To celebrate the end of school and the beginning of summer my family and I went camping this weekend. We went with another family, and I spent the weekend watching the kids attempt fishing. For me, it’s like watching paint dry. But, after one of our busiest weeks, I was so exhausted that watching paint dry and kids pull up their empty hooks out of brown water was a very relaxing affair.
The kids lost interest when they couldn’t catch anything. The Professor caught tree branches, most of the kids would just lose their bait. Then a dad pulled up a catfish. Sure, it was a small catfish, but the blood started pumping and the kids eagerly returned to their fishing poles. Middle-Child was the first kid to catch something completely on his own. In total he caught 2 blue gills and a catfish, all were of course, released back into the water. They were too small to eat and I had other plans for dinner. Middle-Child was so excited about his success that he announced that fishing was HIS sport.
My friends that were camping with us are always eager to try out my cooking experiments. In fact, this camping trip was concocted just so I could cook Osso Buco in our cast iron dutch oven. I had never made Osso Buco before and I knew this would be a great gourmet meal to make while camping. You can’t eat burgers and dogs every time you camp.
So, while the kids were rejuvenated with fishing, my friend and I were cooking dinner. I browned the veal shanks first, then sautéed the veggies. I realized that I had forgotten the wine, but we had beer, so we used that instead. The shanks were quietly simmering for 3 hours. When I served dinner, the tender meat was falling off the bones.
I had bought a roll of polenta from Trader Joe’s and sliced them into rounds and toasted them up with olive oil in a pan. I served these with the Osso Buco. Mmmmm…. lip smacking good!
Another campfire cooking challenge was won!
We have a few more camping trips planned for the summer and we are already thinking about what we should cook next. Of course, that seems to be more important than the destination!
And, on our final morning, the Professor finally caught his fish: a blue gill about the size of an infant’s hand. He laughed at the size of the fish, and we quickly threw the little one back in the water.
Check out my other campfire cooking adventures: