The last two days my son and I went camping at Pine Lake State Park near Eldora, Iowa.
This is our favorite camping spot in Iowa lately. It is usually not crowded, and it has a few good hiking trails. And it is only about 45 minutes from our house. While hiking today, we found these interesting flowers. They were everywhere, and most were very tall, from 3 to 6 feet. I am going to do some Internet research and find out what they were...I also got some seedpods.
The flowers cluster along the top of the stalk for at least a foot. They are very pretty, small yellow flowers. The leaves are silvery green and soft, like lambs ear.
They must spread well by seed, because they were absolutely everywhere along the lake and the hiking trail.
So, if anybody knows what they are, I would appreciate knowing. I would like to try growing some if they aren't a noxious weed. lol.
Our little tent. Not too bad for 50 bucks. It is more than adequate more my son and I. I can put it together pretty easily by myself. It goes even faster now that my son is big enough to help with the tent poles.
I tried some adventurous camping cooking last night. Goat stew with vegetables...over the camp fire...no stove. I am kind of proud of my fire building skills. 3 or 4 years ago, I would have never built a fire by myself. I would have brushed it off as one of those things that guys do for you. (sorry feminist chicks) With a little practice, now I can get a good fire going within 10 minutes or so. I bought some goat meat a while back, and decided to try making a stew with it. So, here is my recipe for campfire stew.
Goat Stew *Campfire Style
1 lb chunks of goat meat, or beef if so inclined
2 carrots, chopped into small chunks
2 celery stalks, chopped into small chunks
1 lb small potatoes (any small variety, chopped into 1 inch pieces)
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 box container beef broth (at least 20 oz)
1 package onion soup mix
1 tsp oregano
1. Start a fire in a fire ring or pit. Wait until you have a good even heat. To cook this way, you almost have to have a ring with a grill that slides over the fire.
2. I started a small pot of water to boil while I chopped up the ingredients. When the water started boiling, I put the potatoes in to cook.
3. While the potatoes cook, start the goat meat cooking in a skillet. As the meat browns a little, add beef broth to keep the meat from sticking. After about 5 minutes, add the vegetables and more broth.
4. The cooking time will vary according to your fire flame and heat. When the meat and veggies seem to be getting tender, add the onion soup mix and a little more broth.
5. When the potatoes are soft and will mash with a fork, drain the water and transfer into the stew mixture.
6. Add in peas and oregano. Put in more broth, less for a thicker stew, more for a soup like mixture. Let cook, combined, for about 10 minutes.
7. Remove from heat and enjoy with fresh bread!
Camping was really fun. Definitely not something I would have ever thought I'd do alone with a small child. My guy strongly dislikes sleeping in a tent, so we usually just go the two of us. In a couple weeks, I have plans to go to Nebraska and go camping with my brother and his family. That will be a blast, because my nephews, 2 and 4, have never been camping before. I also have not been camping with my brother since I was a teenager. Whoaaaa....serious flashbacks. Ha ha.
It was seriously cold. It is mid July, and everyone is out by the fire in jeans and sweatshirts. We had to bundle down in sleeping bags to stay warm last night. Not to complain, but for everything there is a season...and I will have enough of this weather in October. I want it to be hot in July. Maybe I am never happy...who knows. No matter the temperature, it is always fun to go camping with my son.