Continuing with the no heat in the kitchen theme, this week we reduce the heat in the house by cooking a ham and vegetable meal Hobo Pack style. This is a great low cost meal and it is a fun family meal.
Recipe serves 4
You will need:
2 Potatoes – sliced
1 Tomato – sliced
20 Green Beans – stems removed
20 Fresh Basil leaves
1/4 Red (Bell) Pepper slice into thin rounds
4 Fresh Rosemary
1 lb pre-cooked ham steak
Rip four large squares of aluminium foil
Dribble a little olive oil over the potato rounds and then place equal amounts of potato on each aluminum square.
Place a serving of ham steak on top of each vegetable stack, and then fold the aluminum foil over to form a pack.
Cook the Hobo Packs on a pre-heated to medium BBQ for 25 minutes. Open the packs (be careful of steam) and arrange the cooked ham meal on dinner plates.
And there you go, a complete easy recipe ham meal, with no heat in the kitchen and very little clean up.
We arose slowly on our second day of vacation, enjoying our morning coffee and cereal on our deck overlooking Bass Lake. After breakfast we got dressed for hiking and drove the 14 miles to Yosemite, on toWawona, and then an additional 30 mimutes to Yosemite Village.
The road to Yosemite Village climbs and descends through various types of mountain terrain. The drive through the mountains to Yosemite Village is ever changing and continuously beautiful. The air is clean and smells of evergreen. We saw a deer grazing by the side of the road. Although we did not see a bear, we did see many signs informing us that “Speeding Kills Bears”. After a lengthy discussion with She Who Must Be Obeyed, we concluded that apparently bears can easily dodge a car, SUV or Camper going 35 mph but at 40 mph their avoidance capabilities are exceeded. (My alternative theory is that the message is not really about bear safety, but rather, the Rangers were advised by safety consultants that drivers ignore speed limit signs so it was necessary to personalize the speed limit with a mental image of poor Yogi Bear being mowed down).
Toward the end of the drive we entered a long tunnel which bores straight through a mountain. When we finally exited the tunnel we were presented with an unbelievably magnificent valley view (called “Tunnel View”). The expansive view includes Sentinel Dome, Yosemite Falls, and Half Dome off in the distance. It was very tempting to pull into the observation parking lot and take in the awesome view. But our plan was to keep moving so we could secure a parking spot in the Village (parking can become a problem as the day progresses). We decided to stop at the viewing point on the way out of the valley.
In the past I have discussed that I do not run. But I will walk. And walk we did on our first full day in the park. We started at Yosemite Village, and hiked about a mile and a half to the Yosemite Falls.
Here it was, mid-July and the falls were still flowing. Seems we had so much snow last winter that the falls were flowing well beyond what is typical.
We found a new trail sign and following a group discussion agreed that we could hike an additional 3.8 miles to get well into the valley and position ourselves for a great view of El Capitan. So off we went hiking for the most part in the shade of the trees, and next to a cool river. Deep in the forest trail we heard a loud sort of snort. Not certain if the sound came from a bear or an elk we decided to keep moving. A few steps later my eagle eye son pointed across the river to an Elk grazing.
Cheered by the fact the sound had not come from a bear, and our energy levels renewed by sighting the beatiful Elk, off we went with new vigor on our way to view El Capitan.
When we reached the end of the trail we found ourselves in an open valley, next to the river, with a tremendous view of El Capitan. Our son was the first to cross a little side stream by walking across a wobbly log so as to get closer to the cooling river. He made it with just one foot getting wet. Two German families, each resting on both sides of the small stream, were pleased to observe him make it across. But, that was just his first act.
After a few minutes on the other side, our son decided to come back without using the log, but rather by means of his athletic abilities. He announced he was going to jump across the stream. He ran toward the water, and took a mighty leap clearing it with ease. Sadly, neither he nor Sue nor I had checked out the landing spot. And sadder still, but funnier, the lush grass at the anticipated landing spot turned out to be growing up through a thick mud bog.
After our son skidded to a stop, he slowly began to rise from the grass, revealing that he had landed on one side of his body, the side that was now covered head to toe with gooey black mud. The German family nearest us froze and looked from my son to Sue and I for a signal as to the appropriate response. Seeing that our son was ok, there was only one thing to do. We began to laugh like crazy. The German father next to me said in clear English, “if his mother is laughing it must be OK”, after which he and his wife broke into laughter and applause.
The problem now was that the mud would harden into an adobe-like material if not quickly removed. So the third act began. The other German couple had been watching the action from the nearby river bank. But for the third and final act they would have front row seats. Watching as our son ever so slowly lowered himself into the water that had likely been snow just moments earlier was hysterical. The third act proved to be the funniest as the remaining German couple, Sue, and I urged our son to lower himself further into the “refreshing” (ice cold darn near freezing) water.
Our son certainly cooled off prior to the 5 mile return hike, and I am certain both German families are telling the story of the American kid’s great leap, into a mud bog.
So while enjoying you easy recipe why not reminisce about some of your funnier vacation antics.
Good Eating and Table Talk,
Good Night from Bass Lake