Just say the word “camp” and a whole slew of memories come flooding back. Polar bear swims, kayaking on Shavehead Lake (and, once out of view of the guards, tipping the kayaks over and back again), campfires in Mosquito Hollow, ringing THE bell to call others to dinner, running down the steps to the chapel, skinny dipping at midnight (this under adult supervision) — girls only, and oh yeah, that long bus trip from Bluffton with the bus driver singing his obligatory round of “Back home again in Indiana” as we cross the state line. Once we hit the Michigan line, we knew we were close. The road started to dip up and down until we finally spied the rickety “Camp Friedenswald” sign.
The ride to camp still takes 3-3 1/2 hours, despite better roads, and the anticipation still produces butterflies of excitement in my stomach. So it was that we found ourselves heading up to camp at the crack of dawn (5:30 a.m.) for church conference board meetings. Seems that every October visit there is the same — rainy and chilly. But midway through the meeting, the sun peeked out, and I thought I might actually be able to take a walk through the grounds.
We’d taken Ike along, since his favorite dogsitters weren’t available, so after two hours of waiting patiently in the car, he was ready for a stroll. I decided to introduce him to all of my favorite spots:
The bell, the chapel, kayaks on the beach, diving board and slide in Shavehead Lake.
It was an all-too brief stay and just made me ache for a longer one in the near future. But still, I got my camp fix. And for now, it’ll have to do. Besides, it’s just a place. The memories and feelings are with me forever. Maybe my photos will help you get a faux camp fix.
Last week one day, my daughter texted me a photo of something edible. At least I thought that it looked edible. Turned out it was strawberry baked oatmeal. It look really good and I was really hungry. Only problem was she lives oh so far away. So I asked for the recipe. I’m thinking of making my own version with rhubarb.
This reminds me of a conversation I had with the late Barney Habegger (of http://www.habeggerfurniture.com/) . Barney and I were eating breakfast at Camp Friedenswald (http://www.friedenswald.org/) where baked oatmeal is often on the menu. Unfortunately, he and I both had to skip it because we both have (had) high cholesterol and that morning’s version had a high fat content (not the good fat). We were both determined to create a lower-fat version. Lindsay’s done that for us.
Strawberry baked oatmeal
1.5 cups rolled oats
1a/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk (I use soy)
1/4 cup applesauce
any fruit you want
Bake at 350 for 40 minutes
(Add maple syrup if you want)
I haven’t baked my oatmeal yet, but the cooler days do inspire me to cook more “cozy” foods. Yesterday I woke up and my first thought was that it felt like a lentil-soup-in-the-crockpot day. Since I didn’t have all the ingredients in an specific recipe, I combined ingredients from three recipes. This is what I came up with. It’s a vegetarian version but you could easily add ham to it. Here’s the thing about lentil soup — you can add just about any veggie to it and it’ll still turn out great! I also don’t know exactly how much garlic was in mine. My husband had to dig some up from the garden, so he added it later after I’d left.
1 c. onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
5 c. fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth (I make this, using the vegetarian chicken-flavored broth powder from The Food Store in Bluffton)
1 c. dried lentils
1/2 c. carrots (I skipped these — I hate cooked carrots)
3 c. Swiss chard (I used a mixture of chard and spinach)
1 1/2 c. potatoes, chopped (I used sweet potatoes)
1 c. ham, chopped (didn’t use this in mine)
14 1/2 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 tsp. dried basil (or fresh)
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. black pepper
3 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
Combine all ingredients except fresh parsley in slow cooker. Cover. Cook on low 7-9 hours. Stir in fresh parsley and serve.
Note: We sprinkle grated cheese on ours right before eating; sometimes we also add vinegar.