Archived entries for food photo essay

Northwoods Adventure: Rustic Camp Cooking On A Wood Stove

Nothing elicits cooking creativity and ingenuity then lack of modern conveniences.

Our creative chops were challenged this weekend, while staying in a rustic cabin in the Northwoods, which, lacking electricity and running water, gave us only a wood stove to work with.


Ira, Thora and I, outside our rustic ski-in cabin on the ski trails at ABR, in Ironwood, MI.

I’m certainly not complaining because a wood stove is an awesome tool, which provided us more then adequate power to whip up some awesome eats!  First: breakfast.

Breakfast included pan broiled bacon and buttermilk pancakes!


Jenny pours pancake batter into pans coated in bacon grease to reduce sticking.

For Lunch: we had bacon wrapped hot dogs fried on the stove

Dinner found us BBQing chicken legs under the stars with embers from the fire.


Brandon BBQing. photo by Andrew Golding

Peppers roasted in the stove embers as well as grilled asparagus made awesome sides to our BBQ’d drumsticks.

Dessert was an instant maple whiskey sorbet made by mixing fresh snow, maple syrup and a nice dash of Jim Beam.


Jenny holds her cup of sorbet with a nice side of cheddar cheese.  Photo courtesy of Jenny Addison

Not to let anything go to waste, the next day we set the left over chicken bones from dinner into a pot of water and simmered them all day to make a nice chicken stock.


Chicken stock and coffee simmering on the stove. Photo courtesy of Jenny Addison

By adding a package of shells mac n’ cheese as well as some beer, we had some delicious beer cheese soup!


Thanks everyone for such an awesome weekend!


Pictured from left, Ira, Andy Golding, Aaron Brown, me, Thora,  Jenny Addison, Brandon Heuser, Kristen Romaniszak.

That’s A Crock’a…Awesome: Open Crock Pickles

To make dill pickles, just soak some cucumbers and dill in vinegar and salt for a few weeks.  Yup.  Its that easy.

This kind of pickle is often called “open crock” because in old times, they were put in crocks, a thick ceramic container and left to sit out in cold dark spots until the pickles were done.  The thick ceramic would help maintain a steady cool temp of the pickles.    Now you can just put them in jars in the refrigerator.

For a wedding present, my sister gave us a 1 gallon crock.  I decided this year was time to pull it out and activate my pickling scene.

Open Crock Pickles
(makes 1 gallon)

  • 5 lbs pickling cukes (4-6 inches)
  • 6 Tbs pickling spice
  • 8 c. water
  • 4 c. vinegar
  • 6 Tbs kosher or sea salt
  • 3 large dill stems with seeds -0r- 1/4 dried dill seed
  • 4-6 garlic cloves
  • 3 dried chillies
  • 1 gallon crock or glass jar

Soak cucumbers in ice water for 1 hour.  This washes the cucumbers as well as helps ensure crispiness.

Start filling your crock. Layer dill, 2 tbs of your pickling spice, a dried chili and 1-2 cloves of garlic on the bottom of your crock.

Layer on top of this 1/2 of your cucumbers. Top with second layer of dill and spices. Fill with last 1/2 of your cucumbers and top with remaining dill and spices.

Make your brine. Mix water, vinegar and salt in a pot and bring to a boil.  I would normally use white vinegar or cider vinegar.  However, I currently have a shit ton of red wine vinegar which I want to get rid of so I’m using this.  It may give a slight pink color if I can them later, but it won’t be visible if they’re all eaten relatively soon.

Pour boiling brine over your full crock.

Weigh your pickles down.  If you’re using a crock, find a plate which fits just over the top and weigh down with plates to keep cucumbers below the surface of your brine. If you’re using a jar, put the lid on it.

Store your pickles in a cool place for 2-3 weeks. You can put the crock in the fridge to brine, or you can also leave it out on the counter.  As you can see above, I had some room in my fridge.  My sister leaves her out on her kitchen counter all the time.  Instead of a plate, she uses a clear plastic sheet draped over the top and weighed down with extra brine.  This helps keep out bugs and scum.

So get out there and make some pickles!

Great Lakes Whitefish BBQ

For my Dad, a perfect summer time meal is BBQ’d whitefish.

He lays them out, two great lakes white fish fillets, freshly caught a few days before.

He seasons it with salt, black pepper, paprika and freshly cut dill (not yet on fish in this photo).

Two cedar planks, soaked for an hour or two in water are ready and waiting on a hot grill to infuse a nice smokey wood flavor  into the spiced white fish fillets.

20 minutes later, dinner is ready with some fresh Michigan sweet corn.  Its delicious every time!



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