Over the weekend we went camping and it was fantastic. Beautiful, perfect weather every day. We had lots of family, lots of guitar playing, some playing on the beach and some of the best, most creative food I have ever had camping.

In years past, we had one person buy all the food and everybody paid them. However, that puts entirely too much responsibility on one person, both to buy, plan, and transport all of the food, but it also makes them the defacto food master to make all the meals as well. So instead, we came up with a new scheme that I think makes a lot more sense. Every person is assigned one meal, to do with what they wish. We gave some suggestions so that people wouldn’t have overlapping meals, but other than that it was fair game. This worked out well for a few reasons. First, when people were divying up the money last year, it seemed like a lot of money for food. Now, they are spending the same amount of money, but it doesn’t seem like it. I don’t know if that made sense or not. Second, it forces everyone to do the work of at least one meal. Third, it is still a lot easier than planning food for yourself for the whole week. You only have to think about one meal, and once that’s out of the way, you’re off the hook. Finally, as a side effect of #3, because people only have to focus their energies on one meal, they can come up with some fantastic stuff.

Case in point, one morning for breakfast we had fresh doughnuts.


This was followed later for lunch by fresh french fries.

french fries

Both cases involved using a dutch oven as a deep fryer; loading it up with oil and heating that oil in the coals. The doughnuts were then rolled in either sugar or powdered sugar. Seriously, this was straight out of “Dutch Oven Cookin’ with Cee Dub“! To be able to eat food like that while camping was amazing. The doughnuts in particular were a big hit; we consumed 60 of them.

Most of the rest of the food was pretty standard, however, that wasn’t the only campfire food experiment. There was also an incident involving jiffy pop extended over the flames on the top of a shovel, with gloves to protect hands. The popcorn came out fine, but it didn’t work quite as well as the one actually cooked over the stove. I also used some brilliant pudgie pie makers that were double wide, enabling you to cook two at the same time.

As for Evie, she greatly improved her steering ability with the tricycle. She can at least keep it going in the direction she wants, although it is no straight line. We also had a lot of fun inventing games to play with the parachute. Evie enjoyed it the most, but I think the rest of the campers enjoyed it the second most. It’s not everyday you see grown adults whooping and hollering and skipping to their loo (oh yes, there is blackmail video).

We also hit up New Buffalo’s legendary restaurant Redamaks, something that I’ve longed to do for years after seeing countless billboards. The result? It was actually quite excellent. As Sara said, “I’ve never seen a menu with so much fried stuff.” It was a little strange with the paper plates and plastic silverware, but the food was exactly what I needed at that moment.

Finally, what would a camping trip be without some jowling? Jowling is when you shake your head back and forth with your lower jaw sort of hanging loose, and then have somebody snap a picture. This leaves your face in all sorts of weird positions, like you have a crooked face, or a palsy of some sort, or got punched by an invisible prize fighter. For example…

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