Sunday, March 24, 2013

3rd Annual Wild Game Dinner

"Go afield with a good attitude, with respect for the wildlife you hunt and for the forest and fields in which you walk.  Immerse yourself in the outdoor experience. It will cleanse your soul and make you a better person."
-Fred Bear  1902-1988

The outdoor experience was re-lived at the dinner table Saturday evening.  Sharing the harvest with family & friends is another great moment in the succession of events that begins with the planning of a hunting trip well before season opens.

Don mans the grill. 

Moose tenderloin from Newfoundland Canada. Marinated in soy sauce & brown sugar and grilled with the bacon wrap.  If someone ever offers you one of these, do not, and I mean, DO NOT turn it down!

Ready to serve.

Wild turkey from Michigan.  I was so busy preparing this I forgot to take a photo of the finished product.  However, it is best described as Greek seasoned turkey with a artichoke & sun-dried tomato reduction sauce & topped with kalamata olives & feta cheese. Don't turn this one down either!

The table is set and the kids are gathering.

"Please pass the moose!"

And if dinner wasn't good enough!  There's more...

Game night participants

No photo, but Don's Buffalo dip with squirrel & wild turkey meat was as good as any I've ever eaten.
Looking forward to the 4th annual dinner.  However, we've got to head to the woods first to acquire the ingredients.  So lets start planning Don!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Amped to Camp

Winter!  Some people love it and I suppose the rest... don't. Perhaps some folks are indifferent about winter but maybe they are hibernating because it seems most people have an opinion and don't mind sharing.  Perhaps you won't mind if I share mine.  I love winter. 

This years seventh annual winter camping trip was in jeopardy.  With the weather milder than a sloth on Valium, our opportunities to camp were as bleak as the dark blacks, browns & grays of the woods.  We needed some cold weather and some snow to remind us we actually don't live in the banana belt.  Thankfully, it happened.  Ten beautiful inches dropped on Pittsfield.

Actually, I'd resigned myself to the likelihood that this winter's camping trip wasn't going to happen and my enthusiasm had dropped to almost zero.  Colder than the weather.  Then on Wed. morning I heard the forecast for snow and decided to call Bruce.  Hearing the weather forecast boosted my excitement a notch or two but talking to Bruce is like getting a booster shot of enthusiasm when it comes to adventure!  So, phone calls went out to fellow campers of years past.  Unfortunately, not all could make it because of other commitments and short notice.  Here are some photos.
Conditions were ideal. About 10 inches of snow.  Temp in the high 20's Friday night and 11 degrees on Saturday morning.  The woods we camped in are off to the right of this gravel road.

What do you need to camp in the snow?  A good sleeping bag, skillet and nice selection of stuff you can't see in that green backpack!!

Rob & Robert gather some firewood.  Setting up camp next to a downed Osage Orange tree is always a good plan.

Next, start on the food.  It's a pretty integral part of the proceedings.  Emily slices the peppers...

Andy takes care of the onions.  The camera flash lights the area only for a moment of course.  The headlamp Andy wears is vital in this onion chopping process.
Another of the highlights.  Conversation.  Most any discussion with Andy will be interesting despite the impression Anthony might give you.

Emily finishes her vegetables for stir frying as I discuss who knows what.

Our grill grate sits over a bed of coals supported by 3 Osage Orange blocks.  As good as any gas range or electric stove top and only slightly less convenient.  Actually, it might be more convenient as the grease splatterings don't have to be wiped up!  The stir fry and chicken & black bean soup tasted as good as they look in this photo.

 Cajun seasoned venison brats.

Surrounded by coals, the dutch oven holds our desert.

A can of pineapple, butter, can of cherries, butter, box of cake mix and butter.  It's so good.  And we need the calories!  It's cold out there!!

My bed for the night.  And how do you like that!  Turn-down service.  

Emily has a spot by the creek.  Looks cozy and inviting wouldn't you say??

This is how you keep warm.  Except after the photo you pull the bag a little higher!

Sat. AM.  The early risers were Kenrick & Anthony.  Those fellows were sawing logs (literally) somewhere around 5 AM.

There was a pretty good quantity of firewood that went on the fire due to the 
endeavors of ...  Kenrick

... and Anthony.   And Andy too for that matter.

Breakfast will be soon.

Cinnamon rolls are becoming a staple since Doug started tradition.  

Andy in front, then L-R...  Anthony, Rob, Kenrick, Emily & Eldon

Bruce takes my spot for this photo.

I didn't see this but perhaps someone found some ice on the creek?

About time to break up camp but you just can't let a campfire go out without some marshmallows.

Thanks for all the fun guys & Emily.  Hope to see you next year along with Don & Doug.

Thanks Bruce for all the photos in this blog.