Monday, 12 October 2015

Campfire Apple Crumble

Everybody's good at doing something, and I'm not good at following instructions.
I just wanted to see if baking apple crumble works on a campfire in a Dutch oven. Without first looking on the internets to see how it already been done and how.

We've certainly been lucky with plenty of apples to experiment with this season!

I wanted to see if we could make this a camping friendly recipe.
One where you could grab a basket of apples, pre-measured and packaged sugar/flour/cinnamon mix and a knob of butter and off you go.
I also thought that mushing the butter into the mixture within the bag was a great way to keep hands clean and busy round the fire.
Next time, I'll mix all the dry ingredients in the bowl before putting them into the bags to ensure even mix.
(One bag for coating the apples and another for the crumble topping.)

Chopping and peeling the apples takes quite a long time, but hanging out in the garden by the fire with my Hubby beat chopping in front of The Real Housewives on tele. Love them as I do; this was much better.

Yes. Mixing the butter in the bag was a good idea. And a good job for the kids to help with.

Do NOT do this. 

Place Dutch oven in the warm coals, moving out of direct fire. Or even on a grate above the fire.
Our crumble had essence de fire pit from getting a bit burnt. It would have been better to exercise patience and allow for slow cooking.

Still, it was good, and it worked.

There is just something about cooking out on the fire even though we have a perfectly good oven indoors.
Perhaps it's nostalgia of times gone by, embedded in our genes.
It feels so right and tastes so good.
Not too cold and not yet too dark.
Apples+Fire=Totally Autumnal Warm and Fuzzies

Monday, 28 September 2015

Blow Your Mindfulness

Last weekend, we woke up to a gorgeous fog that had settled on the spider webs, showcasing them in the garden for just a bit of the earlier morning.
I could see this from the windows and felt the excitement.
(To clarify, this level of excitement was close to snow-day excitement.)
This happens once or twice a year and every time, I go out with the camera, crawling and tiptoeing around in my dressing gown; observing and snapping pictures, nagging at the family to "Come Look! Come On!"
Did I really need to go out and look around when I've seen spider webs before?
And did I really need more pictures of spider webs to clog up our computer and the Internet?

And it really blew my mind. 
Just like the times before.

Observing the intricate patterns and delicately strong threads strung all over our garden put me into quite a nice place.
Allowing myself the luxury of stopping and looking, checking out those details; I'm pretty sure I entered that Mindfulness place.

On day two of the foggy weekend, my littlest man agreed to join me after my cajoling. 
(In his pyjamas, crocs and socks on his hands of course. I think that he was trying to outdo me in the garden fashion competitions.)

I showed him how a spider web took the opportunity to web over the door of the playhouse over night.
We had been frolicking outside the night before and they had forgotten to close the door.

Rather than get annoyed, he came up with a super fun game.
When they were playing in the garden on the previous evening, he had come up with a challenge for himself and his siblings. 
The challenge was to crawl, slither and hide along the walls and try to avoid setting off the sensors on the garden lights.
If you managed to get into the back door without setting them off, you win.
He won a lot. 
So, he took the fog laced web as laser beams and attempted to enter the play house without disturbing the web.

The strings of the web spread to each corner of the porch, but he manoeuvred his way through that.

Nearly there.

He's through, but at the last moment, his foot tripped "a wire" and the web collapsed upwards.

He was a bit disappointed, but most of the web was still intact.

So overall it was an impressive manoeuvre. 

Sunday, 13 September 2015

The Exceptional Shopper

When I say that I hate shopping; know that there are some exceptions.
I love window shopping when it is good. 
And it was good in Virginia.