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Saturday, September 5, 2015

Food for Thought : Weekend Camping

When was the last time you went to a local park, campground or National park for the day or over the weekend? Camping, hiking and spending time outdoors is a great way to get some quality family time without breaking the budget. It can also be a healthy way to get active and get some exercise as a family. This is the perfect time of the year to share in the creation of many memories. The weather is cooler, but the hustle of fall activities and the holiday season is not quite upon us. Whether you plan to sleep in a tent, you rent a cabin or just go on a day trip, there are several places in this area easily within driving distance. Here are a few tips to help you and your family have a healthy and active trip to a local park:

1 .   Come prepared. Know exactly where you are going and what activities you plan to partake in before you leave home, as well as predicted weather conditions. Having the right equipment for activities helps reduce the risk of injuries and illness. Make sure to pack a first aid kit.
2 .   Plan your meals and snacks. Know which foods need to be refrigerated and pack a cooler if necessary. Plan at least one extra snack per person per day if you are going to be engaging in excessive amounts of physical activity.
3 .   Pack non-perishable foods when you can. Trail mix made of nuts, seeds, dried fruit and granola makes a wonderful addition to any hiking or biking trip. If you are cooking your meals, make sure you follow all food safety rules and bring plenty of anti-bacterial wipes for your hands and equipment.
4 .   If you are planning to take raw meats to cook on the campfire, make sure you pack them in a separate cooler. If you plan to fish, make sure you have a separate cooler to store your day’s catch.
                                                                Pan-Fried Fish:
1          pint homogenized milk
6-8       ounces beer
1          egg, beaten well
2          tablespoons prepared mustard
Salt and pepper, to taste
Creole Seasoning, to taste
10-12     catfish or trout filets
2/3         cup cornmeal
1/3         cup flour
Salt & cayenne pepper, to taste
Creole seasoning, onion powder, and garlic powder, to taste
¼         cup extra light virgin olive oil
¼         cup butter
Mix well the first seven ingredients; add fish filet and marinate at least 4 hours. Drain filets in a colander. Mix cornmeal, flour, and seasonings. Dip fish filets in cornmeal mixture and fry on medium heat, adding more oil as needed. Drain well and drizzle with lemon juice. Makes 4-6 servings.
          Zesty Tartar Sauce:
1½       cups mayonnaise
1          pickled jalapeno, diced
3          tablespoons sweet pickle relish
2          tablespoons green onion tops, chopped fine
1         tablespoon celery, chopped fine
1           tablespoon capers
1           teaspoon dried dill, optional
Mix together all ingredients; chill.
                                                                       Simple Slaw:
1         (l-pound) bag shredded slaw mix
3         hard-boiled eggs, chopped
3-4     stalks green onion tops, chopped
¾        cup mayonnaise
¼        cup bottled Ranch dressing
Salt and pepper, to taste
Garlic powder, to taste
Crispy, fried bacon, crumbled, (optional)
Combine slaw mix with hard-boiled eggs and green onion tops. Mix mayonnaise and Ranch dressing; toss with slaw mix. Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Blend in crumbled bacon, if using. Makes 6 servings.
Note: For a change of flavor, substitute Italian dressing for the Ranch.
                  :Tomato Pie
4          tomatoes, peeled and sliced
Salt, to taste
10       fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/2      cup chopped green onion
1         (9-inch) deep dish pie shell, baked
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1         cup grated Mozzarella cheese
1         cup grated Monterrey Jack cheese
1         cup mayonnaise
Place tomatoes in a colander in the sink in one layer. Sprinkle with salt and allow to drain for 10 minutes. (If tomatoes are still juicy, place them between layers of paper towels to absorb remaining moisture.) Layer tomato slices, basil, and onion in pie shell. Season with salt and pepper. In a bowl, combine grated cheeses and mayonnaise; stir. Spread mixture on top of the tomatoes. Garnish top with additional chopped green onion and basil, if desired. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes, or until lightly browned. Makes 8-10 servings
Vegetable oil for frying
2            cups yellow cornmeal
1-1/2     cups flour
3            teaspoons baking powder
1            teaspoon salt
1            teaspoon sugar
1            teaspoon garlic powder
Black pepper and Cajun or Creole seasoning to taste
1            egg
1            (15-ounces) can cream-style corn
1/2         cup finely chopped onions
Hot pepper sauce to taste
Worcestershire sauce to taste
Heat vegetable oil in large frying skillet. Mix together all dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside. Mix together the wet ingredients in a small bowl; blend until well mixed. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until well blended. (If consistency is too thick, add milk, a little at a time) Form batter into small balls and drop into hot oil. Cook until lightly brown. Serve with your favorite fish and fries.
            Sausage Biscuits:
1         pound bulk pork sausage
2         cups biscuit baking mix
1         teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1         egg, beaten
1/2      cup water
Make sausage into patties , fry in non-stick skillet ; test for done , remove to paper towel to drain.
Mix all ingredients; drop by spoonfuls on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a 350-degree oven until brown, approximately 25 minutes. These will keep well in a sealed container for several days.
Note:1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese may be added.

Words of Wisdom :

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.

Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.

Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it's all over.

Have great weekend camping trip : be prepared.

A proud grand-poppa                          G.


  1. Hi HB
    This is a pretty awesome post. Lots of stuff to read and recipes too. Just great. The food looks simple to prepare and tasty and is not hard on the average family's pocketbook. The pictures make the food look really delicious.
    We're having our last few camping weekends up here. People with cottages and trailers can go a bit longer. It is Labor day weekend and I can hear some early celebrations going on around town ((fireworks). We always feel a little post-summer letdown when it is over. you would never guess it was September at the moment. We are still having a heat wave.
    I hope you are well and being good. If you are sick and being bad, I still like you anyway
    Love and hugs

  2. My dear Lady ,
    Thank you ever so much . I think families ,especially with children can go places , have a great time without breaking the bank . I also think kids should be asked what they want to do and not just do the things grown up wants , is it not so ? I think my grands are beginning to know their daddy makes an above average salary , thankfully ,they are being raised to understand the value of a dollar .
    We are at the lake ,it is really nice , you don't notice the heat to much , there are plenty of trees on both properties .
    I think I am ready for fall , it is predicted we are in for a winter worse than the last one . All the recipes are tasty , when moving here ,I learned how be kitchen helper . The Hushpuppies is the bread Sal puts in his pocket , Nee make Hot water cornbread , cornpone cornbread , spoon and regular oven cornbread . First tried the tomato pie , did not think I would like it , just delicious .
    Hope you are on the mend and feeling better each day . At my age a few aches let me know I am still among the living (laughing my butt off). No way I will start being good at this stage of my life , heck ,I am having too much fun .
    Hugs and love

    PS: Nee said she left you a letter on wag .

    1. Hi Nee,
      Thank you for the letters and support. Don't know what we would do without you and G around here. Hope the kids are enjoying school.

  3. Aunty and Genie ,
    Better late than never , people is enjoying the last holiday for a while . Jean , Anita said they will have no problem getting questions to contribute to Maxy . My people are ready to go ,
    Hi Genie , hope life is treating you well .
    You sweet niece

    Dear Maxy ,
    It has been a dream of mine to continue my college education in London . When I spoke to my mentors about my plans , they told me that it would not be a good idea because the America job market will not hold an international degree in the same regard as an American college degree . I respect my mentor , but I really think I should go to London and make my dream come true . Besides , I cannot let my friends down ... this is all I have been talking about since I were 10 years old . What are your thoughts ? Should I make my dream come true , or should I continue my college education in American with a focus on international studies ?
    A Dream Deferred

    Dear Maxy ,
    I was invited to attend a small wedding in a few weeks for one of my college friends . I invited a woman to be my date for the ceremony . However , we are not currently communicating with each other due to a disagreement . Do you think it is wrong for me to inform her that I made new arrangements for the wedding ? I don't mean to be rude , but we are no longer dating and sge doesn't even know the couple .
    Wedding Crusher

    Dear Maxy ,
    I've been in a relationship for five years with a guy who has been very enjoyable company , however , in the past 18 months , rumors have surfaced about him being bisexual . He never told me about this part of his past . Finally , I confronted him and he admitted that this was just a whim at a time in his life when he was alone . He's been divorced for 23 years and claims he never knew why his wife divorced him .
    He now feels that , since he is with me and the desires are no longer there , I should just forget about my disgusted feelings and go on as if nothing was ever said . His friends was the ones who kept dropping these hints to me , but , of course I ignored them until now .
    I don't know if I should continued this relationship . He is 85 and I am 79 . We don't have sex since he has erectile dysfunction and his desire has diminished .
    Worrying Winnie


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