I haven’t spent a lot of time in the kitchen this past week, so I took a little trip down my photo’s and came across this. One of our favorite memories of spending time in Moosonee is the impromptu meals that just require a cook stove, a flat surface, propane and a beer or two.
This garage cookout was during a trip Mrs. Canuck came to visit her brother Tony and he was more than happy to slice up some moose meat and take out a bag of walleye. Fresh wild ingredients treated with nothing more than a little oil, salt, pepper and onions in the moose make for a tasty meal that leaves you wanting more.
The moose is slow cooked and the walleye pan fried crispy. Behind the scene, you don’t see the turkey fryer going for the 10+ lbs of potatoes that were double fried to crispy deliciousness and in this house, doused with malt vinegar while I run to escape the pungent smell.
Is there a meal family cooks for you that you ask for?
One of the things I believe is, you can taste the love people put into their food. If you don’t believe it, have Mom cook you a meal and if Mom isn’t around, find someone who is passionate about food and watch them cook and then taste their food. Now find someone who hates being in the kitchen or looks at cooking as a chore and let me know which meal you prefer. I am sure there is a portion of it is knowledge and time in the kitchen, but an ingredient you can’t buy is love or passion.
Prime example. Take sliced beef, toss it in a pot with mushrooms and onions and soya sauce and make a pot of rice. Sure sounds like a boring weeknight meal that anyone can put together. Now, toss your Mom into the mix and you have this delicious dinner that is hearty and warming, seasoned perfectly, extra tender beef and even the Minute Rice is divine. I’ve tried and for some reason, this can not be reproduced in my kitchen with my hands. We have the same pots, buy the beef at the same place, use the same soy sauce and even the same blue box of Minute Rice. The only factor is, Mom.
See where I’m going here?
Today is Valentine’s day and posted above is one of the treats I made for Granny Canuck and Mrs. Canuck around the campfire one summer, long before I started this blog. After a long day in the sun and wanting some ice cream, the desire came just as the sun was setting at the taste of BBQ steak was starting to leave our taste buds. We needed something sweet and needed it quick.
I ran into the camper eager to find something that involved ice cream and came across the in-season cherries we bought fresh the day before at the local market. Looked on the counter and saw a bag of granola and within seconds I had it. Sweet, cold, hot, creamy, crunchy all in one and knew it was going to be a hit.
Here is a quick rundown of what I did and to be honest what I would do again if I were to make it, as I didn’t write it down and going by my very limited memory.
Stuff You Need
cherries, a good bag full
1-2oz orange liqueur, optional orange juice
sugar to taste, optional stevia sweetener.
good premium ice cream
granola, we get unsweetened stuff usually from the local bulk store or Kashi.
Stuff You Do
Pit cherries and place in a pot with sugar and liqueuer or orange juice and place over medium heat or in our case, warm coals on an open fire. If you are using stevia or artificial sweetener, leave it out until step 2.
Cook cherries until they break down until it’s thick and syrupy. If you are using stevia or artificial sweetener, you can add it now.
Let mixture cool a little as not to instantly melt the ice cream.
Assembly, ice cream, cherry compote, granola and garnish with a fresh cherry.
Last but not least, enjoy!
A special tribute to my Valentines of a picture I did many years ago on our anniversary and today and each and every day it remains true.
With a snow advisory of 15-20 cm of the white fluffy stuff, all I can do is pull a Clark Griswold and stare out the window and dream of warmer days filled with green grass, campfires and of course real kettle BBQ.
I don’t have as much as a recipe today but inspiration. That inspiration starts with a simple idea, fish. When discussing dinners and menu planning around the house we often pick a protein and build around that.
This dinner, in particular, was based on what was on sale for fresh fish at the grocery store after picking that as our protein. Being at camp, it was an easy decision to roll out the Weber Kettle charcoal BBQ. My wife gave me the BBQ about 5 years ago for our wedding anniversary. I used it once or twice and put it in the shed. It is now a daily staple at camp and I don’t think we used 1 tank of propane on the gas BBQ this summer. Rather, we used over 6 20lb bags of charcoal and enjoyed the whole process.
Setup is pretty easy with a bed of coals on one side of the grill, some soaked smoker chips, a layer or parchment paper so the fish doesn’t stick, fresh trout, salt and pepper and a little bit of patience. Once the chips started to smoke, the lid goes on and check it every 10-15 minutes. Typically I add a few more smoker chips 15 minutes in and depending on size and thickness of the filets you should be enjoying in 30 minutes.
Just in case you’re stuck in 10 feet of snow like me, here is a visual reminder that greener days are just around the corner.