Thursday, August 7, 2008

My great idea went up in flames!

The plan sounded so perfect. You make kabobs over a bbq grill so why not a campfire? I had never made kabobs before, but they're just veggies on a stick, right? So I went camping with a container of perfectly cut zucchini, squash, carrots and broccoli, along with marinated tofu.
I have been mentoring a girl for over four years now. We met when she was 12 and she is now 17 and only has one more year of high school left. It surprised me how fast she grew up and became a very bright and responsible individual. She is totally awesome and has been incredibly open to everything vegan. I like to think I opened up her world of food and she definitely opened up my world of caring. We've taught each other a lot over the years.
We've started a yearly trip where we go camping in the summer. The first year we went to Detroit Lake and went swimming in the shadows of Mount Jefferson and had lots of cute chipmunk visitors. The second year we went to the beach and the wind was so bad it almost blew our tent down on us while sleeping. This year, we traveled to Clear Lake about an hour east of Eugene. There are many clear lakes in Oregon, but I think this one deserves the name the most.

Now, back to the kabobs. After taking some time to set up camp and checking out the sights of the lake, the two of us started to assemble the kabobs. My first mistake became apparent very quickly. The tofu I used was too soft. They went onto the sticks, but didn't stay for too long. The fire was started without incident and the built kabobs were laid on the campfire grill. When I would flip the sticks, veggies and tofu fell off. Every time I turned the stick for even cooking, food was lost. We realize that for next time, the carrots should go on the ends since this is the one vegetable that did not budge.

The veggies weren't cooking and we were getting hungry. The sticks then started to burn and one eventually broke in half. Long story short - it did not work. Luckily I had brought back up dinner. I recommend sticking with the bbq grill for your kabobs - your veggies will be much safer there! A friend later told me that the sticks should first be soaked in water to prevent them from burning. If anyone has any other tips for me, please share!

Clear Lake, though, was gorgeous! There are parts of a petrified forest in the lake which you can see as you travel in a row boat available for rental. The trees are 3,000 years old! The water goes from turquoise to bright green to deep blue and everything in between. Make sure to also look up since there were many osprey and bald eagles. We even saw a few fighting in the air and doing crazy summersaults.
On the water we saw ducks, a mersanger (type of duck) and her three babies and reflections of all sorts of the natural environment. The trail around the lake is 5 1/2 miles which we did not realize when we walked it. Oops. We did not bring any water and were quite tired by the end of it. I did get a very brief glimpse of a pika, a very shy animal that looks like a cross between a rabbit and hamster. Overall, I recommend visiting this gorgeous place. Just bring lots of really good mosquito repellant.


Meghan said...

Hey Chelsea - thank you for leaving a comment awhile back on my blog. I work with wildlife now, but I did once volunteer at a farm animal sanctuary in Maryland, and I gained an even greater love and appreciation of farm animals. Goats and chickens are some of my favorites.

I've enjoyed reading through your blog, and you've inspired me to go back to my vegan roots, as far as baking. I've had so many delicious vegan cakes, brownies and cookies - I need to start baking that way again! Thanks again.

Carrie said...

Your pictures are beautiful!

jennconspiracy said...

Skewers! Leave the bamboo at home and find some good metal skewers at a thrift store.

I have three very long metal skewers (like 18") with 2" round handles - I use them for lots of stuff and they are easier to deal with on a big fire.

But if you go with bamboo - soak the skewers, first. Also, try wheat gluten field roast sausages instead of tofu - omfg so good on skewers with veggies!

Chelsea said...

Hey Meghan - that is great to hear you are going back to your vegan baking roots. If you need any help, let me know!

Jenn - thanks for the tips! I will definately try this again.