I love camping for its ability to slow down a person’s life. There are no clocks, phone calls, Facebook, or TV to distract a person from the people or lovely things around them. I love eating food only when you’re hungry and putting the kids to sleep right when the sun goes down. The best part of camping, however, is the campfire. No, not the fire itself. If you’ve ever been camping with my husband when he builds a fire, you’ll know why I don’t love the fire. Maybe I just don’t like a forest fire. In any case, the time around a fire with friends is awesome. You get to have chats and ask real life questions of each other. Community is a necessary thing for all people and camping brings it even closer. We “do the bonding” (“The Wedding Planner” reference if you didn’t catch that).
I didn’t get to spend tons of time with my kids one-on-one, but they had fun so I’m happy. Between fire ant bites, stinging nettle, and a chef’s knife that was constantly present from our camping friends, trouble was always present. I fell much wiser now than in the past and was able to just look in my kids faces and know if they were having fun, it was all good.
This little cutie was all about walking on the tent as it was going up.
This is her element.
I should have brought bathing suits but a load of laundry later, it seems to have worked out ok :).
Little D had an encounter with stinging nettle, but thanks to some hydro-cortisone creme and a tough spirit, everything was fine.
I’ve missed having babies around…have I mentioned that?
My ever-faithful TOMS.
I love finding a random flower in the middle of the desert-scape.
Nothin’ like a good shirtless game of uno and a corn cob to make it fell like camping. Thanks for the Uno, Mrs. Bicker :)
These Target camping chairs have been awesome.
“Pig on a stick” She doesn’t look amused here but she loved it.
We were blessed with many figs this year. I LOVE the texture of fresh figs. The very thing that I love most, the seeds, is often what people don’t like about them. I had already made drunken fig jam last year and some regular fig jam as well, so I wanted to make something where you could have the texture and fresh flavor, but add some richness too. Enter: melting cheese.
I was thrilled to find these ceramic dishes at Anthro this last spring. They are perfect for displaying picked fruit from the yard.
All you need is some brie, figs, and honey. I used a goat brie from Trader Joe’s because that’s what I had, but any will do. I used some honey that we got from the Napa Valley where we visited a few months ago. I’ve bought it a few times before and it’s some of the best. Check out “Branches” honey from Katz and Company. Then, just roast at 400 until it melts into awesomeness. Drizzle with honey and sit down for a few minutes to enjoy. San Diego had a few random drops of rain today, so it was nice to enjoy this while watching “Fantasia” (the 1940’s version) with my family.
A few weekends ago, I decided to drag take the kids to the food truck festival in Del Mar I had been hearing so much about. I expected it to be pretty crazy since we haven’t had one this big in San Diego yet. I had just left my parent’s house that morning and said I wasn’t going to go after all. I started driving home and thought I REEEALLY wanted to go somewhere because my husband had been gone that whole week. Not cabin fever exactly, because I don’t stay at home constantly, just wanting to mix it up a little. Soooo….it was pretty crazy. I’m so glad there were races to watch, because the kiddos only had enough patience for one truck. To be quite honest, didn’t really want to stand in the sun either.
I had already eaten at a few of the 75:
Longboard’s Ice Cream
Slap Yo Mama
Food Farm SD
The Gathering Spot
SD Street EATS
The Sweets Truck
I wanted to eat at The Lime Truck, The Lobsta’ truck, and the Ludo(bites) truck. I could only pick one so I picked the one with the shortest line (even then, a short line is a relative term when it come to food trucks). Ludo! (It was my first choice anyway :))
Horses are just such magnificent creatures.
This sweet girl has the horse bug…doesn’t that happen at like age 9-10 or something? She picked horses for her mammal study this term so I told her I would let her take a ride when she was done. Oh man, I hope this is a good idea. Horses are an expensive hobby.
Our attempt at a group photo. The lady really tried but I told her I kind of like having a few pictures with the kids that show the true emotion of the moment.
We waved at the Noms’ as we passed.
Ah, yes…Ludo. I’ve followed Ludo Lefebvre for some time. If you don’t know his name, you know his concept of food. This chef is basically the founder of the “pop-up” restaurant. What, you say? I tried to explain this to a few people after I went to it, with little success. Basically, the chef and crew travel around to different parts of a city or even the country and open a restaurant. After a time, they pack it up again and “pop-up” somewhere else. It’s pretty cool especially to mix it up for the Chef so things don’t get boring. I really respect this chef because after working in high-end dining for years, he decided he wanted to make food that anyone could afford. Not necessary for him to do that, but I still think it speaks to his desire to care for every kind of person, regardless of their bank account numbers.
I love to give my camera to my kids and see what they see as interesting.
Photos by My baby girl:
Photos by my little buddy:
I actually like this one.
This was his feeling about the setting in general.
Back to mine again…
We ate delicious chicken pepittes, which are prepared over three days. They are boneless chicken balls, infused with rosemary and fried. You can choose from many house-made sauces, including béarnaise. I ordered a few of the lavender biscuits with honey. MMM.
Little Bean preferred the BBQ sauce…only.
Filled to the brim with people!
The only reason we snagged a great seat is because we were willing to rough it on the hard ground with no blanket. It wasn’t too hot, so it worked fine for us.
He saw them setting up.
Great day…despite the crying, $3 bottles of water, lack of hands to hold a beer, walking a mile from the far far far parking lot and no extra hands to help. I would still do again :) Maybe I’ll plan ahead next time and invite someone!
One of my very favorite things to cook is roast chicken. It’s one of the few things I enjoy making over and over again, the same. For this version, I wanted to mix the flava’ up a little.
My oregano is so overgrown so I decided to use that along with some lemon thyme for the butter rub.
First preheat the oven to 425. You can chop up whatever herbs you happen to have and add them to 1 stick of softened butter. Mix.
Inside the chicken cavity, put the aromatics shown above. The goal here is just pump some flavor into the meat as the ingredients are steamed inside.
Salt and pepper the chicken and rub the outside with butter. I REALLY don’t like to look at pictures of raw meat but wanted to show how the bacon gets laid out on top next. I’m so thankful our local Trader Joes store started carrying the uncured bacon only. So nice.
Cook the chicken until the temperature reaches 165. When you get to about 140 degrees, take the bacon off and let the chicken brown. Normally, “they” say to tuck those wings underneath, but I was being lazy. Oh well. It tasted the same.
Summer Roast Chicken
1 whole free-range organic chicken
1 orange, halved
1 red onion, halved
1 head of garlic
6 sprigs of herbs, whole
1 stick of butter
3 T. fresh herbs, chopped (I used thyme and oregano)
1 lb./ package bacon
… … … … … …
Some lovely and EASY side dishes I’ve been serving lately are:
Sautéed English green peas with bacon. Trader Joes carries these peas seasonally, but you have to ask for fresh ones from the back if you want them to last more than 5 minutes. They get slimy super-fast.
Polenta with thyme.
Roasted asparagus with olive oil, salt, and pepper. I eat these like french fries.