 different recipes for pear honey and a recipe for pear marmalade--just to be different.  I should remind you here that I HATE pears--totally-I will pick them out of anything, and I can't even eat pear cake without grossing out.  So I was pretty skeptical about these recipes--but I knew that my crew would eat them up, or I could give them away in our Christmas gift baskets.  I LOVED them--each recipe--they were very yummy. Jeremy said he could taste the pears, but they didn't bother me. Pears are in season right now around here so I included the recipes for anyone to enjoy.  My friend Terri emailed me about sharing the recipes--and I am always googling to find new recipes--so I hope these help someone out.  Terri--grandma also wrote out recipes for pear butter and pear preserves--if you want them, I will be glad to email you!!
The pear honey had the consistency of very fine applesauce and was a beautiful honey-color!
                                                                 Pear Honey
9 cups diced pears, peeled and cored (was about 12 pears or so)
1 cup crushed pineapple
1 lime, zested and juiced
5 cups sugar
Put the diced pears through a food processor or a food chopper, to create pulp the consistency of applesauce.  Combine the pears, pineapple and the zest and juice from one lime in a stock pot.  Add the sugar, mixing well.  Bring to a boil and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Pour into hot jars and process in waterbath canner for 10 minutes.  Makes the equivalent of 9 8 oz (half-pint jars)
I put my jars in the microwave after rinsing them off and turned it on for a minute or two to warm them up--I don't know if this is "acceptable" in the perfect canner's world, but it has worked for me so far.
The next recipe is a second type of pear honey.  I never could decide which one I preferred, though my guys preferred the first recipe with the crushed pineapple.  This one has a whole lemon in it, rind and all, and I thought that gave it a cleaner, crisper citrus-y taste.  If anyone gets ambitious and tries any of these recipes, I would love to know what you thought.  My comment settings will email me anytime a comment is left when the post is older than a week--so I will be able to read old comments and I would love anyone's input!!
The water bath canner on the right is a smaller one that I recently purchased from Walmart for about $18--I have a much larger one that I bought at an auction once.  I am enjoying the small one--it heats faster.  I put this picture in though, because I also use the 12 quart stockpot on the left to can when I just have 6 or 7 small jars.  I throw a bunch of butter knives on the bottom to set the jars on, so they aren't touching the bottom of the pot.  Just saying--you don't need expensive or fancy equipment to can!!
Pear Honey Preserves
4 cups peeled and chopped pears
3 cups sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 ground lemon
I liked the consistency I got from the pears after they went through the food grinder, so I course chopped the 4 cups of pears and ran them through the food grinder, followed by the whole, washed lemon. Combine the ingredients and boil, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes.  Pour into jars and process them in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.  Yields: five 8 oz jars
I make all different sizes, to suit different purposes.  I made a few pint jars for us, some tall, skinny 12 oz jars, lots of 1/2 pint jars and then some little 4 oz jars--which go great in gift baskets!

I am not much of  a marmalade lover--but this last recipe was just enough different from the others, that I thought it sounded interesting and HAD to try it with the final pears.  I absolutely adored the citrus-y sweet flavor it had--and just finished a couple pieces of toast slathered in it!! Don't let the lengthy instructions disuade you from trying it--it actually only took me about 1 1/2 hours--with lots of time to tinker around in the kitchen while waiting on stuff!

Pear Marmalade
2 oranges
9 cups diced pears, peeled and cored (I--actually Devin and Camille--sent mine through the kitchen aid food processor to get a pretty fine chop)
2 cups drained crushed pineapple (about 2 15 oz cans)
4 Tbsp lemon juice
Remove peel from the oranges. Add 1 qt of water to the peels and boil them for 5 minutes.  Drain water, discard, and add another quart of water to the peels. Boil it for 5 minutes (I already had the second batch of water hot in the microwave by the time the first batch was ready to drain). Drain and discard this water too.  Now grind the orange peel and orange through the food processor.  Add the pears and pineapple.  Add  half as much sugar as you have fruit mixture.  I had about 16 cups of fruit, so I added 8 cups of sugar.  Next add lemon juice.  Bring to a boil and cook until thick, around 40-60 minutes--you will know-the consistency will look like orange marmalade you buy in the store.  Don't forget to stir it some.  Pour into hot jars and water bath for 10 minutes.  Yield about 19 half pints
Just so you know, I am raising more Betty Crocker's to follow in my footsteps--she cooked yesterday afternoon in her Kitchen, right in the middle of my kitchen--She is presently adding vanilla to her ice cream that she is sauteing in the skillet!! Today I wasn't so lucky--both she and Devin thought they needed to help out by running the food processor-actually they did quite well!! Next week I will teach them to exercise off all these extra calories from homemade biscuits and lots of jam!!

And laugh as you may--I seem to collect extra produce like other people collect stray cats--I ended up with a bushel of apples in a feed sack on my back porch Tuesday--so NEXT week--homemade applesauce--hurry up winter, I'm running out of energy--and freezer space! Cheers!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Peach Dumplings

This is absolutely the best thing one could EVER do with a fresh peach!! The recipe was handed down from my maternal grandmother and is an old Bohemian recipe.  My mother in turn, made this every summer when peaches were in season.  I started making it before we had kids, and because the real way to eat them is to put some butter pats on the top and dump on some sugar, my husband scoffed at me for taking any nutritional value out of the peach!! "Whatever!!" I said!!  However, now the children LOOOOOVE them--and I believe the old guy also put 3 of them down his esophagus the other night too-so he has finally conformed!!  I just don't think that anyone could hate them!!
In a large bowl mix 1 1/2 cups milk, 2 eggs, 1/2 tsp salt and 4 cups of flour to make a nice soft dough. Add more flour if needed so that it doesn't make your hands overly sticky.
Take a small lump of dough (depends on the size of your peaches) and pat it out flat on a floured surface.
Put the washed peach in the middle. . .
and enclose the peach in the dough patty.  If it doesn't want to stick, put on a little extra flour to pinch the edges shut--you want it completely enclosed with no open seams or holes or they fall apart in the water--but you can still eat 'em, they just don't look good.  If your crust is too thin or won't close, add a little extra dough on it and pat it together.  Trust me, ANYONE can make these!!
Throw them into a pot of boiling water, stirring gently IMMEDIATELY to keep them from sticking to the bottom or each other.  Swirl them gently and occasionally for 15 minutes and then remove from the pot.
The recipe makes enough dough for about 10 regular sized peaches.  Since mine were smaller, I had about 16 dumplings.  I used to always cut the recipe in half and make about 5--and they refrigerate well so you can eat them again the next day!  Cut the little suckers in half on your plate, and then into bite sized pieces and apply butter or margarine if you like and sprinkle with sugar.  And then you can thank me for introducing you to this sinful treat!! But consider all of the vitamin C you are getting!!
I think we'll have them again tonight!!

Addendum:  my editor: AKA my mother--told me that I should make a note that we eat these with meat.  We are meat-eaters at our homes--and we don't eat these FOR a meal, we eat them WITH a meal.  She grew up eating them with fried chicken.  We eat them with anything around here--we used to eat them with salmon patties--just because those don't take too long to fix.  But the other night, we ate them with pork chops.  I probably COULD be provoked to eat them AS a meal--but I really like meat--so I don't.  How was that mom???

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fall Plantin'

Since the rain and cooler temperatures have hit, my gardening humor has improved tremendously.  A couple weeks ago I sowed seeds for my greenhouse.  I used several varieties of cool season determinate tomatos I bought last year from Tomato Fest. I have stored them in the freezer and they have germinated fine, but I planted extra seeds just to be sure.  Our favorite variety was the Black Seaman ( a black tomato).  The flavor and texture just seemed better than the others, which were a tad mealy, but still tastier than store bought. The sunshine seemed to be more sporadic last winter than usual, so I am interested to see how things compare this winter.  I plan to do 10-12 tomato plants in the greenhouse--last year I did 6.  I will also keep 3-4 of the Sprite grape tomato plants--the kids have loved the small tomatoes this summer, and the ones from the greenhouse last winter were good, but few in number.  The tomatoes have germinated well, and have just developed their second set of leaves so now I can transplant them into a cell of their own.

Some of the peppers have germinated--they can take up to 3 weeks.  I planted both red and yellow bell peppers, and a few of both varieties are up.  Green peppers are still reasonably priced, even during the winter, but the sweet colored ones are crazy expensive. It looks like I will be able to house at least 6 plants and up to 10 if some more seeds germinate. 

While looking through my leftover seeds, I found some bush baby watermelon that I tried in the garden last year.  They only get about 3 feet around in a "bush" formation.  I threw those all in the flat too, thinking it they sprouted, it would be fun to stick it in their too.  3 little sprouts came up, so I will find a place to put'em.

I bought several different lettuce mixtures last spring--enough to last us through the winter.  So I will soon sow long planters of that so we can harvest them this fall.  I plan to sow some every couple of weeks to keep it in different stages. 

I took Cami out with me last Monday before the wonderful 3 1/2 inch rainfall came and planted beets.  I had around 12 plants germinate last spring, many less than I sowed!! But enough that I was able to make some pickled beets and excite myself in the possibility of doing it again.  I have never tried to plant anything for a fall garden, so this is new terrain for me.  It seems that the beets have sprouted much quicker and consistently than they did in the spring--maybe I planted too early then?  While hoeing the rows, I found a number of onions hanging out in the soil.  The last 2 years I have noted that the tops of my onions were rotting off at the junction to the onion, thus causing me to have to pick them earlier than I thought I should.  But this year I decided our mulch is too close and keeping the moisture on them long enough to do damage.  Will try a different method next year.  Anyway, the onions I found were still small, but edible--and Jeremy used them in the pico de gallo the other day, delish. He is now the pico de gallo king and is fixing it regularly.  I am eating a huge amount of salsa on a chip, hoping to consume more salsa than chips, praying that my jeans will still fit in a couple of months!

But, I'm not just veggie gardening.  The other night we went to a friend's to collect some kittens. She has a FANTASTIC garden and pond.  I was admiring her passion vine (which I have never seen in person before).  It has a fabulous subtle scent.  She talked about planning on trying to root some next spring to make more plants. My inner light bulb went on.  She grabbed a pair of scissors and I went home with a clipping.  I stuck the end in rooting powder and into some tall plastic pots saved from high country garden plants.  The small leaves that were on there haven't wilted yet, so I am hopeful that I will have 2 passion flower vines overwintering in my greenhouse.  I told J that he would have to build me a different arbor, and then I would have to decide where to put the new arbor to show off the vines. . and he just ROLLED his eyes!! Can you believe it? It's a good thing he loves me!!

The cooler temperatures have refreshed  my desire to be out in the gardens! Some weeding is now getting done--it seems that they don't mind the hot temperatures as much as my plants do!  We have decided to rebuild the waterfall this fall or next spring to include a real pond, instead of the pondless resevoir.  We (um, that is--the kids and I) are just dying to have some fish to watch-and I am really excited about trying to do some water plants, and am considering a place to try some bog plants!  Jeremy has Ok'd the project--not that I have to have him "OK" my projects, but if he does, I also know that he will more willling to not complain when I whine about needing some muscle power from him!  I have also decided on the location and am getting a more definite vision in my head--which has got to happen first!  I have located a couple of spots to incorporate a couple of different variety of blue spruce, and a smallish growing white pine tree that I saw at the garden show last spring.  I am finding that these shrubs and hardscaping components are what makes my garden exciting, even in the winter--and is a super addition to keep the birds close enough to my windows that I don't have to look hard to spot them! 

It never hurts to dream!!  This weekend will find my guys at the race track, and I am planning on a day trip to Wichita with a girlfriend and fellow gardening buddy to "dream a little dream" at the cool garden centers that they have in the city!! The coolest part of the trip is that I have been to most of the centers, but she hasn't. And I can HARDLY wait to show her what she has missed out on--I feel like a kid at Christmas!!  Hope everyone is enjoying the promise of fall in the air!  I can assure you that THIS family is!!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Man Vs. Wasp

Some of the peaches are ready to go.  Jeremy directed everyone outside a couple nights ago to salvage all of the peaches from these. . .WASPS!!   Apparantly, they like peaches too, so it was TOTALLY Man VS. Wasp at this homestead!!  Man-- score. . .wasp--zero!!
So, we had the pickers. . .
and the tasters. . though the ones in the little buggy didn't eat much. .the other two ate nearly twice their body weight in peaches.
We picked probably half of the peaches and they are now sitting in walmart sacks all over my kitchen floor, which really un-nerves me!!  I googled freezing peaches whole this afternoon, and found that at least one person has had good luck with that. . and claims that I will never freeze a peach any other way again!! Hope she's right.  I picked through the peaches and took the nicely ripened ones and froze them like she said.  I found the reference on a taste of home website--and pasted it here for my future reference, and possibly yours!!
I did get my cucumber relish done the other day, along with a few dill pickles (I located small pickling cukes at the very bottom of one of those big buckets) and some okra and peppers.  I am on strike from any produce work this weekend, except for the a-forementioned freezing of a sack of ripe peaches.  Cindy, Grandma wrote out some recipes for me today including 2 types of pear honey, pear butter, and pear preserves--so I am excited to try the honey--that has totally intrigued me!!
So instead of working, we went skiing yesterday afternoon and fishing last night and this morning, catching enough to grill for lunch!!  And as if my neck didn't hurt enough from the jolt it got yesterday as I drank water through my nose, after it made a complete cycle through my sinuses and quite possibly the inside of my skull--we are camping out in the yard tonight by the fire pit while devouring smore's like there's no tomorrow!!
Hey, summer will be gone before we know it. .time to soak it up!! Enjoy!

How to freeze peaches!
Let whole, unblemished peaches ripen - dead ripe. (I did not wash first)
2. Arrange whole peaches on a cookie sheet and place in freezer.
3. After peaches have frozen solid; place them in a plastic bag.
4. When you are ready to use, removed the desired number of peaches from the bag, run cold water over frozen peach and slip off the skin.
5. Microwave for 10 to 15 seconds.
6. Slice peaches to use as you desire for cereal toppings, pies or cobbler, ice cream, or simply slice them, add a little sugar if needed and enjoy.

Peaches frozen this way taste just like peaches picked fresh from the tree. IF IN DOUBT, TRY A FEW! You will never freeze peaches any other way again.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Late Summer Garden

The last few weeks have found the garden producing well.  I have been picking lots of okra.  Last week I canned about 8 pints of pickled okra.  I had canned a few jars before that and we tried them out on our vacation--to see if they were any good--we all liked them!! YAY!! We have been frying up a few to eat too.  I think that I will definitely be growing that again next year.
We have picked 2 watermelon.  The first one we ate was pretty good, though I have had better.  The second one is sitting on the counter awaiting a fork!
The tomatos have finally started to amount to something worth picking! The big fat romas will start going into the freezer until salsa making day this fall.  The celebrity tomatoes have been much nicer and I am happier with them now than I was a month ago--I was ready to rip them all out then--they were some ugly tomatos!! Must have been the conditions. .  .surely not the gardener!! They are great now.  I planted a cherry tomato bush too, only because I got a free one from Stutzman's last spring.  The kids are eatin' faster than they can be picked!!  I believe that I will include that in next summer's garden too!
The peppers are producing fairly good.  The purple Pinot Noir peppers from the greenhouse have lots of peppers on them, but they are pretty small.  They are the most beautiful eggplant purple pepper you have ever seen! Puts new meaning into the rhyme "picked a peck of purple peppers!!"  I am sad that there aren't more bell peppers--but after the non-germination and oven fiasco last spring, I had hoped the late seeded ones would be farther along than they are now.  But they aren't.  I think that I will dig them out of the flower bed and pot them up for the greenhouse. If they don't shock too badly, they may produce by Thanksgiving.  The hot peppers have been great. I have canned a few jars.  Jeremy loves the jalepeno rings on anything.  I just use the same brine that goes over the okra--so I usually do a few jars of each.  Last night when I got home from a church youth planning meeting, Jeremy was just beaming.  He had made pico de gallo--without a recipe--just a recollection of how I told him that I was going to make it this week.  What a stud!! It was DELISH!!  We gorged ourselves nearly sick. YUUM!
The peaches (our first peach crop) will be ready to deal with in the next few days.  Any evening the guys (all of them) can be found standing around that tree picking the peaches that the wasps are dining on, munching them down, and throwing the pits over the fence.  I thinkest that, with the right conditions, I may have a lot of small peach trees to be giving away!! :-)
They are a little small, but the taste so far has been good! The birds are checking them too. . and some of the shop customers have been caught with their hand in the peach tree!
Not sure what I will do with them all, but likely will freeze most of them.  Has anyone ever frozen peaches whole, skin and all?? Just wonderin' if I can do that with some of them and then peel them later to cut up and use?  They would certainly skin easier that way--Might just have to experiment!
So Tuesday night when I got home from work, I saw that my mother in law had stopped by with a sack of tomatoes and a large sack of nearly ripe pears (YUCK).  I personally hate pears--it's a texture thing--but my guys love them, so I will need to find something to do with the ones that can't be eaten quickly enough!
our crazy Okie friend brought up five (one, two, three, four, FIVE) 5 gallon buckets full of cucumbers, squash, zucchini, hot peppers, cantalope, tomatoes, and a watermelon!! 1 bucket went on to my dear fanatic canning friend yesterday.  And she was still talking to me today!! So this afternoon finds me trying to deal with all of this food! I have a batch of dill relish and a batch of sweet relish standing in a salt bath for a while before I spice them and can them up.  I will grate and freeze the zucchini, which NO one in this house will eat, unless it is sweetened in a loaf of steaming bread!! The tomatos will be cleaned and frozen, and the hot peppers ringed, brined and canned.  C will enjoy an extra afternoon at the sitter's, which will be much more entertaining to her and a lot more work conducive for her mother!!

So for now--much love from
a Martha Stewart wannabee

Monday, August 16, 2010

Good Friends, Good Fun

It was the time of the year for our annual weekend camping trip to Lake Canton in Oklahoma.  Our family has been going since 1997 (we found the pictures to prove it the other night while browsing the scrapbook, see previous post).  We have only missed 1 year of going.  The friends that go with us change periodically, depending on schedules, but the couple that we went with this weekend has been going faithfully for the last 10 years!  They have 2 daughters that have moved out and to college and one son that is Grant's age.  The coolest thing is that their oldest daughter Marci, has made an effort to come from Wichita the last 3 years to join us, bringing with her her fiance', who became her husband last year.  Cami was quite smitten with "Robber" this year--and maybe he was a little smitten with her too??

Now, we are not fancy campers!!
We sleep in tents, one of them very OLD, with a small hole in the roof--sure glad it didn't rain on us this year--it has happened before!!
We air up mattresses from our cigarette lighters. J and I each have a cot that keeps our old bones off the hard ground. And the kids sleep in sleeping bags!!
We cook over an open fire--always!!
OK, only if we are not cooking in a hole in the ground!!
Yes, he actually BURIED the dutch oven in a hole--and was still able to find the exact location of it to dig it up-despite the recreational drinking :-) It created the best beef roast and veggies that a person might ever eat!
At times we are even a little unconventional--we pay for an electric campground--because those sites are better--but after many years of drinking nasty campfire coffee with grounds in the water--we started bringing the 'ole kitchen coffee pot!! YUUUM! Nothing better than sittin' in your lawn chair, watching the eggs cook while sipping coffee and listening to the wildlife--before the cranky, sleep deprived kids get active!
Most usually we look a little like this. . . HOOOOTT!!
And it was hot on Saturday--the swimming felt good.  But there was not a blasting hot wind killing us, just a gentle breeze the whole weekend.  Saturday night cooled off nicely and Sunday was nice and cool until we left for home by mid afternoon.  And we were sure excited to hear that we had gotten rain at home Saturday night as well--1.3 inches--woot-woot!
This is one of our favorite activities--just hanging out around the fire visiting and sipping whatever new concoction we have dreamt up.  The guys also fished a little and boated and skiied.  There was also a nice sandy beach just a short walk away--which the kids adored.  Cindy and I enjoyed visiting while relaxing in the lawn chairs as Cami napped on the cot under the tree.  The comradery of our families is such a treat.  Everyone pitches in to help cook, clean, set up, clean up and relax.  I am always the camp "nurse" :-)  And anyone who has ever gone with us is familiar with my pink "doctor box" that houses all kinds of things that one might need--even for pooches who get their bandages wet from swimming in the lake.
We are all food consissuers, and our food is always good. .ALWAYS!! Just ask us! We won't lie.
Lane and Cindy are always good about coming up with new and different recipes to try--like that roast in the fire pit under the earth.  I usually stick with stuff like fajitas and biscuits and gravy.  Though I went out on a limb and made stuffed mushrooms and cheesy garlic bread on the grill.
Don't those peppers just make your mouth water!!?? They were AWESOME.
The boys are also into baking cobblers in their dutch ovens.  This year we had cinnamon apple cobbler, chocolate/black cherry cake, and blueberry cobbler. 
Oh, yeah--and what is a good camping trip without smores. .or just roasted marshamallows. .or just leftover chocolate bars that someone gave her because she just has that power over people!!
A good getaway (and some life-giving rain) does good things for a person's soul!