Als ich wisse das Morgen der Erde enden wuerde, immernoch wurd ich mein Apfelbaum pflanzen.

Even if I knew the world would perish tomorrow, I would still plant my apple tree. - Martin Luther

"Factory work's easier on the back, and I don't mind it, understand, but a man becomes what he does. Got to watch that. That's why I keep at farmin' although the crops haven't ever throve. It's the doin' that's important." Madison Wheeler in Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Outdoors in October I: Campout and Hike at Tibet Knob, George Washington National Forest

Every fall we invite our friends to camp out at our house.  The canning is usually done, the garden has frosted over and the gnats are history.  So, we sit around the fire, talk, eat and enjoy catching up with each other. 
This year there were some really great recipes.  We had mountain pies on Friday (post to follow soon), and baked potatoes with toppings on Saturday.  But, there were also some excellent covered dishes.

Oregon Girls's Vegan Gluten Free Sweet Potato Chili

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3-6 cloves garlic, to taste, minced
1 teaspoon each: cumin, chili powder and ginger
1 medium red or sweet onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, diced
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, diced
2 cups sweet potatoes, cubed
3 cups gluten-free broth
1 28-oz. can Muir Glen Fire Roasted Whole Tomatoes, diced or broken up, with juice
1 cup chopped green chiles- mild or hot, as you prefer
2 14-oz. cans black beans, rinsed, drained
1 14-oz. can white Northern beans, or red kidney beans, rinsed, drained
1 tablespoon golden balsamic vinegar or rice vinegar
1 tablespoon organic raw agave nectar
1 large fresh lime- for juice and garnish


To assemble in a slow cooker:

Drizzle the olive oil in the bottom of the cooker; add the garlic and spices and stir to combine.

Add the remaining ingredients except the lime juice. Gently stir with a wooden spoon or vinyl spatula (you don't want to mash the beans) to mix. Cover and follow the manufacturer's instructions for slow cooking a chili with canned (not dried beans). I cooked mine on low for five to six hours, for example.

Read more:

West Virginia Baked Ziti

Cook 1 lb Hamburger; season with salt, pepper, garlic and onion to your taste.
Cook Ziti noodles half time.
In large bowl mix cooled hamburger,  2 c. Ricotta cheese, ziti noodles, and one 8 oz package of mozarella and one 8 oz package of parmesean.
Pour a small layer of your favorite tomate sauce on bottom of baking dish, add half of mixture, add another layer of sauce and 1/2 package of mozarella cheese, add remaining mixture, a layer of sauce and remaing cheese and bake in a 350 oven for 30 min. or until hot.

  Equine Lover's Asian Lentil Salad

1. Cook lentils in vegetable broth for about 20 mins. Check for doneness often, as you don't want them to be mushy, but a little on the al dente side. Cool completely.
2. Chop celery, sweet or purple onion and carrots finely. Can also add peppers. Ithink yellow would be good. Add to lentils. Season w/ S & P.

Ginger Sesame Dressing
1/4 c. Rice vinegar
1/4 c. Orange juice
2 T soy sauce
2 T peanut butter
1 T sesame oil
1 T brown sugar
1 garlic clove crushed
2 tsp. fresh ginger minced
Blend all together in a blender, food processor or smoothie maker.

House and Senate's Crock Pot Mac and Cheese

1 (16 oz.) pkg. macaroni
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 (13 oz.) can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded jack cheese
1/2 cup melted butter

Cook macaroni in boiling salted water, following package directions. Drain well. Grease bottom and sides of 3 1/2 to 5-quart crockpot. Toss hot macaroni in slow cooker with the vegetable oil then add all remaining ingredients. Stir gently to combine then cover and cook on LOW for 3 to 4 hours, stirring occasionally.

Then, we always take one morning to do this hike.  It's the back side of Tibet Knob in the George Washington National Forest.  

To get to the backside of this trail from Woodstock, VA...

Head West on Rt. 42 (Away from town).  Make your first right onto Wolf Gap Rd.  Stay on Wolf Gap until you get to Liberty Furnace (a huge old iron furnace with a working water wheel).  Turn right onto Sam Clark Road.  Then take a left on Judge Rye Road.  Follow the road to the top and you'll see the trail head on the right.  The blazes are yellow.  Judge Rye is a windy, dirt road.  Be sure to drive slow.

This is a great hike for kids!  There are tons of rocks to climb and explore, and it's an easy hike.  There are also great views at the end. 

This time Farmer Dan, The Ball Boss (and his family) and Reading Girl's best friend - Crafty Girl - came with us.

Looking out across into West Virginia (toward Lost City)
Can't wait to do it again next year!

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