Camp Cobbler

06 . 11 . 13

 

“If you are divided from your body, you are also divided from the body of the world. Which then appears to be other than you, separate from you, rather from the living continuum to which you belong.” — Eve Ensler 

This theme, that of the body and women, and our constant attempts to correct or control what is lacking of our physical selves and in our lives has come up in too many conversations lately. With dear friends, young and old, wise our chats have led to, among many things, some variation of the question: why, when everything feels out of control, do we sometimes turn on our bodies? In some last ditch effort to keep things together, we, women, often become these punishing, masterful tyrants, who live secretly in the shadows of our self-consciousness and inadequacy and restrict and pinch and squeeze and shudder at all that our bodies lack. In the name of health, deprive ourselves of the joy  we deserve and mask the deep disequilibrium in the vessel we inhabit. As Eve says, we are then divided. Our bodies become an object to fix, and then too does the world. The world is not an object. Your body is not an object.

I read something in an Oprah Magazine on a flight home from college a few years ago that still haunts me. There was this featurette on women in their 60′s and 70′s espousing the joys of finally coming into their own skin in their later decades. It featured a photo series of women, beautiful, eyes closed, laughing, wind blowing in their wavy grey hair. They all looked so happy, genuinely, finally, happy. I was happy for them, too. I also felt like I was going to throw up. The idea that I, and all women my age, might spend the next 40 years of our lives unhappy with and at war against our bodies was terrifying. I tore out the pages of the spread and stuffed them in a textbook tucked in the seat-back pouch, closed my eyes and thought, “I don’t want to wait that long… I can’t wait that long” What if I don’t even get that long? I mean, how dare I waste this time? No way, no how. Self-love is not a rite of passage,not  something we are entitled to only after years of suffering.

I’m not entirely sure where I’m going with all of this, but I’m not trying to stand on a soap box to convince you to love your body — there are women leading that call-to-action with much greater poeticism and punch than I ever could. Of course, if I were sitting on the back porch with you tomorrow night, I’d promise you and plead, with deep conviction and sincerity, that you are the most powerful and beautiful creature on the planet. Yet I do want to tell you one thing: go outside. Get out in the sunshine and warm air and away from the noise of the city and your routine and let your limbs take you places and show you parts of the earth and the living continuum to which you belong. The closer you get to nature, the harder it will be to hate your body. You belong to these places. They will remind you of your goodness and beauty and strength that you may have forgotten lives in you. It takes nearly four hours to summit 3,800 feet of a mountain like one we filmed above. As the altitude increases, our pace tempers and at each pause for oxygen, I stand filled with so much gratitude for what my body is, for what it does, for how hard it works to bring me to these places. Here, in the wildest parts of the earth, I know in my heart I lack nothing. Every maddening, dark thought or ill will I have felt towards myself in the past is dismissed and deep love and care fills the vacuum it left behind. You may not need to climb to 14,000 feet to find this peace. Maybe you’d like to learn to hula hoop, swim backstroke in a lake, train for a 5k fun run. I don’t care. Something. Move. Breathe. Look out and look in. Watch how much your body allows you to do and feel. Give thanks. Be kind. Let’s not wait until we’re 70 to feel good about the vessel we landed to change the world from. There is freedom in appreciation given.

Kelsey Brown & Mt. Huron

Camp Cobbler 

Adapted from Nicole Spiridakis, for NPR Kitchen Window

Folks, this is killer. For what this cobbler lacks in beauty it makes up ten-fold in taste, especially after a full day on the move. Not much mise en place when it comes to camp cooking, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Any summer fruit combination will do. I had strawberries and rhubarb on hand for this trip. I imagine peaches, plums, cherries, or blackberries will be fantastic as they come into season this summer.

Filling

  • 2 lbs strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 2 stalks rhubarb, sliced
  • 1/2 cup sugar

 

Pastry

  • 3 cups flour (I used pastry)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 cups buttermilk

 

At home: Mix together the dry ingredients, except sugar, and place in a bag or tupperware. Pack sugar separately. Measure out the buttermilk and transfer to a small container.

In camp: Set up the fire and place a grill about 4 inches above the flame. If you forget a grate (oops) create a rock formation to protect the iron from direct flame. Cut the fruit into chunks and toss with the sugar. Add the fruit to a heavy, cast-iron 5-quart Dutch oven or a deep cast-iron skillet.

For the biscuits, place the pre-mixed dry ingredients in a bowl. Cut the butter into the flour mixture until the butter is the size of small peas. Stir in the buttermilk, just until the batter comes together.

Drop dollops of the dough in an even layer over the fruit. Cover the Dutch oven and put the cobbler over the fire pit. Cook until the biscuits are cooked all the way through, about 30 minutes.

Ours To Keep

05 . 01 . 13

Happyolks Whole Wheat Belgian Waffles with Thyme, Strawberries, and Mascarpone-4Happyolks Whole Wheat Belgian Waffles with Thyme, Strawberries, and Mascarpone-7Happyolks Whole Wheat Belgian Waffles with Thyme, Strawberries, and Mascarpone-11Happyolks Whole Wheat Belgian Waffles with Thyme, Strawberries, and Mascarpone-15

“And I asked myself about the present: how wide it was, how deep it was, how much was mine to keep.”

― Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt, I asked myself the same question this morning. I poured myself some coffee, looked at my squash and tomato starts on the kitchen counter, safe from the snow coming down more violently than usual outside, and thought for a moment that all of the present — the deep, the shallow, the long, the short, the good, the bad, the snow, the sun — is all mine, and ours, to keep.

Happyolks Whole Wheat Belgian Waffles with Thyme, Strawberries, and Mascarpone-18Happyolks Whole Wheat Belgian Waffles with Thyme, Strawberries, and Mascarpone-20Happyolks Whole Wheat Belgian Waffles with Thyme, Strawberries, and Mascarpone-29Happyolks Whole Wheat Belgian Waffles with Thyme, Strawberries, and Mascarpone-30

Whole Wheat Belgian Waffles with Mascarpone, Thyme, and Strawberries 

  • 1  1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup milk or milk alternative
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1 orange, zest and juice
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries
  • 20 springs fresh thyme
  • 1-2 cups mascarpone cheese
  • 1/3 cup honey, plus more for finishing

 

Melt butter over low heat in a small saucepan, set aside. In a small bowl, mix and dissolve the yeast. In a larger bowl, combine salt and flour. Whisk together the yeast-water, milk, butter, egg yolks, and honey and combine with the dry ingredients. In another small bowl, beat the egg whites (like a crazy woman) until frothy. Fold into batter with 1/2 cup mascarpone, zest of half the orange, and leaves of 10 springs of thyme. Set aside, covered, for 10-20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200′. Turn on your waffle iron to medium-high heat. As it warms, cut strawberries into slices or quarters in a bowl. Mix with extra honey, the remaining thyme, and the juice and zest of your small orange. Set aside.

Grease your heated iron with butter or coconut oil. Pour a heaping cup of the batter and cook until golden and crispy on the outer edges. Transfer waffles to the oven to keep warm and repeat with remaining batter. To serve, smear with marscapone and top with a heap of gussied strawberries and a drizzle of honey.

  • Happyolks Whole Wheat Belgian Waffles with Thyme, Strawberries, and Mascarpone-38 Happyolks Whole Wheat Belgian Waffles with Thyme, Strawberries, and Mascarpone-44 Happyolks Whole Wheat Belgian Waffles with Thyme, Strawberries, and Mascarpone-46 Happyolks Whole Wheat Belgian Waffles with Thyme, Strawberries, and Mascarpone-50 Happyolks Whole Wheat Belgian Waffles with Thyme, Strawberries, and Mascarpone-57 Happyolks Whole Wheat Belgian Waffles with Thyme, Strawberries, and Mascarpone-60 Happyolks Whole Wheat Belgian Waffles with Thyme, Strawberries, and Mascarpone-58 Happyolks Whole Wheat Belgian Waffles with Thyme, Strawberries, and Mascarpone-61 Happyolks Whole Wheat Belgian Waffles with Thyme, Strawberries, and Mascarpone-62 Happyolks Whole Wheat Belgian Waffles with Thyme, Strawberries, and Mascarpone-66Happyolks Whole Wheat Belgian Waffles with Thyme, Strawberries, and Mascarpone-70

Banana Hemp Granola

08 . 02 . 12

Dear Universe,

I am in constant awe of your timing and how you always seem to bring people into (and out of) my life with such explicit purpose. I feel moved and changed and inspired by so many souls in ways that I cannot yet put into words. Thank you. 

That’s all for now.

Kelsey

Banana Hemp Granola 

  • 3-4 ish cups thick-cut, old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup hemp seeds
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup grade b maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt

Here’s a quick and dirty way to make ultra-clumpy granola: stand mixer. I discovered the technique on a rushed morning while juggling fifteen balls before for a camping trip to the mountains. Mix together all wet ingredients and bananas until you get a thick, chunky liquid. Add oats and let the machine run on medium-high for a few minutes before adding the hemp seeds. Scrape the sides as needed until everything is well-coated and clumping.

Turn out and spread granola onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes at 400′ F. Check at around 20 minutes and turn over with a spatula or wooden spoon to evenly brown everything up. Let cool for 30 minutes before storing. We enjoyed it camping fireside with greek yogurt the next day.

Let's get in Touch

I wish I could make coffee dates with you all. In the meantime, feel free to drop me a line with questions, comments, concerns, or just to say Hi. I like that. There is nothing more uplifting than an email from a a fresh contact or kindred spirit.

I can be reached through this contact form and at happyolks [at] gmail [dot] com.