Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
I started out the weekend with a trip to the grocery store and made a big batch of homemade mac and cheese from a recipe my mom gave me a few years ago. It's the one she always used when I was a kid. I have been making a big push to not use mixes anymore. Boxed mac and cheese is absolutely disgusting and likely has more in common with motor oil than cheese. When I make things from scratch, I can cut out a lot of the crap I can't pronounce from the outside of the box along with the salt content.
Saturday morning, I knocked out a batch of scratch-made drop biscuits and gravy. I received a Lodge cast iron drop biscuit pan from my in-laws for Christmas and I'd been itching to try it out. The biscuits came out great and we ate the extras throughout the weekend.
Saturday afternoon I made a batch of chili. The same recipe I won an office chili contest with a couple months ago, only I toned down the heat considerably. I also made a key lime pie for dessert. My first attempt at pie, making one or even eating one. I'm notoriously weird about food, so this was a big deal. We ate it and drank Moscow Mules out by the backyard fire pit that evening with our neighbor Bob.
Sunday, up bright an early. watched some cartoons with the kiddo for a bit, drank some pour-over coffee from the Hario V60 coffee maker and waited for the Mrs. to rise and shine. When she got up, I pawned the kid off on her and made some scratch Belgian waffles. My first time not using Bisquick to make them. I cut the box out of my pancakes a few months ago, but hadn't had the chance to on waffles just yet. They were considerably better than the off-the-shelf variety.
I also got a little done on the rowing peapod model. I'm about three ribs deep on lashing it up. With eleven lashings per rib, it's going a little slow.
It's weird how similar cooking is to boat building in my mind. If you can follow a simple recipe, you can build a boat. Like making food, a boat is just a series of smaller tasks that eventually add up to something greater.
Monday, January 19, 2015
We started off the trip by hitting up the Swiss Inn in Lebanon, Missouri. After stuffing our faces, we headed to our weekend's destination and set up camp. Brian often makes soups for out camp dinners well ahead of time and freezes them. He then plops them down in a Dutch oven over the fire or on a camp stove and we end up eating really well. I made cornbread and biscuits ahead of time, as well.
Up Saturday morning to a breakfast of potatoes, eggs, bacon and biscuits. Then we hit the 8.5 mile Wilderness Loop Trail for the day. The Wilderness Trail is a nice meandering walk in the woods. It has a little elevation change, but nothing like what we are used to doing in northern Arkansas. There were springs, caves and creeks aplenty, as well a couple nice glades and pine stands.
The ice on the creeks was so thick in places, it begged testing out how thick.
Sunday morning, breakfast followed by more hiking on the shorter trails around the campground. Darren had gotten up earlier than the rest of us and discovered a snake back in a cave. It must have become active during the warm day on Saturday only to have to seek shelter when night fell and the air got well below freezing again.
The Meramec River (See October 2011 post for fishing and kayaking pics).
Sycamore trees along the river.
300+ year old burr oak.
Thanks to Brian D. and Darren G. for another great trip and especially to Darren for the heart felt embarrassment (you arsehole). It was a good trip. Lots of walking, scenery, a couple mom'n'pop restaurants hit and fun BS-ing around the campfire.
For more info on Meramec State Park, copy this link into your web browser: http://mostateparks.com/park/meramec-state-park