36. L and G’s Ham and Cheese Sliders

One of the most peaceful things I’ve been doing lately is spending time with friends’ children. Granted, there are bouts of intense wailing and raw need, but when these babies are asleep (which they are, frequently, if not for long enough for their parents to sleep) they really are incredibly calming, all folds and softness and vulnerability. In many social situations, I usually bring crocheting to work on as my friends and I talk for hours, but holding a sleepy little one has become my default as I sit on a comfy couch and unconsciously sway back and forth.

L and G are family friends of Husbands’ (they have a lot of them!) who live on a lake and own a boat. Some of my favorite memories from the summer of 2014 are swimming in the lake, sunning on the boat, and playing darts in their garage. That memory of ease and summer relaxation seems connected to this simple but flavorful tiny-sandwiches recipe.

I had been saving the recipe for these sliders for an outdoor picnic or some other context that needed many tiny sandwiches, but quick hot sandwiches turned out to be perfect while everyone passed the sleepy baby around – I used turkey rather than ham and cut out the mustard, but they turned out browned, savory, and perfect. More an assembly than a real, scary-consequences cooking job, this kind of recipe is perfect for someone who wants to up their sandwich game but isn’t quite trying chicken cordon bleu any time soon. Also, anything I can eat one handed while my other arm falls asleep under a cute baby’s soft head is a winner in my book.IMG_3981

Ham and Cheese Sliders

24 mini sandwich Hawaiian rolls

1 lb ham sliced

1 lb swiss cheese sliced

¾ c melted butter

1 ½ tbsp. dijon mustard

1 ½ tsp worchestershire sauce

1 ½ tbsp poppyseeds

1 tbsp dried minced onion


Mix and pour over sandwiches. Build sandwiches first, and then bake uncovered for 20-25 min.

Food Memory: Foil Campfire Dinners

foodmemory31

Nothing feels quite so “whole” as putting a few chunks of burger meat, a strip of bacon, and a bunch of coarse-chopped veggies in a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil and cooking them in hot coals by a fire. A little salt and pepper and then just letting everything cook together makes for a meal that is surprisingly harmonious, no matter what you happened to throw into the campfire dinner. It doesn’t hurt that the process of starting a fire, chopping veggies, setting up tents, and hiking around all day usually makes me more hungry than I ever am in regular life, so this food has a super-positive memory palette for me, more from the simplicity of a meal in the woods than from any one fancy ingredient.

Flexible Food Techniques and Cooking While Camping

I think part of why people like camping is that it pushes you to the edge of what you find comfortable – you don’t quite have all the things you are accustomed to, even if you are camping at a campground with running water and lots of convenience. I know Husband loves this experience. For me, it’s an opportunity for a different set of taste sensations, and definitely for different ways to cook food.

We bring a portable grill with us when camping, and did so this weekend, but Husband has a favorite method for boiling water: campfire-style. He builds up a strong fire, places two thick, similar-sized logs across the fire pit as a “grate,” and balances a pot of water such that the handle is out of the flames but the water is directly in the heat of the fire. This makes me nervous, because if the logs burn through before the water boils, a big pot of hot water splashes down into the flames, creating steam and splashes and ruining the fire that everyone is sitting around and enjoying. In the best case scenario (which happened twice this weekend: once for green beans and once for coffee water!), the water boils, Husband removes it from the flames, and the logs later crack and fall into the fire pit, neat and tidy.

We also learned to live without a variety of cooking oils – because the only thing Husband packed was olive oil, that’s what we had to drizzle on our toast and to cook our eggs. It was not a problem, and if anything I discovered a new tasty treat. It’s also helpful that usually, I’m hungrier on camping trips than other times: just to get to the bathroom required a 15 minute walk, so I’m just much more active in general. It sure makes food taste good when you have to come up with work-arounds based on the food you have, and based on the heat sources you have, to be able to make do!

Camping Food

Camping2

I am getting really excited about camping this weekend, friends. And a big part of the reason I’m excited is camping food – from the tinfoil wrapped batch of biscuits that we set to warm over the fire in the mornings, to the grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, to the jacket potatoes roasted in the embers, everything is hearty and a little smoky and always way too hot to eat.

I’m excited too because of the camping community that Husband’s family has – many of the people who came to our wedding will be hanging out with us all weekend. Usually, a circle of camping chairs coalesces somewhere near where their group is camping and there’s always someone to play cards with, go on a hike with, or float a tube down the river with.

I love that everyone brings a few things – a meal or a pile of bottled water or a stack of snacks. It’s rarely health food, but it’s always communal – pretty much everyone contributes in to the whole group’s meals and whoever is around at mealtimes scrapes together something out of the communal groceries. It’s how I feel meals make the most sense, and feel the most special.

What’s your favorite camp meal? Soon, I think I’ll post about Husband’s favorite, what he calls “hobo dinners,” but I’d love to hear what you tend to nosh on when out in the great outdoors. 🙂

camping

36. L and G’s Ham and Cheese Sliders

One of the most peaceful things I’ve been doing lately is spending time with friends’ children. Granted, there are bouts of intense wailing and raw need, but when these babies are asleep (which they are, frequently, if not for long enough for their parents to sleep) they really are incredibly calming, all folds and softness and vulnerability. In many social situations, I usually bring crocheting to work on as my friends and I talk for hours, but holding a sleepy little one has become my default as I sit on a comfy couch and unconsciously sway back and forth.

L and G are family friends of Husbands’ (they have a lot of them!) who live on a lake and own a boat. Some of my favorite memories from the summer of 2014 are swimming in the lake, sunning on the boat, and playing darts in their garage. That memory of ease and summer relaxation seems connected to this simple but flavorful tiny-sandwiches recipe.

I had been saving the recipe for these sliders for an outdoor picnic or some other context that needed many tiny sandwiches, but quick hot sandwiches turned out to be perfect while everyone passed the sleepy baby around – I used turkey rather than ham and cut out the mustard, but they turned out browned, savory, and perfect. More an assembly than a real, scary-consequences cooking job, this kind of recipe is perfect for someone who wants to up their sandwich game but isn’t quite trying chicken cordon bleu any time soon. Also, anything I can eat one handed while my other arm falls asleep under a cute baby’s soft head is a winner in my book.IMG_3981

Ham and Cheese Sliders

24 mini sandwich Hawaiian rolls

1 lb ham sliced

1 lb swiss cheese sliced

¾ c melted butter

1 ½ tbsp. dijon mustard

1 ½ tsp worchestershire sauce

1 ½ tbsp poppyseeds

1 tbsp dried minced onion


Mix and pour over sandwiches. Build sandwiches first, and then bake uncovered for 20-25 min.