Monday, June 22, 2009

All Under The Cloak of Mosquitos

Fire making, let alone gourmet meal making, gets tough under the weight of dense camp drenching clouds. Cooking over steaming, sand-buried coals, with the knuckles of wind at your face SUCKS.
On The Saco River, in a late August storm, sand and rain in nearly everything, thanks to the wonders of foil, we managed to pull off a couple seasonal vegetable courses to remember.
Fire Roasted Beets with Chives, Fresh Parsley, Coarse Salt and Dark Green Olive Oil, steam bursting out of the foil when you first pry it open. STOP. Picture that. Really. Picture it. Pulled from the coals, small pocky char-marked beets........................ Now crumble Feta over that. Yea.

Mexican Street Corn. Simple shucked fresh sweet corn, butter and crema (crème fraîche), wrapped in foil with salt, pepper and lime, buried in coals. finished with more crema, queso seco (or parmesean) and dried chiles.

With each reaching cloud the darkness
set in deeper over camp.
The night moved in on us,
made the river groan and rise and our stomachs turn.

The water level rose up on our sandy beach
which would easily be swallowed if the rain continued
the rain continued
coming down hard on our wind bent fly tarp,
our gear and wood tucked in its belly.
we had to build a fire
had to cook
had to build a fire in the rain
in wet sand
all under the cloak of mosquitos.

B.H. took to the task
Dug a wide hole down to the dry sand
propped split logs up
hung the wet husks of corn
strung like a curtain around the fire to shield the wind.
even created shelves within the fire place
for multiple heat zones
with channels for air dug into the sand
feeding it from underneath
we had a fire
a good fire
and a bed of cooking coals quick
despite the rain

photos by Rick Beaty & Bryan Harland

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