After the Shot

With new technology and computers, the art of photography has changed immensely. Adobe and many more companies have added editing tools to enhance the photograph. The possibilities seem endless. I was a hold out until recently. I refused to use these tools until another photographer named Dave Shultz got me to think outside of the box.

Now photographers aren’t finished after the shot. It is just the beginning. I prefer Adobe’s Light Room. It is loaded with many possibilities. Like anything in life, there are those that love it and those who don’t. It does things that you can’t do with just a camera. New photo editing software has changed the world of photography. Good or bad, I think it will be around for a while. What say you?

Thanks for reading. I would love to hear what others think.

Life Changes

St Francis River

We were created from dust and one day we will return to dust. We are a part of Mother Earth.
I sit here drinking in what God has created and it leaves me speechless. Such beauty.
Temp is hovering around 30 degrees. I can feel the sun’s warmth on my face. Not a cloud in the sky.

I am so blessed to be able to enjoy what God has created. The feeling of peace and healing is within me. The sound of the river mesmerizes me and I get lost in the music the St Francis River is playing.
It’s a sad day though. It is our last day however we will return on March 1st.

St Francis River

News Flash! There has been a big change in my life. I am engaged to Evelyn Zarbo. We met in the 7th grade and were reunited at our 50th year Class Reunion. Her brother and sister-in-law are Camp Hosts at Silver Mines. Next year we will be co-hosts. We will live there for 8 months. we are excited about joining them. Reception is lousy, so it is tough to get internet service.

Evelyn and Me
Woke up to this on November 11, 2022
St Francis River

Two Years Later

Tomorrow, October 7th will be two years since I had my complete ankle replacement surgery. The recovery hasn’t been that easy but I was able to get through it. I still have some pain and I am always battling the inflammation. However it is bearable and a far better place than where I was.

I don’t have the chronic pain like I had, so my quality of life has improved. I have been doing some hiking trying to build back up to where I use to be. I can do a moderate trail with very little problems but tried one difficult trail and it didn’t go as well as I was hoping. Maybe next year. The healing process goes on.

Even with the swelling and some pain, I am much better off than I was before the surgery. I am at least hiking and I am fly fishing again. All in all the surgery was worth it and I would do it again. I am once again enjoying camping and some hiking.

I am not going to sugar coat it. The recovery is tough. Don’t ever think it is going to be a walk in the park. It feels good to be able to do things

Love My Blackstone Griddle

Blackstone griddle

“Cooking is a philosophy; it’s not a recipe.” — Marco Pierre White

Marco Pierre White

I thought I would do something a little different. My fiancé bought me a new toy. Welcome to hillbilly intro to cooking. It’s simple but tasty. The key ingredient is the Blackstone griddle. The flat top is made of cold-rolled steel. This design and material allows for even heat distribution and controlled cooking across the whole griddle.

Stir fry vegetables and meat.

Today is a stir fry vegetable with crawfish tails and andouille sausage. For the vegetables I used cabbage, zucchini, yellow squash, onion, minced garlic, water chestnuts and bamboo shoots. I cooked everything in olive oil.

Stir fry

I put some olive oil on the griddle and then I added the meat and cooked for about 5 minutes, then I added more olive oil and put the vegetables on the griddle and mixed together and stir fried.

Before I started cooking I put 2 packages of ramen noodles in a bowl, covered with cold water and added bullion and soaked for 20 minutes. When vegetables were about half done, I drained the water, and h CC I added noodles to the vegetables and meat, then I mixed thoroughly and stir fried until noodles were crispy.

Finished

Believe it or not this is quite tasty. Thanks for reading. Remember to be kind to each other and spread the love!

The Dutch Oven

Dutch Oven

The origins of the Dutch oven come from the Netherlands. During this time the Dutch, using copper and brass, were supplying the world with the world’s best cookware.

Abraham Darby, an English craftsman, believed that there was a market for less expensive cookware by using cast iron. The Dutch, using sand molds, were producing cookware that possessed a fine sheen on the finished product. It would be quite the challenge for Darby to do this. So, Darby and James Thomas, a Welshman and worker of Darby’s began the task of producing cast iron cookware by using sand molds.

Using brass was so much different than using iron, the first attempts did not succeed. They didn’t give up and worked diligently to produce a cast iron cookware from sand molds and finally found success with their method. They were able to produce a cheaper, more durable cookware.

In the beginning they were used directly in open flames. Later on, embers from a fire were used on the lid and underneath the Dutch oven to cook. A well-fitted lid was a must to keep ashes that the embers produced, from finding their way into the food. Because of this the Dutch oven had to be rugged to withstand these harsh conditions.

The Dutch oven evolved, and changes were made. The American style of ovens added small legs to the pot, so the Dutch oven would be elevated over the coals instead of sitting directly on the coals. To keep ashes and embers out of the food a, hinged lid was attached to the pot. The legs made it possible to stack ovens on top of each other, sometimes as much as 5 high.

The DO can be used to cook, fry, braise and bake food. It can be used to cook food the same way that one can cook in a conventional oven. I have one large enough to cook a 13-pound turkey. The bad thing though is it comes in at a weight of 45 pounds.

Because of its durability and versatility, the settlers and colonists valued cast-iron cookware. The ovens were considered so valuable in the 18th and 19th centuries that they were included in wills. Mary Ball Washington’s (George Washington’s mother) will specified that half of her “iron kitchen furniture” should go to her grandson and the other half to her granddaughter.

Dutch ovens were found among the gear of Lewis and Clark. Pioneers took along Dutch ovens and they were used by “camp cookies” on wagon trains and cattle drives. Something I found interesting is that the Dutch oven is the state cooking pot of Texas, Utah and Arkansas. Mountain men were also fond of Dutch ovens. Today there are many Dutch oven organizations that organize contests where Dutch oven cooks compete for prizes. The Boy Scouts of America even teach their scouts Dutch oven skills.

Today Dutch ovens are quite popular with campers. I have had as many as 25 people attend one of my clinics, The Basics of Dutch Oven Cooking. Everything cooked in a Dutch Oven tastes better.

I hope you enjoyed my blog. Be kind to one another and spread the love. Happy cooking!

Autumn Has Arrived

Silver Mines Recreation Area

“It’s the first day of autumn! A time of hot chocolatey mornings, and toasty marshmallow evenings, and, best of all, leaping into leaves.!”Winnie the Pooh; Pooh’s Grand Adventure

Here in Missouri, autumn arrived with cooler temperatures and rain showers. Leaves have begun turning and some dropping to the ground. Some persimmons have started to ripen. Stores have begun stocking apple cider and caramel apples. It’s starting to look a lot like autumn.

As a child I loved raking leaves. I would make huge piles and run and jump into them. I managed to entertain myself for hours. My father tricked me into biting into a green persimmon. OMG! I didn’t think I would ever be able to spit again. Please don’t try that. Take my word for it. Soon the sky will be filled with the sounds of geese headed south for the winter.

Big River

Stores have already begun stocking Christmas decorations and it isn’t even October yet. Halloween will soon be upon us. I love Halloween. There was a time I would be planning a Halloween party. I used to have a hayride followed by a bonfire, chili and karaoke. Here in Missouri deer hunters will head to the woods and start scouting the woods for deer sign. Bow season is already happening. It won’t be long and there will be frost on the pumpkin.

This is the time of year that people start reflecting back on the year and see the things they have to be thankful for. Thanksgiving will be here before we know it. Families and friends will gather together and celebrate. I enjoy cooking the Thanksgiving dinner. I have a Dutch Oven big enough to cook a thirteen-pound turkey in, it weighs 45 pounds. There is nothing better tasting than a turkey cooked in a Dutch Oven. I also cook the pies, dressing and other vittles in the Dutch Ovens. I have a fairly large assortment of them.

left to right- dressing, turkey, and sweet tater pie

It also begins the bonfire season. I do love me a good bonfire. I love to watch the flames dance and the smell of wood smoke. I usually have three or four fires a week. I love to camp this time of year also and I think the fishing is better than it is any other time of year. I do about 80% of the cooking outside so I enjoy the cooler temperatures.

I love a bonfire, how about you?
My cook area plus I have a Blackstone griddle.
Cooking a pot of beans

To those like me who enjoy the fall, I say Happy Fall to you! May your refrigerator be full of apple cider, your cupboard filled with caramel apples, and you have plenty of wood for the fire. This is also the time of year when a big bowl of chili tastes best. Be kind to one another and spread the love.

The Four Seasons/ What’s Your Favorite?

Trees are beginning to change on the Big River

The debate over the favorite season rages on. I looked at several polls and studies, but I didn’t find a clear winner. What say you?

Dogwoods bloom to usher in the spring.

A total of 40 states have picked spring as their favorite season. The spring weather and the countryside adorned with the blossoms of dogwood, redbud and many other flowering trees. The days are longer, and Americans begin to venture outside and dust off their barbecue pits. The gardeners begin preparing the ground for planting and the grass begins to green up.

With the summer the campers venture out.

A survey of 2,000 Americans revealed that they don’t want summer to end. Barbecue season goes into full swing, and they enjoy the warm weather. They begin venturing to the beach, rivers and lakes to enjoy water activities like boating, swimming, sunbathing, and fishing. They bring their campers out and start spending the weekends in state parks and campgrounds. Americans begin taking summer vacations and traveling. One survey revealed that 40% of Americans say summer is their favorite season.

Fall colors begin showing up on the Big River

Another survey says that 29% of Americans pick fall as their season of choice. The changing of leaf colors, cooler temperatures and the holidays may be the reason for this. With Halloween comes bonfires and hayrides. Then Thanksgiving brings family gatherings and good food. It’s a time when people reflect on the things, they have to be thankful for. The air begins to have a chill in it and chili, stews and soups become more popular at the dinner time.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Only 11% of Americans consider Winter their favorite season. Alaska and Vermont are the only two states that winter is the best season. Hot chocolate becomes quite popular. Americans enjoy sitting in front of the fireplace watching as the flames dance within. Skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling have become quite popular. Snow “bunnies” rejoice at the sight of fresh fallen snow.

Each season has its pros and cons, and it depends on the likes and dislikes of each individual. Personally fall is my favorite season. Enjoy your favorite season.