First off, I just wanted to say thank you for all the warm and lovely expressions of sympathy about Lola. They made a rough week a little more bearable. Before we got the call that led to our early return, we were having a great time at Camp Honey Badger - the affectionate name given to this little annual Thanksgiving gathering at William Heise County Park in Julian. It was a beautiful setting - a little chilly but nothing a wool blanket, a camp fire and some ugg boots couldn't take care of. We had this great tent to stay in courtesy of James' family - it's hand made, y'all. Not as easy to put up and take down as a two man popup, but a great option for a trip of at least a few days.
On the first night we had Japanese food. I fried up karaage (Japanese style fried chicken marinated in soy sauce, garlic and mirin and dusted with cornstarch) by head lamp in the dark in our turkey fryer, while Andrew made ramen with tofu in a dashi broth, and Shihomi - owner of Azuki Sushi in Bankers Hill, supplied a delicious traditional beef curry and rice. Sake, Japanese scotch and at least a couple of kinds of wine rounded out the menu. It was the best camp food I've ever eaten, bar none. Afterwards there were Vosges s'mores - courtesy of Janice. That's right, Vosges s'mores bitches. I said it. Boom.
We had a great kitchen set up going - here's James frying up some bacon for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning on our camp stove.
We had two other stoves, a small oven, a fryer and even a small portable dishwasher for the pots and pans and our dishware - and lots of coolers - though the temperature wasn't really a problem.
We took a nice little hike on Thanksgiving with Heidi's dogs - Ruby set a blistering pace. The scenery still shows the unfortunate effects of the brush fires that roared through here a few years ago - but it's lovely in it's own sort of desolate, scrubby way.
For the Thanksgiving meal, Andrew cooked up Jidori chickens - first on a rotisserie over the fire, and then directly on a grill. I had made cranberries and some pies, and we had dressing (which we rolled into balls and fried in the deep fryer - genius).
James had brought some lobster tails that he wanted to fry - so I whipped up a corn dog batter and fried those up as an appetizer with some champagne.
And we feasted and drank rose in our cold weather gear.
My last photo from the trip, literally, is this box of Dallman chocolates that were passed around just after the meal - generously supplied by the owner Isabella, who had joined us that afternoon.
When we go back next year, we will seriously consider bringing the dogs with us. Not just so we can keep an eye on them, but because their body heat will come in handy on those long, chilly winter nights!