Call me a city slicker, but who knew you could fry chicken over a campfire?
When we arrived our first night at the lodge in Wyoming, we pulled up near the campfire area and saw someone tending a campfire with a giant iron pot on top.
Huh. Cooking on the campfire. This seemed like advanced camping cooking to me — I personally only trust newbie campfire foods, like marshmallows and hot dogs. (My friends tried to make campfire nachos one trip — a nice idea, but they came out TERRIBLY…the random sticks they put on the fire made such acrid smoke that it made the chips taste disgusting.)
Sadly, I don’t have any pictures of the campfire chicken… I was too busy trying to shoo a stray dog away from the fire. The poor thing kept trying to lick the chicken greased lid of the pot, but not being too smart, it didn’t realize (multiple times) that the lid was hot!
We found out that Basque sheepherders move through the area with their sheep, wagons (like wooden covered wagons/mobile homes!), families, and dogs. This dog got separated from the group, but nobody decided to come looking for it, so it hung around at the lodge/campground hoping for some food.
In the first Wyoming post, I mentioned we were a little fearful about the food situation. An hour and a half+ away from the nearest grocery store? New, unknown staff? No electricity? I was envisioning horrible lumpy biscuits and gravy, tough gross meat, and instant mashed potatoes.
Um, can I have a HALLELUJAH for our wonderful cook? She was an angel. She not only cooked for about 20-25 people (full breakfasts and dinners) but made lunches for everyone, cleaned up, did all the dishes, checked guests in, and cleaned cabins and probably a million other things I never saw.
Sadly, I don’t have pictures of the campfire chicken — curses! I was shocked though. I’m a lazy food snob — I don’t like most fried chicken (greasy and slimy) and I usually can’t be bothered with bones in my meat. (I just want to eat. Give me the delicious things ready to put in my mouth!)
It was -amazing-.
I did recover from my shock the next night and took pictures of dinner. Holy. Cow.
Steaks grilled over the campfire — SOFT and delicious and juicy, I can’t even comprehend how they did it over a campfire…it’s hard enough making a good steak on a stove in your house. Sweet potatoes au gratin. Herbed biscuits. Sweet tea. (Mmmm.) Salad with fresh ingredients! Grilled veggies. Other things I forget. TWO CAKES.
The only time they turned on the generator was to use their washing machine and dryer, to power the internet once or twice a week to check lodge email, and to occasionally use the lights to clean the kitchen. I’m still in awe! I’m so not used to living like that.
What amazed me was that people would wander in — hikers, fishermen, and more than once the forest service weirdos (in our three day trip…what???) wondering if they could buy dinner or whatever. It’s not a restaurant, people! The cook was so amazing though — she usually was able to accommodate these random people.
Moral of the story — praise your southern cook highly, and tip her well! I’m usually hungry for snacks all the time — I was NEVER hungry between meals at this place, despite horseback riding and hikes and running after small children. :)
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