After a long winter it was great to get out into nature. As usual the weather was not ideal. In the last three years I think I have had maybe two trips when it didn’t rain. With the limited time I have to camp I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I typically have two food related goals when I camp: review a new freeze-dried meal and cook something unique. I think I accomplished those goals.
A gravel bike is built for longer rides across different surfaces. It’s not as fast as a road bike and it can’t handle the rough terrain as well as a mountain bike. It’s a blend of features from road, cyclo-cross, and touring bikes.
My last camp outing for this year I head out to Jim Edgar Panther Creek. I read about this park in the book The Best Tent Camping in Illinois. If you live in or around Illinois I highly recommend this book. As usual, it rained. It was also cold and windy. Despite all that I still had a great time. I went hiking and took the boat out. I also try a few new freeze-dried meals and cook a steak.
Ever since I took my son on a bikecamp my daughter has been wanting her turn. She is not as outdoorsy as my son. I was a little worried how she would handle the experience and tried to convince her to wait until next summer. The weather was getting cold leading up to the trip and rain was in the forecast. She does not ride her bike very often; in fact she learned to ride it the same day my son did (they are three years apart). Turns out my concerns where futile, she had a great time. It did rain on us in the afternoon and thunder-stormed in the evening. It was also chilly, but not unbearable.
Two days before the kids went back to school I was afforded the opportunity to take my son on his first bikecamping trip. Before this trip he has only tent camped when he was a baby; he has been spoiled with the camper since. He enjoyed the trip very much and asked if we could stay an extra day, although…
Due to an increased amount of overtime and other obligations I have not been able to camp for the last couple months. I got off work at 5 in the morning and headed out to move the camper into place, then I slept a good chunk of the day. I didn’t return to the camp site until the afternoon. I rarely use camper myself, in fact the last time I slept in it was a year ago. The camper is half…
It has been a cold and wet April, not ideal camping weather. Because of my schedule when an opportunity to camp comes up I have to seize it. Despite the weather, it was nice to get out and enjoy nature. I cook some pub burgers using homemade beer cheese spread for supper, I try another Backpacker's Pantry freeze-dried meal, and charbroil a homemade hot pocket.
Normally after brewing, I toss all my spent grains. I never gave it much thought; grains, at least the amounts I use, do not cost all that much. Still, it is waste full just discarding the grains when they can have a second life. So, after brewing a Scottish Ale I processed the grains (see how here) and used a portion to make (mostly) healthy cookies.
I brewed my first 5 gallon batch of beer January 2011. Since then I have brewed at least two batches a year. I am no expert on the subject, but never the less I felt the need to write about it. What follows is my step-by-step process along with some tips and resources.
Emma and I continue our yearly cookie tradition with some peppermint blossom cookies. As you'll see in the video, we made our cookie balls too big. Our cookies turned out to be more like a cake or brownie still, they were very good. I suppose we will have to get some practice in before next years cookie bake.
My brother and I loaded up the truck and took a short trip to Ferne Clyffe. While we were there I did some hiking on Happy Hollow trail. I also did some fancy cooking. The primitive sites were empty, probably because it was a weekday. The sites were perfect for the big tent set up. There was plenty of wood to be found about, but I did get poison ivy while gathering it up. I wish we had more time to explore; we will definitely be returning next year.
As a kid, growing up in Channahon, I often rode the I&M Canal and spent a great deal of time at McKinley Woods. Besides family bike rides and picnics, we also went there in the winter to sled. I took my wife there while we were dating. It came full circle once I began taking my kids there for picnics. In all those years I had never camped there until now.
Here is an alternate Protein Waffle recipe that has great taste with half the guilt.
On my bike trip to Scotty Lake, I cooked three meals: Sweet & Spicy Chicken, Camp Breakfast Pouch, and Beans & Sausage. The recipes below are for cooking everything at the camp site. On my trip, I did a bit of pre-cooking, watch these videos for details.
This is a twist on a couple bread recipes. I combined (more or less) two bread recipes that I love. The outcome was this unique dessert bread.
A while back my dad started writing down his recipes. The one I’m making today is a Beer Cheese Spread. The base recipe is very basic and super easy to make.