Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Camping in the Rain With No Exciting Pictures (But Hermits)

Let's get this straight:  my family was camping in a crude little cabin, but there was no heat in that chilly rain and there were large gaps in the walls even if I had gone out and bought a space heater.  Madness, considering that the cold and rain lasted just 24 hours and we have a space heater at home.  I don't really know how cold it was because there's precious little cell reception in the mountains and I was too distracted by trying to keep warm and keep Phoebe warm.  Genevieve reports that she saw her breath inside the cabin.  We definitely were not prepared for wet winter!

You know, oddly, we mostly had a really good time.  We even got to end camp on a sunny day with a boat ride for Phoebe.
I found these blurry pictures on my phone, not even sure who took them. Once the rain started, I just shriveled and did not take pictures.
 We pretty much followed the same lists as last year, except that I forgot the percolator cord and the hot dogs.  And long underwear, for crying out loud.

Ryan told me how to make Mexican coffee and it turned out so well:  3 mugfuls of water in a cooking pot with 6 heaping tablespoons of ground coffee.  Bring to a boil with the lid on.  Boil a minute and then turn off the heat to let the grounds settle. Pour into mugs, leaving the grounds behind in the pot.

Also, Christy mixed her French toast milk and egg liquid together and froze it before packing it for camp.  She said it worked just fine.  I'm going to do that next year for my pancake wet mixture.  And pack long underwear, too.

I always take along some snacky foods, even though the kids are filling up with junk from the camp store.  This year, it was apples, peaches, popcorn, and hermits.  The hermits are a hit, kind of like a molasses brownie.

Hermit Bars (original recipe from here)

Cream together in mixing bowl:
1/2 cup sugar (or 2/3 cup if you like sweeter bars) 
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter, soft
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. salt

Add and beat again:
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup baking molasses

Stir in:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup raisins

Press mixture (it will be very stiff) in greased 9x13 baking pan.  Bake at 350F for 15-18 minutes until bars are just barely pulling away from edges.  Do not overbake!  Cut into bars when cool.

Notes:  I use 2 cups whole wheat all-purpose flour for 2 of the 3 cups of flour in this recipe and in many baking recipes that are leavened with baking soda and baking powder.  You can use a cup of whole wheat pastry flour (soft wheat) and a cup of whole wheat bread flour (hard wheat) and that should work fine.
Baking molasses is mild in flavor.  If you want a deeper flavor, use 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses and 1/4 cup baking molasses.


Megan said...

Oh those groovy orange/yellow/green floral plates. Those are what I have in my kitchen. :)

Hazel said...

I've never heard of Hermit bars but I like molasses, I'll have to try them.
Glad you survived the weather (pack long underwear next time ;-) )

Becky said...

To be fair, no one expected August to end in Winter. At least you weren't in a tent in that business.

Jenny said...

Too bad about the weather. I'm glad you all had fun despite. Thanks for the hermit bar recipe!

e said...

Honestly, I'm jealous that you had rain!

Every time we camp (or so it seems) something is left behind. But, really, who would have packed long johns at this time of year??? You weren't in Alaska or the Yukon for crying out loud! I hope it was still fun.

Lana said...

My fondest memory of camping as a child was an entire week of nonstop rain. My sister and I had an old army tent with cots and no floor. Unknown to us all was that we set the tent on a creek bed that was dry. In the middle of the night we awoke to a creek flowing through our tent and our cots leaning precariously in the mud. Much screaming and Dad rescued us. That did not deter us and we still stayed the entire week. Dad put plastic in the bottom of our tent and we could see the water running underneath. We had an absolute blast that week and I am not sure why. Another time when we were young married we took my great aunt camping. We had a hard freeze in April in Florida that weekend. Once again a fantastic weekend huddled around a campfire with a tarp strung up to block the wind. Even great auntie has fond memories! So, your kids likely think they had the greatest time ever!

jenny_o said...

It sounds like you managed well, but this is precisely why I do not like to camp - I love my creature comforts!! Good for you - your kids will have great memories no matter what. Living closer to nature, even for a short while, is completely different from being home.

Polly said...

We tent camped for the first time ever as a family a couple weekends ago. My husband packed my electric kettle so I could have my tea in the morning! So thoughtful, especially because it was cooolllld when we camped, too. Not "see your breath" cold, but still very chilly for August here.

I might try the hermit bars--have never heard of those!

Sarah Barry said...

I love that you took a tablecloth camping. I want you to do a post on tablecloths as I'm trying to get into them, but feel like it is one more thing to wash.

Margo said...

Sarah, what I really need to do is a post on laundry. I actually started one and it's so complicated, I got bogged down. I'll try again!

The tablecloth I took camping is vinyl, so it's just wipe-able.

BLD in MT said...

Ha! Yes, seeing your breath INSIDE is always sort of a trip! That is chilly! Glad you had some fun regardless. On our last trip we woke on the last evening to snow covering the trees, the tent, and well, everything! Jeepers. I guess it is getting on in the year...


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