This last weekend was the first of the summer we got out for our favorite activity. We got up on Saturday morning, packed up the car, and took off for the mountains through Monday to come back sunburned and grimy and happy and refreshed. We’ve been tossing and turning some game plans for our next couple years, and took the down time to hammer out decisions.
We drove down around Mt Rainier National Park, which is always beautiful. Then we cruised down the other side of the Cascades out of the mountain air until it was warm, and found a place to camp. The next day we spent bouncing from fishing hole to fishing hole around Naches and Yakima, before 4-wheeling our way into a ‘campsite’ on a lake for the next night.
I tried some new camping foods out this time. I’m a huge fan of simple camping food. Give me a brat, some potato chips and a couple marshmallows or some bacon and eggs charred over the fire and I’m good to go. We try to see if we can go a whole trip without ever lighting up the campstove (we did get lazy and use it to boil water one morning this time…). But it’s nice to mix things up some. So I messed around with foil-wrapped-stuff-in-the-coals. To go with brats or the fish Ryan caught, I had pre-made potato packets. Sliced potatoes, a little chopped onion and tomato and thyme, and plenty of salt and pepper. Wrap it all in two layers of foil, and throw them in the fire. For the fish we sliced up a lemon and grated some garlic salt and threw it in the fire with the potatoes. Yum.
But here’s the real reason we’re here chatting. We made fire-baked orange blueberry muffins. Fire baked. Orange. Blueberry. Muffins. In the woods, sleeping on the ground, eating a few bugs with every meal, and we made muffins.
(My camera battery died, so bear with me and the iphone photos here.)
Know that if I was willing to do this while camping, it’s a pretty simple process and anyone could do it.
First, you make plain old blueberry muffin batter, the simpler the better. I had the dry ingredients together in a bag, and a jar of the wet ingredients (including the blueberries), and mixed the two together that morning. The jar of wet ingredients had been in the cooler, and so the coconut oil was pretty solid, so I set the jar next to the fire until it thawed out and I could mix it all together. Or you could also just get a box of just-add-water blueberry muffin mix, which would make this even simpler.
Then you take orange peels that you’ve sliced in half and scraped all the flesh out, and fill one half with batter. (I had cut and emptied the orange peels at home and had them all in a bag in my cooler ready to go.
It looks kinda unappetizing here but just transport yourself to the stage of being soo hungry and out in the forest, etc.
Match the other half of the orange over it, and firmly wrap the whole thing in foil. Drop it into the hot coals. The orange peels insulate the muffin (I use the term muffin loosely) from the heat and give off wonderful citrus aroma. Wait about 10-15 minutes, during which time you can make your coffee and roast some sausage.
Finally, fish them out of the coals and set them out to cool a little before opening them and eating them out of the peel with a fork. They are moist and delicious and now I want to do the same thing only with chocolate cake batter. This could be a dangerous hobby.