Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Campfire Cooking II

We had the privilege of a four generational camping trip this last weekend. I owe much of my love of the outdoors and adventure to my mom's parents, Grandpa and Grandpa Knudtsen, so it was an absolute joy to camp with them and watch them ignite the excitement in another generation. Grandma refuses to slow down, so even at 78, so she initiated hop scotch, squirrel in a tree (a family game), treasure hunts on the beach, swimming in the lake, tea parties, biology of crayfish and caterpillars lessons, and more. Most of her rendezvous were with Eva, who is completely enamored with "Grandma Whatsy" (Eva's special nickname) and cannot wait to go camping with her again. She tells me that, "You probably think that stuff is boring, but Grandma Whatsy doesn't." I told her that Grandma Whatsy taught me (almost) everything I know about outside stuff, and that I wish I still had the eyes of a child!

Anyway, more pictures to come from that trip, but the subject of this post is COOKING. So, here we go with some of our campfire creations at Father Hennepin State Park. We were celebrating my dad, sister, and brother in law's birthdays on Friday night, so we splurged a little and maximized the yum!

The menu for the evening was steak, veggie k-bobs, fruit salad with mint vinaigrette, and mississippi mud cake. We also had Newman's Own organic sparkling lemonade, which I highly recommend for a summer treat.

When it comes to steak, the cut is so important (not that I'm any expert about beef or anything...)! I didn't marinate these, but because Eric and Jon carefully watched and did not overcook them, they turned out amazing. A good cut + diligent grilling = carnivore's heaven.

I seasoned the veggies (zucchini, bell peppers, and baby bella mushrooms) lightly with garlic pepper, and threw them on the fire. Initially, the veggies were over the open fire, but the men changed direction mid course and put the meat over the flame and the veggies over the charcoal. Don't you like the way they rigged up a little charcoal grill off the side of the fire pit?
If you're curious about mint fruit salad, here is the link and a lovely picture. The salad is light, but the several unique flavors mingled together make it very intriguing. It is best after chilling overnight!

The birthday boys and girls picked their cake- Mississippi Mud. I was a little nervous to try this recipe, since one can never get measurements to be exact when you're camping, but it turned out delicious. There was a layer of yellow cake, a creamy chocolate pudding, and the topping was walnuts and chocolate chips. Of course the topping-topping was whipped cream. You can never go wrong with whipped cream, right?!? I made this in the dutch oven, but I didn't snap a picture until it was all out and lit up. Looks like fun!
Since this was a birthday bash, I toted along a fitting centerpiece. Eric complained the entire two hour car trip about how "stinky" the flowers were, but they looked beautiful and rustic for our outdoor dinner party. Many thanks to my neighbor, who's gardens provided the cheery blooms.

We ate, opened presents, laughed, and talked... and a good time was had by all!

****More pics to come soon, including a few more interesting campfire creations and lots of caterpillars****


Erin said...

yay! the steak was AWESOME! I've become an even bigger fan of the dutch oven after this trip too.
Thanks for a memmorable birthday dinner, bec!

rob said...

Looks delicious! Thanks for the unique posts!


Anonymous said...

I remember your Grandma Knudson's flower walks at BTR from year ago in Colorado! I learned a lot of outdoor stuff from her, too. My husband, Paul and I just got back from a week long vacation in Colorado and we saw lots of wildflowers. I told Paul about your grandma and how much I learned about flowers from her such as: the pink elephant flowers and lady slippers and wild columbines! :)
I miss you all and those sweet BTR memories.
Elizabeth Bishop Holton