I love the idea of starting the season with setting up camp in our own backyard. There are plenty of practical reasons for doing this; the bathroom is very nearby, dinner can be cooked on a real stove and eaten outside, and most of all- you have a test run for your camping equipment. A systems failure of your air mattress could be a disaster is you are set up miles from civilization without a patch kit. But really, the very best reason of all is that it’s so much fun! One of my prime objectives in life is to never ever forget the joys of childhood. On a regular basis I do things that serious adults who have put their childhood behind them would never do. If you have children or grandchildren to share a backyard camp-out with, then you are twice blessed, because they will help you to regain your inner silliness.
There are those who insist upon having a tent for camping. P’shaw, I say! A tent is a welcome luxury, a cozy extra, but it is certainly not a necessity. I spent my entire childhood hiking and camping, and our family never did own a tent. I admit, I was a victim of tent envy. I love the tent my husband brought to our marriage. What joy it is to wake up dry, even when the rain is streaming down the outside of the tent. As a child, we carried thin plastic sheets to wrap our sleeping bags against the elements. Believe me, the elements scored many a major victory.
So, if you do have a tent, count yourself lucky!
Scout around your backyard for the perfect place to pitch the tent. Avoid any steps or stairs that might cause a middle of the night fall. If you have a safe place for building a campfire, get the firewood ready, and sharpen some sticks for marsh mallow roasting. You don’t want to be doing the sharpening by flashlight.
Meal planning is very important, especially if you are trying for the authentic outdoor experience. The truth is, anything that you cook over a campfire is going to taste delicious, especially if you’ve spent the day hiking or playing tag. Aluminum foil is your best friend for camp cooking.
Make a Silver Turtle for dinner;
On a piece of foil place a hamburger patty, potatoes, carrots, onions, salt, pepper, and a dollop of butter.
Fold foil around turtle, and cook in the coals for twenty minutes.
As we all know, the real food comes after the meat and veggies- dessert! And what is the classic all American camping dessert? S’Mores, of course!
Just in case you’ve forgotten how;
Top one graham cracker square with half a Hershey®'s Milk Chocolate Bar; set aside. Toast a large marshmallow over a hot campfire or fire pit using a long-handled fork or stick. Once toasted, carefully slide marshmallow onto chocolate-topped graham cracker square. Top with remaining graham cracker half and gently press together.
If you keep dropping your marshmallow into the fire, simply wrap the untoasted S’More in aluminum foil, put it in the campfire coals, wait about 5 minutes for the marshmallow to get nice and gooey. The only thing missing is the charred skin.
The Fourth of July is only days away. The Aderdeen Splash Festival takes place at Morrison Park, with all sorts of family fun- inflatable games, a children’s carnival, lots of musical entertainment, a magician, and jugglers! It begins at 2pm and culminates with a fabulous fireworks show over the Chehalis River.
The Hoquiam Farmers Market is offering a build-up to the big day. We are celebrating on July 3rd ! Nancy will be making Strawberry Shortcake, reason enough to celebrate. After all, shopping needs to be done for the weekend, make it a festive experience! Anyone interested in having an outside booth for the 3rd needs to call the market to reserve a canopy tent. For only $10.00, you may set up one of our canopies and sell your products. We encourage homemade, homegrown items, crafts, artwork-unique local talent is welcome! Give us a call at 538-9747.
Remember ; ‘ There is more to life than increasing its speed’- Mahatma Gandi
Barbara Bennett Parsons, manager of the Hoquiam Farmers Market
open Wed. Thru Sun., Deidra’s Deli open Mon. Thru Sat.