Tell Black Friday to take a hike, and get outside this Thanksgiving.
Depending on where you’re located, camping for Thanksgiving could sound crazy, or crazy awesome. Without walls to put boundaries on your gathering, perhaps you’ll be inspired to go for a post-turkey (or, veggie turkey) adventure instead of passing out on the living room floor only to miss quality bonding time with the extended fam.
4 firm pears
1 bottle red wine
3 cups water
1 vanilla bean
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
1 cup sugar
1. Peel the pears, but leave them whole and keep the stems on them. Slice a small amount of the base off if you’d like them to sit up straight up when served.
2. Pour the wine, water, sugar, and spices into a large stockpot over medium-low heat. Gently add the pears to the poaching liquid. Let the liquid heat and slowly simmer for about 30 minutes or until until pears are deep red in color.
3. Remove the pears from the poaching liquid.
4. You can serve the red wine poached pears immediately along with a glass of the poaching liquid, which is in essence a mulled wine. Alternatively, you can boil the liquid until it is thick and syrupy and drizzle over the poached pears.
2 tablespoons butter or bacon drippings
1 cup white cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk, or more if needed
1. Place 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings in a 6 1/2-inch Lodge cast iron skillet and set in the oven while it preheats to 425°F.
2. Whisk together the cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Whisk the egg, buttermilk, and the remaining 1 tablespoon bacon drippings together in a medium bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the buttermilk mixture and stir just until combined. The mixture should pour like pancake batter; if not, add a little more buttermilk.
3. Pour the batter into the hot skillet. Bake until the crust is dark golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot, no chaser.
2 pounds Brussels sprouts (Kelly gets his from Woodson Ridge Farms in Oxford, Mississippi)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/4 pound sliced bacon (Kelly likes to use Benton’s hickory-smoked country bacon from Madisonville, Tennessee), cut across into strips
2 shallots, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Bring a large pot of very salty (salty like the ocean) water to a boil.
2. Trim the stems of the Brussels sprouts, then cut them in half through the stem. Blanch the sprouts in the boiling water until tender but not mushy, about 2 minutes. Drain, then shock the sprouts in ice water to stop the cooking and drain again.
3. In a small bowl, make a vinaigrette by whisking the oil and vinegar together until it thickens (emulsifies).
4. In a Lodge 15-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon; when it begins to crisp and the fat is released, add the sprouts. Cook, stirring a few times, until the sprouts start to take on good color, about 1 minute. Add the shallots, garlic, and thyme, toss to combine, and cook, stirring, until the shallots become translucent.
5. Pour over the vinaigrette to coat the salad (still in the skillet) and season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
Campfire Roasted Pumpkin Rice by Dirty Gourmet
Prep time: 10 minutes, Cook time: 20 minutes
Roasting time: about 1 hour (varies on campfire and pumpkin size)
9 inch sugar pumpkin (with a nice big stem)
1 1⁄2 2 cups arborio rice
4 4 1⁄2 cups broth
1⁄2 tsp salt
2 tablespoons butter
1⁄2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1⁄2 cup walnuts, chopped
1⁄2 cup dried barberries
1⁄2 tsp salt
1. Make sure the pumpkin fits in your dutch oven! It should sit comfortably inside the dutch oven diameter.
2. Soak barberries in warm water for 10 minutes and then drain.
3. Melt butter in a skillet set over medium heat. Add the dried apricots, walnuts and barberries. Cook until the fruit is softened, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
4. In a pot, bring 4 cups of broth to a boil and add the arborio rice with 1⁄2 teaspoon of salt. Simmer with lid slightly ajar until rice is cooked, approximately 20 minutes. Check rice after about 10 minutes and make sure there is still some liquid. Add 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 cup of water or broth if necessary.
5. Add nut and fruit mixture to rice and mix well. Add salt to taste if mixture still needs seasoning.
6. Pack in water tight container or gallon sized zip top bag and store in cooler.
1. Get a nice campfire going to build a bed of hot coals.
2. Wash and dry pumpkin. Cut a lid around the stem and set aside. Scrape out insides of pumpkin leaving only the firm flesh.
3. Set the pumpkin in the dutch oven and scoop the rice filling into it. Don’t over fill the pumpkin the pumpkin lid should still close tightly.
4. To cover the pumpkin and create an ovenlike condition, use a 10 inch cast iron skillet as an improvised lid by turning it upside down and placing over the dutch oven. If the pumpkin is too tall, get creative and build a foil cover that will be easy to open/remove and put back on (you’ll need to check in on the pumpkin during the process).
5. Set the dutch oven directly in the fire pit with coals using your lid lifter. Place hot coals on top of the cast iron lid. Rotate 1⁄4 turn every 15 minutes until pumpkin outside is slightly soft to the touch and the inside flesh is soft.
6. Remove from the campfire and set on heatproof surface. Using a big spoon, scoop up rice, scraping up bits of pumpkin at the same time. Serve immediately.
3 1/4 cup Cold Brew
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 T salt
2 garlic cloves
1 1/2 T black pepper
1 1/2 T mustard seed
1 1/2 T coriander seed
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup heirloom baby carrots 1 cup brussels sprouts
2 medium purple yams
2 cups chopped butternut squash
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2-4 cloves of garlic
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 tbsp. olive oil
1. Chop the sweet potatoes into disks, then quarter.
2. Cut the brussels sprouts in half.
3. Heat up oil in the cast iron.
4. Once hot, add all the veggies to the skillet.
5. Stir occasionally for 20-30 minutes until veggies soften.
6. Mix in the cranberries and enjoy!
Nutella Hot Chocolate by Fresh off the Grid
Cook time: 5 mins, Total time: 5 mins.
1 cup milk (we used coconut milk powder, 1 tablespoon + 1 cup water)
1 tablespoon Nutella
Optional, and highly recommended : 1 toasted marshmallow
2 or 3 apples (we prefer Fuji), sliced ¼” thin
½ tablespoon oil or butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1.5 oz bourbon
¼ cup brown sugar
1 cup granola
1 cup pitted dates
1/2 can pumpkin
1 1/2 cups almond meal
1/2 cup plant-based chocolate protein powder
1/3 cup superseed blend (chia, hemp hearts, coconut, cranberries, etc)
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
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