Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Campfire Cooking

We love campfire cooking and had some fabulous meals while we were tenting it in Maine. The Kitchen Genius loves campfire steak best so that was a must have dinner along with salt encrusted potatoes wrapped in foil and cooked in the coals.

The firepit was just a few feet from the lake so our "kitchen" view was pretty awesome.

The town of Winthrop where we stayed has a twice a week farmers market. Cooler space was at a premium so I restrained myself to ingredients for a nice salad and a loaf of homemade bread (heating up in foil over the fire above).

I bought some strawberries for snacking that made their way into some yummy strawberry banana pancakes for breakfast.

Of course the boys had to have bacon and we actually had electricity at this campground so we brought our electric griddle. It was so convenient we cooked breakfast several days instead of just eating cereal like we usually do.

We didn't rough it every night. My brother Scott and his wife Shayna invited us over to their house for dinner and my step-father Tom sprang for lobsters. Despite a violent thunderstorm and the torrential rain that began the second the food was ready to eat, we had quite a feast.

KG had a hankering for mussels so he cooked up six pounds of his Dijon mussels.

My brother Scottie fired up his smoker to cook two whole chickens for my kids who don't like seafood. I want a smoker of my own now.

Because it's not only fun, but the chicken was DELICIOUS! It was tender, juicy and smokey from an internal campfire. Pretty cool.

Scott and Shayna got chickens about three weeks after we did. They chose Rhode Island Reds. Aren't these two girls beautiful?

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Much Needed Vacation in Maine

Thank you to all my blogger friends for your lovely words about my sweet Bonnie girl. We miss her a whole bunch, and I suspect we always will. Coming to spend a week on a lake in Maine was a really good idea for all of us. (Thanks Mom and Tom for treating us!!!)

There hasn't been much imaginative food going on at our house. I took on a new writing gig for the summer that has doubled my weekly deadlines and I have literally been writing day and night trying to do two weeks worth of stories in the week before I left. Then after Bonnie died, it was all take out, all the time.

We didn't arrive at Augusta West Kampground in Winthrop, Maine until about 5 p.m. on Saturday. By the time we finished setting up our tents and blowing up our air mattresses it was too late to cook dinner.

Thankfully, my brother Scott is the manager of Amato's Pizza and Sub Shop and he brought over a pile of pizzas for us to eat that night. This eggplant one was my favorite.

And of course I had a big glass of wine. It was so cold and windy, the lake was as choppy as Cape Cod Bay...

Here's Scott and his wife Shayna doing "the happy dance" because we're here to spend a week with them.

The weather was much nicer yesterday and we spent the whole afternoon just relaxing by the lake...or in it...

It really is all about the lake. Here's Julie and Gary out in a paddleboat:

Tommy has already spent hours on this dock fishing.

And here's Steve's big catch:

Obviously that wasn't big enough for dinner, so I made a big bowl of pasta with fresh tomato and zucchini sauce. I just fine chopped some tomatoes and zucchini that I bought at a local farm stand and added a big drizzle of olive oil and some lightly sauteed garic and scallions. The official recipe is here. It's a summery meal that's easy to do even when you're camping...

Thanks again for all your kind words. I'm sneaking off to use the internet at my brother's house, so I don't have the time (or internet connection) to visit all my blogger friends this week, but I can't wait to see what you've all been up to.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Rest In Peace, Sweet Bonnie

This post is for my family and friends who follow my blog because I'm too sad to actually talk about this and it seems easier to write it just once, rather than send emails to everyone.

Our Bonnie died this afternoon. She was 13, and the most loving and good natured dog I've ever known. She also had a great big personality, and as a proper Sheltie, treated our kids like her sheep and herded them every chance she could when she was younger. We have so many good memories.

Steve and I both held her as she passed and it seemed peaceful for her, but it was torture for us. Even when you think you are prepared and you know what is coming, I guess nothing really prepares you for the pain of the actual event. It was 1000 times harder than I expected, and I am a million times more heartbroken than I ever imagined...