Dericka, Lynnora and I have been camping a couple of times a year. We decided to try and get one trip in during February. There are lots of nice places to camp close to Phoenix and we had not ever tried them. We stayed at Riverside Campground, just below Bartlett Dam. It's only about an hour's drive to get there. It's right on the Verde river. And the weather was perfect the last couple of days.
We generally have some pretty good meals. Here is Lynnora toasting crostini on her little burner. Dericka then assembled them per Lynnora's instructions with cream cheese, capers, dill and smoked salmon. All along with some of Lynnora's homemade butternut squash soup.
I had decided I wanted to try dutch oven cooking. I had done a lot of reading and was ready to try it the first night. The little briquette chimney to start the coals did a fantastic job.
The coals looked great. I followed the recipe exactly down to how many coals on top and how many on the bottom. But It really didn't get hot enough. A little trial and error. We ate it anyway.
Dericka was in charge of breakfast and she fed us fresh eggs from Barbara's chickens, fruit salad, with citrus from Barbara's trees and turkey bacon. I made what were supposed to be lemon bluberry biscuits in the dutch oven. They got a little too much milk and so it was a little more like a cake. It tasted good though and was cooked all the way through.
Lynnora's sloppy joe's for lunch. And then for dinner I made hamburgers on the grill with baked beans and an apple cake in the dutch ovens. We really had too much food. The beans turned out great. The cake was great, but I got it a little too hot on top and burned a little of it on the top. It was pretty tasty though. So still working on the dutch oven skills.
We walked a little, played a little bit of Aggravation on the game table, Cecelia gave me for Christmas. We made bracelets, read, and even took my inflatable Kayak out on Bartlett lake for a little bit. The desert was super green and lush looking. And there were tons of different birds in the area we were in, all singing their hearts out.
It was a fun trip and yes, Dericka and I rented a Uhaul van to take our stuff camping. My car just doesn't cut it and Dericka's is even smaller. The van was a bit of overkill, but it was cheaper than the SUV we usually rent, at least this time.