Tag Archives: stuffing

Ultimate Camp Food at Bottle Lake

Bottle Lake, Kawartha Highlands, Ontario

Bottle Lake, Kawartha Highlands, Ontario

Our first canoe trip of the summer was out to Bottle Lake, a pretty, peaceful lake just north of Peterborough in the Kawartha Highlands.  After a short 300m portage, we set off on this beautiful morning in our very full canoes across the sparkling, calm waters.  We took our time canoeing across the lake taking in the calls of birds and bullfrogs echoing from the shores.  Our site was one of the furthest from the portage launch, nice and private and we spent the afternoon lounging around our very own sandy beach.

Bottle Lake, Kawartha Highlands, Ontario

Bottle Creek, Kawartha Highlands, Ontario

Later in the afternoon, we headed out for a magic hour canoe ride down Bottle Creek, snaking our way along the winding waterway, exploring the marshland and searching for frogs.

Bottle Lake, Kawartha Highlands, Ontario

Bottle Lake, Kawartha Highlands, Ontario

As the sun began to set we headed out to the middle of the lake, relaxed and fished a bit.  While we didn’t catch anything, we snapped some lovely sunset photos.

Bottle Lake, Kawartha Highlands, Ontario

Bottle Lake, Kawartha Highlands, Ontario

Bottle Lake, Kawartha Highlands, Ontario

Bottle Lake, Kawartha Highlands, Ontario

Bottle Lake, Kawartha Highlands, Ontario

Bottle Lake, Kawartha Highlands, Ontario

While we were hiking around our campsite we found some discarded tiki torches.  My boyfriend came up with the brilliant idea to turn them into campfire roasters by removing the top portion, sharpening the edges and wedging little pieces of wood in between the base sticks to keep them separated.  There you have it folks…s’mores for everyone!

Tiki torch campfire roaster, Bottle Lake

Tiki torch campfire roaster, Bottle Lake

The Ultimate Smore, Bottle Lake

The Ultimate S’more, Bottle Lake

I shall now bestow upon you a new level of s’more making.  My friend brought along those butter biscuits that are covered in chocolate.  Why has no one thought of this before?  No more drunken fumbling in the dark trying to align all your ‘mellow ingredients!  This biscuit – or two if you dare – holds everything together with one quick smush!  We made some Jiffy pop – another must-have campfire snack – so I stuck some kernels into the oozing marshmellow and BOOM!  Sweet, salty, creamy, compact goodness.

Tiki torch campfire roaster, Bottle Lake

Tiki torch campfire roaster, Bottle Lake

For my next trick,  I would like to bring back those canned sausages, you know the ones I’m talking about…those tiny cans of Vienna sausages that sit around gathering dust on your grocery store shelf.  Forget all you’ve been told about the evils of canned food for the sake of backpacking convenience and give these sausages some love – there’s nothing a campfire can’t fix!  Who doesn’t want a roasted hot dog?  And with this handy dandy tiki torch, everyone can enjoy their crispy, salty perfection together.

Dehydrated Swiss Chalet Festive Special, Bottle Lake

Dehydrated Swiss Chalet Festive Special, Bottle Lake

Finally, we ended off our canoe trip with my favourite dehydrated meal: my homemade Swiss Chalet Festive Special.  After marinading and slow cooking a whole chicken in the Swiss Chalet marinade, I dehydrated the chicken, packed up some instant mashed potatoes and stuffing, and brought along some Swiss Chalet sauce and gravy packets.  Ta Da!  Swiss Chalet, wilderness-style – you can’t get any more Canadian than this!

I loved Bottle Lake – it was the perfect quick canoe getaway for the weekend.  Approximately 2.5 hours from Toronto it’s the perfect balance of portaging and car camping, as the short portage allows for some luxuries like a full Coleman stove, chairs, a regular tent and a small cooler.  I think we’ll have to add tiki torches to our camp list from now on as well…

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12 Days of Christmas Dish#10: Gingerbread Stuffing

Can you ever go wrong with bacon?  The answer is no, especially during the holiday season.  So imagine this: bacon, plus gingerbread.  That’s right, crispy, salty bacon married with a sweet, spicy gingerbread, equals a dish made in heaven.  This  is a Nigella Lawson recipe from her Feast cookbook, not surprising, and I make it as my second stuffing, because you can never have too much stuffing.

The Recipe:

Serves 8-10

1 lb (3 medium) onions, peeled
2 eating apples (11 ounces), peeled and cored
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon oil
1– 1½ pounds bacon
Zest of 2 clementines or 1 orange
1–pound loaf of good store-bought gingerbread, crumbled makes 5 cups
2 eggs, beaten
Approximately ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Finely chop the onions and apples, using a food processor or by hand.  Heat the butter and oil in a large wide saucepan and fry both until soft, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Now very finely chop the bacon in the processor, and add this to the softened onion and apple mixture.  Cook everything, stirring frequently, for about 5 more minutes and then add the clementine or orange zest.

Take the pan off the heat and let it cool a little before mixing in the gingerbread crumbs.  You can let this get properly cold now if you want and put it aside.  Just before cooking the stuffing, add the beaten eggs and pepper, mix, and use it to stuff the main cavity of your turkey, or cook all of it (or what’s left after stuffing your bird) in a buttered baking dish.  Bake it in a hot oven with your turkey for about the last 45 minutes.  If the stuffing’s going into a very full oven – which it no doubt is as part of a festive meal – it might take longer to cook; alone, 35 minutes should do it.

Let the cooked stuffing sit in its terrine for a good 10 minutes before turning it out and slicing it.

Gingerbread stuffing

If pigs could fly, little gingerbread men would be riding them!