Dutch Oven Deliciousness

Any time of year is perfect for dutch oven cooking, but I especially enjoy it during the autumn months. Perhaps it gives me a feeling of camp cooking, or it is simply just spending some time outdoors. The beauty of dutch oven cookery is it can be done practically anywhere, no campfire required!

I’m a succer for a delicious coffee cake. My father in-law makes a great one every Christmas morning. Maybe this year I’ll get him to try this one!

Do you have a favorite dutch oven recipe you’d like to share? Submit it to Suniechick!

11 (more) Things Every Outdoors Woman Should Experience

Eleven you ask? Most of these types of ┬álists are ‘ten’. I even have one myself. There is such a variety of experiences I feel should be had by not just every woman, but everyone. Here is a list of eleven more things I’ve added to the list of should dos.

  • Setting up a tent completely on your own. This leads to quite a feeling of accomplishment if you’ve never done it.
  • Starting a campfire from scratch; no firestart sticks, newspaper, just what is provided by nature.
  • Drinking your tea/coffee around a campfire (one of my favorites).
  • Summiting that mountain, whatever size it may be.
  • The scent of evergreens blowing in the breeze.
  • A whispering creek telling bed time stories as you drift into dreamland.
  • Chopping wood, can be difficult but rewarding.
  • Cooking anything over the fire.
  • That moment of peace when you gaze out into nature, feeling the breeze caress your skin while the birds and squirrels hold their conversations. This can be done almost anywhere, even your own backyard.
  • Ice cold creek water running between your toes.
  • Cool grass, soft mud, sun warmed river rocks under your bare feet. This makes me feel so connected, when my feet can touch the earth sans coverings.

Most of these items bring upon a sense of accomplishment for me, no matter how many times I do them. Not because I’m a ‘girl’ that was able to chop my own firewood or set up my own tent, but because I am proud of who I am, and the things I can do for myself. I’m not afraid of a little hard work, and am usually fairly good about asking for help when needed (although I have been known to be quite stubborn). I ask you to try new things, to challenge yourself. You might just be surprised at what you can do.

Are there items on your ‘Experiences List’ you’d like to share? Please, send ’em in!

September Escapes

Smoke hangs heavy in the air, obscuring my promised mountain views. Flies swarm in and out with their incessant buzzing. The only wildlife spotted has been a handful of birds, one black squirrel, a lone mule deer and a pesky chipmunk we have dubbed “Alex”. He’s grown quite bold over the last couple days, and somehow found himself inside our cabin making an attempt at our trash bag.

The few deciduous trees have become brilliantly gold in the short time of our visit. Autumn is rapidly approaching these Idaho mountains. Meanwhile, fire watch planes roar overhead, blotted out by dense smoke. Despite these inconveniences, there is extreme beauty and much needed peace.

I do get a bit saddened seeing how dry the landscape is. Even after the big fire a few years ago, summers were filled with rain, and lushness continued to embrace September. Mother Nature is parched.

In consideration of cold nights and wanting, needing to umplug, we rented a rustic Forest Service cabin. Dating back into the early 1930’s, equipped with wood stove for heat and hand pump for water, this was to be our home for four glorious nights. Forest Service cabins are a great alternative to camping in cold temps, or for those wanting to get their feet wet with the great outdoors. The prices are usually fairly reasonable. Ours has two beds, tables, solar lighting, propane cook stove and stocked with pots, pans and dishes. And yes, there is also an extremely clean vault toilet out back. We are quite comfortable.

The sun is beginning to set, marking the approach into our third night. Time has been filled with a small hike to a once amazing hot spring. Forest fire and human abuse have turned it into nothing more than an algae covered muck hole. Two wonderous soaks have been enjoyed at one of my favorite spots. Games have been played, many pictures taken and much pleasure has been relished. If the smoke lifts, tomorrow will entail hikes and more hot spring exploration.

Taking this time to disconnect and reconnect with nature helps me recharge my batteries. All too soon inclement weather will be upon me. Mountain trips will be more difficult. So, I will ingrain every moment of this visit into my soul and carry it with me to the next opportunity. In the mean time, I’ll dust off my winter adventure plans.