At the end of July, I started going a little bit crazy because I was working too hard. Plus it was about a billion degrees outside (and inside, too, since our off-the-grid barn doesn’t exactly have central air). So I ran away to the fog.
It was amazing. J. and I found icy cold creeks and went wading with minnows.
We had a picnic in the redwoods…
… and went to this awesome store with stuffed animals all over the walls and gold-mining equipment for sale, and an old dude that talked to me about hiking into the mountains of Alaska where he made $360,000 off of his gold claim in one week.
We found treasure in the tidepools.
We camped next to the ocean.
which reminds me of this:
I have lost myself in the sea many times
with my ear full of freshly cut flowers
with my tongue full of love and agony
– Garcia-Lorca, Gacela of the Flight
We brought the cast iron dutch oven with us and cooked all kinds of lovely food at the campsite. It’s amazing how good a hot-dog tastes when it’s slow-roasted on a campfire next to the ocean. I highly recommend it.
Campfire Hot Dogs
Special Equipment: Firewood, a metal shovel, Cast-Iron Dutch Oven, or a stick will work too
Cooking Time: 2 hours or so
Serves: however many you want
- a pack of hot dogs (or Italian sausage, bratwurt, or whatever floats your boat)
- a few tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
- for serving: buns, sauerkraut, whole grain mustard
Build a fire. Wait awhile so the wood starts turning into hot coals (don’t just throw the dutch oven on the fire immediately). Using your shovel, pull away coals from the main fire and make a small pile of the hot coals. Set the dutch oven on top of the coals. Pour in a little oil and add the hot dogs once the pot is hot. Cover, and check occasionally to make sure the pot isn’t getting too hot or cold. If the dutch oven gets too hot, just pull it off of the coals for a minute.
Cooking on coals like this is the equivalent of cooking on medium heat instead of blazing hot. Your pile of coals will stay hot for about 20-30 minutes. Keep adding wood to the main fire and pulling hot coals over to the pile for the dutch oven. The hot dogs will eventually get all nice and browned on the outside and juicy and delicious in the middle. Serve with mustard and sauerkraut. Eat s’mores for dessert.
Make sure to take care of your fire (put it out with sand or dirt, or you can sit and look at the stars until it dies.) We don’t want to be burning down the forest or anything.
If you don’t have a cast-iron dutch oven, you could just use a stick. It will still taste super good.