Monthly Archives: November 2014

Snoqualmie Falls Oatmeal Pancakes

Oatmeal_Pancake_StackThis weekend, we got our first snow of the season and oatmeal pancakes sounded like a warm, hearty way to start the morning. As I write this, its 25°F outside, which is cold for us.

I love Snoqualmie Falls Lodge Oatmeal so I decided to use it for the pancakes and named my pancake recipe accordingly. It’s hearty, farm oatmeal, has really good flavor, and is pretty forgiving. (We used it a couple months ago to feed more than 100 Girl Scouts and it performed perfectly; not too hard; not too mushy. As Goldilocks would say, it was “just right.”) But use any oatmeal you like. I suppose you could even use instant, but fresh is always best.

We love our traditional pancake recipe but its fun to change things up now and then. We like these pancakes and they would be great on a crisp autumn morning campout. They have good flavor and the cooked oatmeal provides some texture. And don’t be afraid to spice them up. Next time we make these, we want to add a little cinnamon, nutmeg and a finely diced apple. Adding these flavors to oatmeal is a classic combination.

 

Equipment

2-burner propane stove

Small saucepan for the oatmeal

2-3 medium bowls

Whisk

Griddle, preferably cast-iron

Pancake flipper

Measuring cups and spoons

 

Ingredients

¾ cup oat flour

1 cup flour

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

¾ teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 ¼ cup whole milk

1 tablespoon honey

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup cooked oatmeal*

 

* Cooked Oatmeal

2 cups boiling water

1 cup oats

Pinch of salt

Bring water and salt to a boil, stir in the oatmeal, turn the heat down to medium low, and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 

Prep

Prepare oatmeal according to the instructions on the package. Make enough to yield 1 cup.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Set aside.

In a second mixing bowl, mix together the melted butter, cooked oatmeal and honey. (If your oatmeal is fresh and hot, you could use the oatmeal to melt the butter.) My oatmeal was hot and I was concerned about scrambling my eggs so I actually used a third bowl to whisk together my milk and eggs and slowly added my hot oatmeal mixture to my egg and milk mixture.

Finally, add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk just enough to combine. Don’t over mix.

Oatmeal_Pancake_Batter_Up

Heat your griddle on medium heat and lightly grease the surface. I used a ¼ cup measuring cup to portion out my pancakes. When the pancakes have bubbles on top, the edges start to look dry, and the bottoms are a golden brown, flip them over and cook until they are a golden brown on both sides.

Oatmeal_Pancake_Browned

Serve with butter and syrup and whatever else you like on your pancakes.

Makes 15-16 ¼-cup pancakes.

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Categories: Breakfasts, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Are You Prepared?

when_the_lights_go_out

It is a dark and stormy night. Rain pelts the windows as tree branches scrape along the side of the house like fingernails down a chalkboard. The howling wind outside sends shivers down your spine. The lights flicker once, twice. Suddenly you are engulfed in blackness. Inside, the house has become silent as a tomb.

Where do you keep that flashlight?

Winter is definitely here. We’ve had a lot of windy, rainy weather lately, and snow is probably not too far away. Winter storms often bring frequent and sometimes lengthy power outages.

Recently, I was having a conversation with a coworker and I asked her, “What do you do when the power goes out? How do you feed your kids? What do you eat?” Her answer was, “We don’t eat.”

Really?!

My outdoor cooking skills are great in spring, summer and fall when we’re camping, but in winter they become a life saver.

When the power goes out for more than a couple of hours, knowing how to whip up a hot meal without a stove or a microwave comes in pretty handy. When we lose power, we don’t miss a beat. Out comes the propane stove and/or a Dutch oven and in no time at all we have a piping hot meal to warm our bodies and our spirits.

In addition to keeping our camp cooking equipment handy, we also keep a well stocked pantry so that we can last a while without having to buy groceries in case stores are closed. It’s also good to keep a supply of water for drinking and cooking in case those systems are compromised due to storm damage.

Short-term emergency preparedness experts recommend 3 days, but we’ve gone without power for a week sometimes and we have family and friends in other parts of the country who have gone without power for more than a week at a time.

Going into winter, we make sure our propane tanks are full, the camp stove is handy, and we have a good supply of charcoal for the Dutch ovens. I do my cooking out in the garage or on my covered front porch. Remember! Never operate your propane stove or use charcoal inside your home or anyplace that isn’t well ventilated as it can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

So, are you prepared for when Old Man Winter comes a calling? Just like if you get lost in the wilderness, your top three priorities are: shelter, and water and food.

Shelter is easy, you’re home, but make sure your camp clothing (polypropylene, fleece, and wool) are handy and layer up as temperatures inside your home start to dip. Remember to put on a warm hat. Sleeping bags can be pulled out and used to sleep warm.

Water and food are also easy, if you are prepared. You should have one gallon of water per day for each person in your household. That’s just for hydrating. Water used in cooking, cleaning, and bathing is extra. 55% of Americans have less than a 3-day supply of food in their homes. Is your pantry well-stocked? You should plan on eating 2,220 calories per day per person.

But don’t eat out of stress or boredom. Manage your supplies and be responsible and avoid eating just to pass the time.

So, what do you do to keep yourself and your children from going stir crazy without the television, DVD-player, and game console? How about pulling out your camping rainy day box of games? You do have one of those, right? Mine is stocked with traditional playing cards and poker chips as well as specialty card games like Uno, Skip-Bo, etc. How about chess, backgammon, cribbage? You can also head to the game closet and pull out Monopoly, Sorry or Life.

Just like camping, power outages can be beneficial in that they force us to unplug from all the electronics and reconnect to each other as a family. But the better prepared you are, the better you will be able to weather whatever nature throws at you.

Your camping skills and your outdoor cooking skills aren’t just for camping. They are good skills to have for survival.

Categories: Cooking Outdoors | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Do I Really Need Another Dutch Oven?!

Well, yes. Yes I do. Don’t you?!

santa_list_2014

Christmas is coming and I’m working on my Santa List. When crafting my annual letter to Santa, I always try to include something that will improve my camping and/or outdoor cooking experience. Because I camp nearly every other weekend three seasons a year, I want to be as comfortable as possible. I also spend a lot of time in my camp kitchen and I want to make sure it’s in the best shape possible for my budget.

This year, I’ve decided that I need a better way to transport my ovens. I usually just set them in the back of my SUV, but if I don’t wedge them in well, then sometimes they tip or the lids slide off and, well, it’s just not a good way to go.

Carry bags are a great way to store and transport your Dutch ovens. They are padded, keep the lid from separating from the bottom, and have a handy strap for carrying. Be sure to check the measurements of the bag against the measurements of your Dutch oven as they can differ slightly from brand to brand.

Also, my lanterns need to be replaced. I believe they are as old as my daughter and she’s a freshman in college this year! My lanterns are very rickety and sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t and if I’m working in my camp kitchen in the evening, I need to see what I’m doing.

I also want to add pie irons to my cast iron collection. I’ve worked with them on some camping trips with friends and they are so much fun. I want some of my own.

So what about you? Is any of your equipment old, worn out or broken, and need replacing? In addition to replacing worn out equipment, are there any upgrades or improvements you can make? Has there been anything new that came out in the last year that you saw and said, “Ooo! I need one of those!” Now’s the time to get it on “The List.”

Maybe you don’t need any anything big this year. How about a new cast iron cookbook? Lodge published a new cookbook earlier this year titled “Lodge Cast Iron Nation: Great American Cooking from Coast to Coast.” It looks promising and has some good reviews. I’ve got it my list.

So, assess your camp kitchen and determine what you need to get cooking better or cooking more in the outdoors? And, if you come across anything good, let me know so I can get it added to my list!

Categories: Cooking Outdoors | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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