We were at camp for an ‘extended,’ (for us) stay this time, four days, or really, three and a half since we left around 2pm on Tuesday.  Rob brought burgers for Saturday lunch, plus steaks and HUGE potatoes for Saturday night, Jason had brought a chicken for us to cook Sunday night, and I brought sliced ham, cheese, new potatoes, butter, pork chops and some breakfast goods for Monday night.  Jason brought his son, Connor to hunt with us this weekend. Connor is only 10 and learning, so that brought back some fond (and some not so fond) memories of hunting in my youth as well as entertaining Jason and myself quite a bit.  (Connor! ‘Yes?’  Do you want to hunt blind “A” or blind “B?” *half a minute goes by* Connor? “Yes?” Which blind do you want to hunt? *repeat*)

The steaks and big potatoes were excellent. I think we’re going to skip ‘big’ potatoes in the future though, it just takes too damn long to cook them on the grill.  Yes, it’s only an hour or so, but when you add getting the charcoal ready, it all adds up, and we’d rather eat than wait for giant potatoes to cook.

One big hit, at least for myself and Rob (Jason wasn’t there yet) was King’s Hawaiian rolls with ham and cheese for lunch Saturday.

It was good, too….

The beer can chicken was cooked using a steak rub (because it was there), and served with Field Peas and Snaps, which we all love.

You don’t NEED a bracket to cook beer can chicken, but I picked one up at Kroger’s at the beginning of barbecue season, so we used that, a can of Bud Light (*shudder* Lots of people love Bud Light, I don’t like it much, my taste runs more towards Bass Ale, or as I like to think of it, ‘thicker’ brews.) and some Montreal Steak seasoning.  The beer steams the chicken from the inside fairly quickly on the grill, though in this case, the Montreal seasoning wasn’t as pleasing as some paprika, salt, pepper and maybe chili powder would have been.

What was funny was watching Connor eat chicken. When my daughter was 10 or so, she LOVED chicken. Provided there were no bones anywhere in it, which means chicken nuggets, chicken tenders, boneless chicken breast, you get the idea.  Connor seemed to use the following formula: if the piece of chicken in question was at least half an inch from the bone, skin, tendons, or fat, it was good to eat.  He looked like he was trying to find the Immaculate Bite when he was going through the chicken legs for meat that was ‘good’ to eat, unlike myself, I use the ‘chew on it a moment or two, if it falls apart, swallow. If not, it’s probably inedible’ method.

Then again, I have been accused of being a barbarian many times.  I think it comes from a childhood photo of myself (I think I was three or four) that my mother LOVED showing people. In the photograph, I had spaghetti all over me. Draped over my ears, on top of my head, hell, some of it MIGHT have made it into my mouth. Apparently there had been some sort of pasta explosion nearby, I never did figure that one out. *wink*

The pork chops on the other hand, were lovely.  I like to brine pork chops, something I picked up reading a Tyler Florence cookbook.  Salt (or in this case seasoning salt), sugar, water, and the chops all go into a zip-lock bag for the day, and then you have the juiciest, most flavorful chops you’d ever want.   For this meal, I used the following:

  • 1/4 cup “Butt Rub” seasoning. (As long as the first ingredient listed on the package is ‘salt,’ use whatever you like. Butt Rub works GREAT with pork.)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 bottles of water (we don’t trust the well water at camp. Biologically it’s probably fine, though it’s never been tested to my knowledge, but it certainly smells of sulfur.)
  • 5 decent pork chops

Add the dry ingredients and water to the zip lock bag, zip and shake to mix, add the pork chops, back in the cooler they go for in this case about ten hours.  Pat the chops dry, re-season however you like (in my case, I usually reinforce whatever seasonings I used in the brine), and grill/fry/broil away.

The new potatoes were even easier. I washed the potatoes (field expedient potato washing tip: get all the potatoes you are going to cook into a plastic bag that will hold water, add a bottle of water, shake for a few minutes, it pulls all of the loose soil off of the potatoes quite well), trimmed a few bad looking spots, patted the spuds dry then made another double-foil pack with heavy foil, spritzed some canola cooking spray in the pack, added a few cuts of butter from a stick, salt, pepper, and seal the foil.  This went on the grill top for thirty-five minutes before I started the chops, since the pork would only take ten minutes or so.

In the mean time, Jason decided we were going to have Hoppin’ John as a side, and he added a can of Field Peas with Snaps (can you tell, we like our beans at camp? Filling, good for you, and ammunition all in one can.)

We were quite content with the results.

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