"Those who forget the pasta are condemned to reheat it." ~Unknown

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Camp Namanu: The 2010 Sunday Dinner Edition

What a week that was. Cy and I are back from camp both tired and thrilled. As always the food was good but this year there were some interesting new ideas. Our grandparents, Memaw and Bamp, are visiting from Kentucky and I wanted to share with them some of our favorite meals from camp.
So for an entrée tonight we find ourselves eating mandogs, something my counselor dreamed up for a cookout. What we did was cook our hot dogs then we put them in tinfoil with pizza topping, marinara sauce (on the stove as we speak), cheese, pepperoni and onion. And it was even better under a starry sky on a cliffs edge, the lights of Portland glowing in the distance.
Then there were the Cheese Zombies, these were a side dish for lunch one day. Cheese Zombies are a lot like cinnamon rolls except, unlike cinnamon rolls, these guys are savory. Instead of a cinnamon sugar mix coating the inside there is cheese. Yummy, wonderful, melted cheese.
For desert we'll have a Camp Namanu classic, Namanu Delight. This is essentially a Jello salad consisting of multiple kinds of Jello, mini marshmallows and the ever important whipped cream. Mmmmmmmmmm.

Right now the marinara is cooking on the stove and the Cheese Zombies have just been pulled from the oven and are still warm, butter brushed on their tops. The grill has been started, the marinara is done and we're just waiting on that grill to start our mandogs. Dad stepped into the garden to harvest half a dozen ears of corn at the last minute.

The dogs are done with their pre-cook and the cream is whipping for our Namanu Delight. Dad and I are making the hobo pack pizza mish-mashes with the dogs, the marinara, cheese pepperoni and olive oil like an assembly line, while everyone else watches the Emmy's in the living room. This dinner will be as good, if not better, than the cookout with my cabin up at Ranch.

That was an excellent meal. We definitely improved upon the original Cheese Zombies but sadly the mandogs were a step down from the originals, many steps down in fact, (though they were still good). While the Zombies were cheesier (hahahahaha) than the originals, the mandogs needed to be cheesier and less sauce-y, I think being served under a star-filled sky in the forest helped the flavor too. The Namanu Delight was excellent, and the increase in serving size from what you get at camp was also a definite improvement.

And in our memories
Dear to our hearts will be
Camp Namanu's sure to shine
All of the time

For those who are interested here's a link to Camp Namanu's website:

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Summer Camp

Cooking up a feast for mom and dad on Sunday nights is so much fun and so rewarding. Tonight though they'll have to cook up their own feast, Cy and I won't be home. We'll be at Camp Namanu where the silvery sandy flows.

We are the mountain crew
We like to sleep on dew
We like to hike, fish, swim and paddle a canoe

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Summer's Oppressive Heat Hit Us, Hard

Finally, it's all back to normal. Just the five of us (seven if you want to count the dogs), at home, in the kitchen. It's nice to finally be back to normal. Finally back to the routine.
Just Dad and Cy in the kitchen, pulling out the spinal cord of a marinating chicken, now that, you don't see every day.
Tonight Cy's making lemon-garlic marinated chicken and it was the smell of the lemon zest that drew me out of the cool depths of the basement into the too hot kitchen to start writing this. The zest of citrus fruits is probably one of the most under rated things one can find in a produce department. Zest is essentially just the uppermost bit of the peel of the citrus fruit. It can impart the idea of citrus in even the smallest amounts and the smell, I wouldn't be surprised if people in Seattle knew we were zesting a lemon. Zest is pretty strong stuff, and there's a lot in the marinade tonight.

With the marinade done and grill at perfect coals Dad and Cy are working out how to translate the current oven recipe to a grill. I point out that the potatoes are probably becoming overdone. They ignore me.
They put the chicken on the grill and wait and wait and wait. This dinner just seems to be a waiting game. Then just like that BAM! it's ready.

Hmm. That was good. Excellent salad, potatoes creamy beyond belief (the netted gem variety), and a chicken flavor rampant with explosive lemon essence, and cold slightly melted Ice Cream for desert, mmmmmmmm. We ate in the cool depths of the basement tonight, summer's oppressive heat hit us, hard.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Good Thing We Remembered Matches!

Another Sunday has come and gone. Sorry I neglected to mention that we would be camping on Sunday, with our cousins.
Out near La Pine where we were camping in the high desert of Eastern Oregon it gets very warm during the day before the mercury plummets with the sun. After spending the day swimming and exploring "lava casts", the tunnels left behind when lava flows around trees, hardens and the trees die and rot away, not to mention almost getting your ankle smashed by a loose boulder, I was hungry, everybody else was too.
The day before we left I asked myself what could feed our troop of hungry family. My answer, hobo packs!
Hobo packs are a boy scout classic in large thanks to they're relative simplicity. (The Boy Scouts don't offer a cooking badge ... as far as I know). The trick to hobo packs is chopping the ingredients the right size and then wrapping them in enough tinfoil that the flames don't break through and burn your food leaving a carbon taste in your mouth, same idea as making your marshmallows golden brown. Then you send it into the fire hoping your dinner doesn't go up in smoke. That's the theory anyways.

Once I had built a fire large enough it was a pell-mell rush (knife in hand) to chop all the garlic, (freshest garlic I've ever seen) butter, bell peppers, onions, pearl potatoes, and the excellent sausage from Otto's, I can smell it all cooking in the fire.

The hobo pack was quite good. The potatoes were wonderful and creamy and the sausages were delectable. The hardest part of this dinner was getting the food out of the fire. Both Dad and I roasted our fingers to medium rare before we got that thing out of the fire. But I suppose we got off lucky, after all, we did have matches.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Return From AK, Without Enough Fish

Well, I'm back! I got back from Alaska yesterday afternoon and stepped from the climate controlled airport into, the tropics? After two weeks in Ketchikan it's a little weird to be home but good.

The fishing wasn't very good while I was up there, we only had two keepers, (a silver salmon and a halibut). At least the scenery was amazing. At one point while we made our way to a good halibut spot we passed within five feet of Pancake Rock, A round flat expanse in the middle of our anchorage. Understandably I was worried, five feet away, how deep could it be? My uncle wasn't worried though, he just spun a fishfinder so I could see it, this particular one also showed depth soundings. The reading? 206 ft/68 yd. My fears disappeared, unjustified.

It was unlike any other part of the world, it was just so far away.