The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 5,730 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—8,037 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! MJ
Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life …
For this week’s Outpost/”Out There Women” Intermediate Level Merit Badge, I decided to take advantage of some unseasonably warm, late-winter weather and get prepared for glamping season. That’s right: Practice makes perfect, my farm chickadees, and camping (or glamping) is no exception. I was going to be fully ready and organized when spring came, and for me, that readiness starts with food.
Let’s be honest, most things start with food for me.
And end with it, too.
And it’s definitely present and accounted for in the middle, as well.
With my backyard all lovely and fully prepared for outdoor parties, garden soirees, or just a little alone time with Yours Truly and a glass of vino and a good book, I was all set up for some campfire meal practice. To earn my Intermediate Level Badge, I was going to make up some yummy pemmican, and then cook a full day’s meal (appetizer, dinner, and dessert) over an open flame.
Some would say I’ve been known to cook over an open flame in my own kitchen, but I don’t find that very funny. That was just one time. And I put the flames out quite quickly, thank you very much.
Anyway, the pemmican (an old-fashioned ancestor of the good old granola bar) was easy peasy to make up, and I have to say, having a great snack in my back pocket, so to speak, was good for my peace of mind in case my camp meal didn’t turn out spectacularly well. I nibbled on some as I planned out my culinary strategy:
Appetizer: stuffed mushrooms
Dessert (or as I lovingly refer to it, The Main Course): brownies baked in oranges
At the end of my dinner, I was so full, I nearly had to be rolled back into my house … I probably should limit my camping this summer to weekends only, or perhaps concentrate on super-healthy recipes. Or perhaps not devour four brownie oranges.
1/2 cup each: golden raisins, pitted dates, figs, almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans, wheat germ, wheat bran, whole-wheat flour, powdered milk, and honey. Add just enough water to moisten and pour into a buttered pan. Bake for 30 minutes at 375°F. When cool, slice into bars and wrap (reserving one for each pocket).
Stuffed Campfire Mushrooms:
Pop off tops of large, cleaned, white mushrooms. Stuff with browned pancetta (or bacon), bread crumbs, fresh herbs (roughly chopped), minced garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. If you want to go the vegetarian route with your ‘shrooms, omit meat and add butter to moisten you bread crumbs instead. Cook in skillet or wrap tightly in aluminum foil and put directly on the fire.
Meat of choice (I used thinly sliced beef) combined with veggies of choice (I used peppers, broccoli, onions, and yellow zucchini) combined at home in a ziplock bag with soy sauce, garlic, brown sugar, pepper, and a can of pineapple with juice. Drain liquid (can be heated up separately and used for extra sauce). Stir-fry in skillet over flames. Eat with rice noodles (excellent camping food, as you only need to pour boiling water from your kettle over top to moisten).
Homemade cake or brownie mix of your choice (or purchase an organic one). Follow directions for mix and pour into a hollowed-out orange. Wrap tightly in aluminum foil and allow to cook in coals for 5–10 minutes.