Camping Requires Food – Wine Tasting a Bonus

 

I have been remiss in my food blogging for sure.  I’m blaming it on a great summer.  It was the first time my kids flew on an airplane by themselves.  Plus a great all family trip to Oregon.  Where even the grandparents went white water rafting.  When I think back on the summer I don;t remember much about the food, other than what I already shared.  Yes, there was the Edible Excursion trip to the Mission and we certainly had our share of ice cream recipes.  But really not much to speak of for great food on this summers travels.

Until we went camping over the Labor Day holiday.  We went with about 10 families and had a great time.  I must say I don’t always look forward to this trip.  There’s the amount of people.  There’s the lack of sleep and worrying about the kids poking each other’s eyes out with sticks.  And there’s my daughter whining “what will I be able to eat” when planning the camping food.  But it was great.  There was everything from hiking to biking to rope swings and reading and of course campfires.  But here was also wine tasting.  We went to Hendy Woods State Park where conveniently right out the gates are wineries such as Husch Vinyards, Navarro Vinyards, Roederer Estate and others.  It was quite relaxing meeting at  Navarro before even heading in to the campground.  A nice glass of wine (and grape juice for kids) and the tranquil setting helped everyone rejuvenate after the drive, before pitching tents.  We also ventured out in shifts – one of moms and one of dads (Anderson Valley Brewing) on one of the days to get a break from the camp activities for an hour or two.

 

Of course if you’re going to buy good local wine and cheese and local beer you’re also going to cook some tasty meals.  Unfortunately I don’t have photos (you’ll have to imagine) of the camping grub because my phone died in the park.  It was actually a nice break from electronics and taking photos.  Just enjoying the time, food, friends and family.  One night was every kind of burger – veggie, turkey and beef and pesto, pasta salad.  Another night was a variety of sausages and dogs and edamame salad.  Lunches were a smorgasbord of sandwich fix ins from hummus and grapeleaves (yes, my daughter) to cold cuts, veggies and fruit.  Breakfast was big with this group.  Open fire bacon and eggs, plus bagels and fixings.   The last day one dad made his famous berry pancakes and must have made at least 100.  Of course there was s’mores every night.  Not just the traditional Nestle milk chocolate but also some dark chocolate bars.  And the marshmallows were both vegan and regular.  When my daughter explained why she didn’t want to eat marshmallows with gelatin, and talked about the animal products to make gelatin,  it seemed like a scary campfire story.

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Dia De Los Muertos – Skull Marshmallows and S’mores

My kids have been learning about the day of the dead and doing alters and skeleton art projects at school.  They had lots of questions and although we didn’t celebrate in the past and am not of Mexican heritage, I like the idea of embracing death and remembering and honoring those before us.  With all the Halloween activity, I wanted to be sure we did a bit of remembering and celebrating those our family has lost.

 

We sat around the dinner table and I told a few stories about some past relatives and what I miss most about them.  We also remembered some of their favorite foods and recipes.  The kids were able to chime in about their gido (my dad) and how they remember him doing gymnastic tricks with them in the living room and how much he loved old cars and Mediteranean food.  I recalled my own grandfather and how I loved when we went for ice cream (chocolate mint) and to the movies.  I even remember making him his drinks (scotch on the rocks) when I was about 10 years old.  It smelled bad and strong then and still does to me now.

 

We recently put in a fire pit in our backyard, and have been enjoying after dinner s’mores on occasion.  Because of Dia de los Muertos we dressed up the marshmallows a bit by coloring on them with food dye pens.  I know not very healthy, but fun.  It was pretty neat to see their faces dance in the flames.  This was a simple and fun way to celebrate and create (hopefully) a new day of the dead ritual for our family.

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