Was there ever anything so comforting, so reassuring, so evocative of home and hearth than the smell and taste of home made bread? Mankind has had it in some form or another almost as long as our own existence. It can be found all over the world. It is mentioned in the Bible, the Talmud and Lord of the Rings. Mahatma Ghandi said, “There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.” It is used as a meal in and of itself, as a dessert, as an accompaniment. It is a ubiquitous necessity.
Crusty on the outside and soft inside, these are a perfect accompaniment to stews and chilies. If you have any left over, slice them in half the next day for an awesome sandwich bread. Bannock is a great beginner’s recipe; it’s really, really hard to mess these babies up. You can see if they’re starting to burn, and if they’re doughy inside, just stuff ’em back into the skillet. I’ve made them on a large flat river rock, scrubbed and tilted to the fire to heat an hour or so before using. You can vary the flavor of Bannock bread simply by adding your herb of choice to the flour before mixing everything together. Try rosemary when serving them with chicken, and mixed herbs for any reason.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. butter
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Cut butter in (you can use two knives in a criss-cross motion, or even, if you’re quick enough not to melt the butter, use your fingers) until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in enough cold drinking water to make a firm dough, maybe a 1/4 cup or a little more. Shape into a single cake about an inch thick and place in greased skillet and place over hot coals or coleman burner, frying until bottom crust forms, maybe 5-10 minutes, depending on how hot the coals and how cold the day. Turn.
If you are using a stove, now is the time to take the skillet over to your campfire. Prop skillet in front of the fire, slanting it so it gets direct heat on the top of the bannock bread, but not so steep and angle that the bannock starts to “flow”. Place bannock in the skillet. Then cook about 15 minutes, gradually increasing the slant of the skillet as the bannock bakes, and turning the handle to change the bannock’s relative position to the heat to encourage more even cooking. It’s done when bannock sounds hollow when patted on top. Eat hot, tearing individual portions from the bread.
Hot oatmeal is one of those things that can be gluey and boring or fabulous. Here is how to make it fabulous.
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 cups old-fashioned (rolled) oats
Place oats into saucepan with salt and water and bring to a boil. Adding the oats before the water gets hot makes it creamier in consistency. Don’t use milk in place of the water; it burns too easily and makes the oatmeal stickier. When boiling, reduce heat to a busy simmer and stir until oatmeal thickens. At this point you can serve it with milk and sugar, or you can jazz it up a little:
- Stir in 1 teaspoon cinnamon and top it with warm apple sauce.
- Stir in 1 cup of raisins or dried cranberries and top with sliced almonds or walnuts.
- Beat 2 eggs with 1/4 cup milk, stir in some of the hot oatmeal, then add mixture back into the rest of the oatmeal. Add 1/2 cup sugar. Top with sliced peaches and fresh raspberries.
- Pour a little half and half over each serving and add a teaspoonful of brown sugar to the top.
- Mix 1/2 cup of peanut butter into the oatmeal, then serve into bowls. Top with a tablespoonful of nutella or grate some dark chocolate over it.
Try these instead of potato chips, or along side them. Prepare them ahead of time for camp trip. Easy to make and a huge hit with snackers, even at home.
pita rounds (at least one per person)
freshly ground black pepper
fresh or dried chopped rosemary
Brush each round with olive oil, then sprinkle generously with salt, pepper and rosemary. Then cut each round into bite-sized wedges and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 or 15 minutes, or until each wedge is nicely toasted. Serve with any dip, or instead of crackers with soup.
This makes about 5 cups (just over 1 litre) of stuffing; good enough for the crop of a turkey, a good-sized chicken, 6 medium-large tomatoes, or about 4 trout weighing a pound (454 kg.) each. It is a great all-purpose stuffing that can be used for stuffing anything, and you can change it with the addition of favorite spices or a cup of anything–oysters, shrimp, mushrooms, dates, chopped drained spinach; the sky’s the limit.
4 cups soft bread crumbs or 5 cups day-old bread torn into 1″ pieces
1 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped onion, sauteed in 1/4 cup butter
1 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp salt
Toss all ingredients together and stuff desired item. If stuffing is too dry, add a little liquid; if too wet, more bread. Keep in mind that most stuffing will not be too dry as it absorbs liquid from the food it is being cooked in.