NWF 2010 Be Out There Resolution

National Wildlife Federation Challenges YOU to be out there, everyday in 2010!

“Go play outside” was a common phrase in my household growing up. The weather didn’t matter. Snow, sun, brisk temperatures, outdoors is where we were supposed to be. I think it was mostly to get us kids out of my mom’s hair, but a connection was being built. Now, “playing outside” is what I desire most.nature's beauty

During the time I have spent as a Girl Scout Camp Director, and as many of my friends have children of their own, I have noticed a disturbing trend. Many of these children don’t know what it’s like to run and laugh and experience the great outdoors.

I would like to challenge you, along with NWF to get you and your kids outdoors everyday. Rebecca P. Cohen took this challenge in 2009. A short walk, bird watching, gazing at the stars, fifteen minutes minimum is all it takes. Help build that relationship for your children which we have all cherished. Be out there!

Taking Out The Trash

Pack it in. Pack it out.

Walking through the forest, tree branches reach above my head creating a canopy of greens and golden hues, sunlight trickles through splattering soft pine needles beneath me. Peace overwhelms my soul, and I inhale deeply. I bend down to capture the fragrance of wild rose. At my feet I see a glitter of something. Curiosity beckons me to reach down…..

The beautiful glimmer was TRASH!  

Someone had carelessly tossed their garbage onto the trail. Who do they think is going to pick that up, Mother Nature? She’s not that type of mother.

Garbage mongers are NOT my friends. It is all really quite simple, pack it in, pack it out. Here are some easy tips to help in this task:

* For backpacking and hiking; carry a gallon size, freezer-duty ziploc baggie with you. This confines all your trash into one spot and contains the gooeyness. The baggie also makes for easy disposal when reaching civilization again.

* Have a dedicated stuff sack for your “trash baggie”. This helps even further in separating the garbage from everything else in your pack.

* While on the trail I use the mesh pocket in my hip belt to stuff any wrappers I may need to discard of later.

* For car camping, the gallon baggie trick works great as well. Or, we usually have a dedicated sack for trash, sometimes a few depending on how long we’re gone.

Try to remember when backpacking, or camping, to remove as much packaging as possible before heading out. This makes everything easier.

Thank you to those eco-warriors that pick up other’s trash. This is a beautiful world. It can be even better if we all work together.

~In Peace

Dutch Oven Delights: Sweet Rosemary Rolls

This Dutch oven recipe takes a little bit of extra time, but the end result is worth every anxious moment.

I love Dutch oven cooking, especially since it’s a year round activity!

Dutch Oven Sweet Rosemary Rolls

2 cups whole wheat flour
3 Tbs. fresh rosemary; finely chopped
2 Tbs. active dry yeast
2 tsp. salt
2 1/4 cups warm water; 120° F.
1/2 cup honey
3 Tbs. olive oil
3-4 cups white bread flour
cornmeal

Glaze
2 Tbs. honey
2 Tbs. warm water

In a mixing bowl add flour, rosemary, yeast and salt. Stir to mix. Add warm water, honey, and olive oil; mix well. Stir in white bread flour 1 cup at a time until a soft dough is formed.

Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead for 5-7 minutes, adding flour as necessary until dough is smooth and elastic. Set dough in a ightly oiled bowl then turn dough over so the top has a light coating of oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or a towel and set in a warm place free from drafts to raise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Lightly grease the edges of a 12″ Dutch oven, then dust bottom of Dutch oven with cornmeal.

Place raised dough on a lightly floured board and punch down. Cut dough into 13 pieces. Form pieces into balls and place them in the prepared Dutch oven, 8 pieces around the ouside edge, 4 in an inner circle, and 1 in the center. Place lid on the Dutch oven and let raise for 30 minutes.

In a small cup or bowl combine honey with water and stir until honey is dissolved. Brush rolls lightly with glaze then bake using 10-12 briquettes on the bottom and 18-20 briquettes top for 20-25 minutes until rolls are golden brown. To ensure even browning make sure to rotate the oven and lid in opposite directions every 5-10 minutes.