Monday, July 07, 2008

Sassy Raven

Do you know what the best thing about vacation (especially camping vacations) is? Well, I think it's the fresh perspective it gives, right? The whole shift in what's really important. Getting down to the basics. I leave home thinking "I need to have exactly 2 cups of coffee with this much milk and sugar to be happy." and I come home pooh-pooing such anal retentive thinking. Really, sometimes I just get so stuck in a rut and my thinking gets small, but then you get out in the wild and it really makes everything seem so much bigger.

We had a great time up in Ely, made out ok against the bugs and heat and sun... E. went in the water twice with our friends (I forgot my suit)! We also went up to the Bear Center and that was interesting. I'm not sure I'm completely down with using captive animals to educate... but we gave them our money and there was lots of information. That (guy? girl?) raven up there was strutting around all sassy-like and bold. A random shot seems to have captured it.

On to the food. Whee! It was so decadent bringing a !can! of peaches and tupperwares of pre-prepared food. I think we really have entered a new epoch of camping on the land for our family with the purchase of a boat. And while I still grieve the hard core canoeing in and pitching our tent and making it work, I also really appreciate having the (motor)boat and the large screen tent to make it so much easier. Cabin, ho!

Here's what we ate;

Friday night when we got in (after a frantic race to beat the mosquitos as dusk drew down meanwhile corralling 3 past-their-bedtime-kids)-

speedvegan's felafel with lettuce, tomato, tahini sauce and pitas


3/4 C water
1/2 C bulghur wheat
1 can chickpeas, drained
1/3 C breadcrumbs
1 T olive oil
1/2 onion, minced fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T lemon juice
1 t salt
1 t cumin
1 t coriander
1 t cilantro
1 t parsley
1/4 t turmeric

Nuke water until it boils (3-4m). Mix in bulghur, let stand in microwave while you prep the other ingredients.

In food processor, lightly process chickpeas, lemon juice, breadcrumbs and salt, scraping down sides to ensure even processing.

Nuke bulghur 2m or until water is absorbed.

In a medium bowl, combine ingredients from food processor with bulghur. Set aside.

Saute onion, then garlic. Add cumin, coriander, turmeric, cilantro and parsley. Mix in bulghur mixture, adding water a scant 1/4 C at a time until it is mixed together and sticks in a spoon shape when you remove the spoon. Refrigerate while you make sauce (see below).

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake small balls of felafel (16 - 20) on greased baking sheet. Bake 30m.

tahini sauce;
1/4 C tahini
1/2 C water or more as needed
1 T lemon juice
1/2 t salt
1 clove garlic

Blend. This kept well in the cooler and made everything taste better.

This meal was so great because I made everything at home and so we didn't have to break out the pans and it was all ready to go. We kind of ate in stages as people were freed up from setting up camp/getting kids down for the night. Really good.

Saturday morning this Peach Blueberry Campout Crumble

3/4 C rolled oats
1/4 C sliced almonds
1 can sliced peaches in juice
1 heaping T cornstarch
1/2 t nutmeg
1 oz dried blueberries

Before going;
Put blueberries and nutmeg in a container.
Put oats and almonds in another container.
Put nutmeg and cornstarch in container.

At camp;
Toast almonds and oats. Set aside.
Dump juice into pan and warm. In it's container mix a little water into the cornstarch so that it's pourable. Pour into juice while whisking constantly. Add blueberries and bring up heat until thickened and blueberries are plump. Stir in peaches and mix until warm. Divide mixture into bowls and top with oats and almonds.

This made a nice change from our usual oatmeal. It was hearty, too. The cornstarch was a little lumpy but when you're camping things like that don't phase you.

Saturday lunch pitas (I froze half of the pitas in foil in a Ziploc and they thawed in the cooler by then), hummus, flax meal crackers, carrots and snap peas from our csa. The crackers were a hit! We'll hope that baking them didn't kill all the good juju from the flax meal.

Saturday night
bean bulghur burgers from D. our friend. They were a little crumbly, but that always seems to be an issue.
These were really good! She froze them and they had thawed by that night. We had them with tomato and avacado on bread and they tasted great and were really filling! Then we had Fruit Cobbler, which was less exciting than I had hoped. But it was still good and a fun dessert for camping. Perhaps with a little less bread topping, a different dough (there's got to be a vegan bisquick recipe, right? I used the low fat Bisquick which is vegan.). The top stayed doughy and so we cooked it a long time, but then the fruit burned to the bottom. Oh noes.

2 C dried fruit (I used organic dried cherries and blueberries)
1 T sugar
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
1/4 C walnuts, chopped

2 C low fat Bisquick
1/3 C soymilk powder
1/3 C brown sugar
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t allspice
1/4 C Earth Balance

Bag each group seperately.
At camp;
cover fruit with water, bring to a boil and cook until just tender (4-6m)
Add a little water to dough and mix in bag.
Squeeze dough over fruit and cover. Cook 8m.

Then Sunday morning we had D.'s bars, which were great. Again, I will have to get the recipe- they were made with local honey, oats, cranberries, peanut butter and chocolate chips. Great tasting and great fuel. Also great for kids.

Then we ate lunch leftover crackers and hummus at a rest area on the way home.

That's it for now, csa pics later.

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