Last week Sam and I went camping in Yosemite with my sister Laurel and brother-in-law Joe. Yosemite is the land of waterfalls and granite mountains, including Half Dome and El Capitan. And bears. There are bear warnings all over the place.
Laurel and Joe love cooking in the wilderness almost as much as they love the wilderness, so they planned our menus for the camping trip and brought along their impressive collection of camping cooking gear. This is my sister Laurel!
The first night we had Turkey Chili, Cornbread and Green Salad. The impressive part about the chili is that Laurel made it from scratch at the campsite! She used this recipe from Epicurious.com. Instead of using only white beans, she also used black beans and kidney beans. With an ice chest to keep the ingredients cold and a camping stove to cook the chili on, making the chili on the spot was pretty painless.
We also had freshly baked corn bread.
The secret to baking while camping is to use a Dutch oven heated by coals. In this photo, my brother-in-law Joe is pouring the cornbread batter into the cast iron Dutch oven.
By putting a specific number of hot coals on the top and bottom, Joe knows exactly what the temperature is inside the Dutch oven.
After about 40 minutes of baking, the cornbread is ready! There’s nothing like warm, freshly baked cornbread to accompany a piping hot bowl of chili.
We had a green salad to round out our hot and hearty meal. The chili was delicious, and I will definitely make it at home this winter.
If you’re curious what we ate the rest of the trip…
Breakfast: eggs, sausage, pancakes or oatmeal
Lunch: PB&J, trail mix, fruit
Dinner: Smothered Chicken served over wild rice, salad
And, to crown off the smothered chicken meal, Joe made brownies in the Dutch oven! A hot, gooey brownie eaten in front of the fire sure beats s’mores.
Here are a few more Yosemite shots:
Yosemite was showing signs of autumn.
My deer friend. When I peeked under a log to see her better, she peeked down to see me and started posing for me.
Sam and I hiked to Vernal Falls.
Can you spot the double rainbow in the Vernal Falls pool?
Rocks and trees.
El Capitan. Apparently people sleep overnight suspended from the rock face. Scary!
Sam and me in front of Bridal Veil Falls.