A Weekend in the Country

For all that I claim that I live practically in the middle of nowhere (that is, I live in Cornfield, USA, hence the blog title), I am still very much and probably will always be a city girl. Or at the very least, a mildly sophisticated suburbian girl.

Last Friday I went to a nature reserve about 40 miles east of town to go on a camping trip and retreat with the Graduate Christian Fellowship. Most of the retreat consisted of us sitting around the campfire talking with each other, but cooking was also a major part of the fun. As I am always stubborn in my desire to be creative, I surfed around the internet looking for good campfire recipes and stumbled on a boy scout site that included directions for cooking a peach in the fire. So I pitted a peach, wrapped it in foil, and cooked it. The result was pretty tasty.

Friday night was spent sleeping in a tent, trying to keep warm as the temperature crept down to the mid-40s. I knew it would be cold, and remembered how I couldn't sleep last year, so I came prepared this time, with basically two sets of pajamas to wear, plus my sleeping bag with its secret hood. The moon was nearly full, so the overcast sky was fairly bright, and I could peek out of my sleeping bag to watch the rain and wind on the tent. Although I was prepared, I was still very glad that this was just an overnight trip, because I definitely prefer the amenities of home.

Camping on Friday meant exhaustion on Saturday - so after a sad football game (green is a very silly color) and a double feature of Toy Story and Toy Story 2, I quit for the day.

(66) That means that today (well, yesterday by now) was my cookie day for the weekend, and once again I aimed for something kind of fancy. These cookies are basically chocolate shortbread with a white chocolate ganache in the center and plain white chocolate drizzled on the top for decoration. The cookies themselves are a little crunchy and very chocolate-y, and I think their dryness pairs well with the ganache.

Whenever I make something with white chocolate, I am always concerned that its richness will overpower everything else, but in this case I think that the fairly small size of the cookies (a little more than 1 square inch) helps to prevent that problem.

Today I ended up spending a large amount of time in the kitchen, preparing food for the next several days. Among my smaller projects are included a modified Turkey and Black Bean Chili (modified because I'm playing around with ways to reduce my meat consumption, so I added fake meat instead), and mixing up a batch of hummus. I'm excited about the hummus, as it's expensive to buy at the store but much less expensive to make at home.

As far as cooking goes, I really love autumn. Now that it's cooling down, I can start making more soups, stews, and chilis, switch back to drinking tea on a regular basis, cook interesting squashes, and pull out the spices that have been in the back of the drawer all summer.

It should be good times. Now all I have to do is make a decision on a Halloween costume...

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