Sunday, April 19, 2009

Camping at Eisenhower State Park with Pack 200

This weekend was our first campout with our new pack. It was a very busy, fun-filled, muddy weekend.
We were supposed to go up there on Friday, but with the threat of severe thunderstorms and an 80% chance of rain, we decided to put off leaving until Saturday morning. The weather report and radar showed nothing over North Texas and it was supposed to be sunny and warm in the afternoon.
However, when we go there, SOMEONE hadn't READ the weather report. It was very gray and foggy. After we got the campsite set up and had eaten lunch, we headed down to the lake to help Joseph complete his conservation badge by picking up trash around the shoreline.



I had the kids bring their watershoes for this, but the girls' shoes are new and Libby got blisters very quickly.

She has bandaids now. ;)

After we picked up a few bags of trash, we headed back to the campsite so that Ken could start the smoker and I could babysit it.
Joseph attended a Leave No Trace workshop and was the only scout to take notes.

Then they went to the Raingutter Regatta.




Caroline lost her second tooth on Friday night, so here is the toothless picture. :D Actually, it is not as toothless as it really looks. This one also came in as a sharktooth.
She is one tooth ahead of Libby now.

One of those Rare Genuine Happy Libby Faces.

Joseph enjoying the fruit platter that I took with us.

For dinner, I smoked chicken breasts with this recipe:
Smokey Citrus Chicken

5 pounds chicken breasts or thighs
3 quarts Water
1 quart Orange Juice
5 ounces Kosher Salt
1 Tsp White Pepper
1 cup Orange Marmalade
1/2 cup Orange Juice
2 Tbs Lime Juice
2 Tbs Lemon Juice
2 Tbs Honey
2 Tbs Heinz 57
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Pepper
* Kosher salt brands vary in density. One cup of table or canning salt weighs 10 ounces. One cup of kosher salt weighs from 5 to 8 ounces. If you don't have kosher salt on hand, use 1/2 cup of canning or pickling salt. As a last resort, use 1/2 cup of non-iodized table salt. ( see About Salt )

Combine the water, orange juice, salt, and white pepper, stirring until the salt is dissolved. Cool the brine to 40 degrees before adding the chicken pieces. Soak the chicken in this citrus brine for two hours, in the fridge.

To make the sauce, combine the marmalade, juices, honey, Heinz 57, salt, and black pepper at least an hour ahead of time. As an option, you can add some heat to the mix...cayenne pepper powder or red pepper flakes to taste will warm it well.

Remove the chicken from the brine, rinse, drain, and dry with paper towels. Brush the chicken pieces with oil, season with pepper, and put in a 225F smoker. Apple wood is a good choice for smoke here. Plan on smoking the chicken for 2 to 4 hours at this temperature.

After two hours, check the internal temperature of the chicken. Remove thighs when they're at 175 degrees F, and breasts at 165F. Cover them and let them rest for twenty minutes.

I am putting it here, just in case I ever lose the recipe. It was such a huge hit with the family (of course, Alex wasn't with us and we wouldn't have had this if he was. :p) The sauce is REALLY REALLY good.

After dinner, it was time for the campfire and skits.
Here are the kids waiting for things to get started.

Since we were the only ones from our den, Ken and Joseph did the skit together. It was an audience participation one involving sound effects and visual effects. ;)
Joseph was the babbling brook....
and the waterfall

I got to try out my new aerobed in the back of the 4runner. It was definitely better than sleeping on the ground, but I still woke up several times and was pretty tired and grumpy this morning. Also, a thunderstorm came through in the middle of the night and I laid awake stressing about the rest of the family being in the tent. I think the kids slept through it though.

1 comment:

Val in the Rose Garden said...

Looks like a great trip. :) I will have to cut that recipe in 5 and try it. It sounds good!