Wednesday, January 16, 2013

It's what's for dinner!

Mr. Pirate loves his toys.  Almost anything mechanical, electrical and/or computerized is fascinating.  Especially if they can all be found in the same item. :-)

Mr. Pirate gets guy-stuff catalogs in  the mail, touting all the latest "manly" stuff.  One item that caught his eye was a battery powered rotisserie (that's two out of the three attractions).  You might ask, "why on EARTH would he be interested in such a thing?????"   But, I tell you, there IS a reasonable rationale!

You see, the Pirate family likes to go tent camping.  We have done that for our annual family vacation since Mr. Pirate & I were married, lo those many 34-odd years ago.  Yes, several of those years were VERY odd, indeed. :-)

When I was growing up with my parents and siblings, that's what WE did for vacations.  Mr. Pirate was slightly more rustic, in that he went back-packing.  I gave back-packing the old college try when dating Mr. Pirate but I'm a wuss ... it just wasn't my cup of tea.  But I love camping.

So, Mr. Pirate is always on the lookout for camping gear.  Sometimes weird camping gear.  Some of the items he buys are experimental and don't work out as envisioned.  Some have become part of our standard camping equipment.

You see, as we are tent camping, we don't have electricity.  This cuts down our options on cooking quite a bit.  Mainly we do stovetop cooking and Dutch oven cooking.  Typically speaking, we have a large group when we camp ... sometimes between 15-20 people.  This also cuts down our options for cooking, as grilled steaks for 20 just doesn't cut it.  In recent years, the group has decreased to 8-12 people but still ... that's a lot of people to cook for out of doors! We have some tried and true dishes that have become standards at camping, simply because they feed a lot of people without a  lot of work and it's easy clean up.

Back to the guy-stuff catalog ... Mr. Pirate saw this battery powered rotisserie.  It was intriguing. We could potentially do a rotisserie roast for *everyone*, no muss/no fuss, and what a great change of pace for dinner!

This afternoon/evening we (Mr. Pirate & I) decided to try out the new battery rotisserie.  A 3 lb roast was obtained, seasoned and skewered onto the rotisserie.

Originally, Mr. Pirate thought he would use coals from the wood fire to cook the roast, but being unsure of how long this might be, he changed his mind and opted to use charcoal briquettes instead.

Last summer, Mr. Pirate built us a keyhole firepit in our backyard.  For this rotisserie experiment, he built a wood fire in the firepit (so we could keep warm in the chilly January late afternoon) and a charcoal fire in the keyhole portion.  As the wood fire burned down and produced some wonderful coals, we moved those wood coals to the charcoal briquette pile to help cook the roast.

As we waited the hour-and-20-minutes for the roast to cook, we enjoyed some wine that was leftover from a previous party.

No, these bottles were NOT full when we started the roast.  But they sure became empty by the time the roast was ready to eat!  :-)

During the waiting time, I used the opportunity to collect the daily eggs from our stupid chickens.

Boy, we had a bumper crop today!  Four eggs!  woo hoo!

These chickens 

and these chickens  (plus one rooster who doesn't lay eggs at all) produced those four eggs.

And let me tell you, they are really producing these days!   Those four eggs are double the production from last month!  :-) 

During the summer, they'll lay between 8-10 eggs a day but now, during winter, when there's less daylight, they just don't sit down on the job, as they should.  I keep waving a rubber chicken in front of them, with the caution that "this could be YOU" but they, like the cats, just ignore me.

Eventually, the roast was done, the chickens had gone home to roost and Mr. Pirate & I moved indoors.  The roast was wonderful and I do believe we have found an additional way to fix dinner at camping!  :-)

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