...Growing, Building, Cooking, Preserving, Crafting...

2006 began our urban homestead when I broke ground on a garden, which now includes perennial fruits, flowers, & many vegetable varieties. We dream of solar panels, keeping bees and hens. Until then we'll continue growing and preserving our own fruits and vegetables, building what we can for our home, cooking from scratch, and crafting most days.


First Camping Trip of the Season

Memorial Day weekend found us enjoying the first family camping trip of the season.  We checked out the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and State Park...and we determined we don't need to go back.  Don't get me wrong, it's a beautiful coastline and so close to home, but it's sandwiched between the steel mills outside of Gary to the west and the NIPSCO coal-fired power plant to the east--not your most picturesque beach scene.  But this trip had been on our bucket list so we've finally crossed it off.  We took a side trip to Three Floyds Brewery in nearby Munster the day we arrived and enjoyed an outstanding tour and some delicious microbrews. But back at our campsite, it was another story.  I ranted about it in my original post, but wasn't feeling good about the negativity threaded so I'll just say that while we were looking forward to a long weekend powered down, eating and sleeping outside, most everyone else was "glamping" and very plugged in.  Needless to say, we managed to have a good time and Vera fared well, but we're excited for our Labor Day camping trip to one of our outstanding Wisconsin parks, which are--from my experience--quieter, more wooded, and hopefully generator-free.
This is our favorite camping recipehan ded down from the Sheaffer family of Glen Ellyn, IL.  We call it Foil Dinner and it's so simple and delicious.  You could even cook this in an outdoor firepit at home.  Also, I like to be conservative with the aluminum foil; if we use a piece that hasn't gotten gooey we just rinse and let it dry.  You could reuse foil for this recipe.

Foil Dinner

Aluminum foil
Green Cabbage, torn into leaves
Carrots, washed and chopped
Potatoes, washed and chopped
Onions, peeled and sliced
Ground Meat
Salt and Pepper

Spread out a large piece of aluminum foil and build your dinner: a layer of cabbage, carrots, potatoes, onions, raw ground meat in the middle, pat of butter, salt and pepper then keep building it in reverse.  Keep in mind that it builds up quickly so don't add too much to start.  Wrap it tightly in foil making sure there are no holes where the butter can seep out.  Toss it onto a campfire that has burned down to coals and let it cook for about 30 minutes.  Unwrap (be careful of the steam) and enjoy!

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