06 October 2008


I just got home from a very special family-camping weekend. It was trailer living, Deschutes style. We were all so styled out in vintage trailers and greasy faces. Greasy faces? You ask. Yes. Every meal we ate contained copious amounts of animal fat. Specifically... Duck fat. Potatoes in duck fat, pheasant in duck fat, pie with pork fat, pork with pork fat, leeks with butter, EVERYTHING WITH BUTTER! and DUCK FAT! It's true, I'm very enthusiastic about fats. How many times can I say fat? At this point it's starting to sound weird.

The first night, Silas and Leslie were in charge of the menu. We had... Pork roast with home made apple sauce, braised beet greens with bacon, and bread with butter. For dessert, my favorite Leslie dessert, almond cake. This cake is dense, moist, crispy on the edges, and best when a little undercooked. Leslie has this one DOWN! Send me the recipe, someone, please!
The next morning we had banana pancakes, bacon, and 16 french presses of Stumptown coffee (!!??!). Then we went hiking and to come castle or whatever. And then lunch! Creamy mushroom chicken soup with homemade cheddar bread. We also had our found pears and some crazy oatmeal cake for dessert.

After lunch I immediately launched into dinner preparations. I made a pie. Blackberry peach with rosemary, lard crust of course. Baking in a trailer oven is very special. The pie loved every minute, and so did I. Kevin, meanwhile, was cutting up onions and leeks which he cooked down in (at least) two sticks of brown butter. He cooked the pheasant in a pound or two of duck fat, and made polenta with heavy cream and goat cheese. I made a fig compote for the pheasant with balsamic vinegar and some more butter. Kevin tried to talk me into putting two sticks of butter (his magic ingredient) into this sauce as well but I told him to reel it in. I also made Hasselback potatoes, with garlic and more duck fat. These little guys are so good- the best way to eat a potato I might say! The meal was a delight!

It was pouring the first night we got there, so we all stuffed into my dads trailer to eat together out of necessity. The second night it was clear outside, but we cozied up anyway to wait for our imminent heart attacks.

The final morning we had to eat all the remaining food which included: half a pie, half and almond cake, 8 sausages, toast and eggs. Hiro ate 6 cashews and a mound of sand. Jacky ate grass.

We are home now, and Kevin's car got broken into last night. We should have stayed at the campground forever, living in the trailer, eating like kings. The good news is that my brother Ryland is visiting for the week. He is helping my dad with his house.

Now, a few weeks back I attended a "Lobster vs. Dungeoness Crab" party. It was amazing. We all had one of each- speaking of gluttony. I am from Maine, lobster is from Maine, you know which one won. However, I'm going to give out a little shout out to Dungeoness right here, because oh boy is it delicious. You have to work your ass off to get into it, but once you do you are rewarded again and again for your hard work. I am told that there are some very sketchy photos of me from this party, with a ring of butter around my mouth and a possessed look on my face. Fortunately, these have not surfaced so far. But I am waiting in fear for them to arrive in my mailbox, with a note attached asking for one million dollars to stop their public release.
I made a pie for this extravaganza, my blue ribbon winner of course, with a lobster cutout on top to show my allegiance.

It has been a very busy time, and I have had very few staff meals of note lately. Mostly because I haven't been working very frequently. However, there recently have been a few people who have approached me with their most horrendous staff meal memories. Dan, who I was camping with, described the time he was served a pot of tomato sauce full of bay leaves for staff meal...and that's it. I retorted with the time we had canapes with green mayo with ham floaters.
I was inspired by his story to ask my readers (all 4 of you) to email me your worst staff meal tales. If you do, I might post it up here on the old blog! FAME!!!! My email address is Jennyfresh@gmail.com. You can also tell me your best meal if it is really interesting. But I doubt it is.

PS. I have started a mini-pie series at Pine State. Please go and demand one.

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