Saturday, June 28, 2008

Camera Blues

I'm really missing my camera right now. I left it at my aunt's house last weekend and I've been without my photo taking friend all week. I will be reunited with my camera tomorrow, but in the meantime, I just had to post some pictures. So, here are a few favorites from the days before blogging:
I don't know what I was thinking posting some of my favorites. I've been sitting here for an hour trying to pick a few from what I'm sure has got to be close to a billion pictures. I've limited this group to black and white pictures, and I'm going to have to post some more tomorrow because there are just too many to choose from.

Until tomorrow,

Nessa Dee

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Recipe, the Revelation

Since my post about camp bread, several people have asked me for the recipe. Here's the one I came across a while back in my Texas Ranger cookbook:

2 cups flour

2 tsps baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 Tbsp oil

1 cup milk

Mix dry ingredients. Add oil and milk. Roll out 1/4-inch thick like biscuit dough. Preheat covered skillet for 5 minutes on medium low heat. Put in dough and spread it out to cover bottom of 10- or 12-inch skillet. Cover and bake 6 or 7 minutes. Turn and bake 5 more minutes.

So that's the recipe that I've not gotten right for so many years. I was telling my husband that my PaPa's camp bread seemed to be lighter, fluffier, and more biscuit-like, and that mine was always too dense. Well, my mom dropped by one afternoon and read the post. We shed a few tears together before she turned to me and said, "Didn't your PaPa use Bisquick to make his camp bread?" All of those years, all of those failed attempts, and to think that all I needed was a box of Bisquick. I still think that the camp bread, if made with Bisquick won't taste quite the same made by my own hands, in my house, but it might have more of that fluffy biscuit texture that I was missing.

On another note, last Father's Day was doubly special because we celebrated not only a great daddy, but a great person as well. My husband's birthday just happened to fall on that special day set aside for father's everywhere. We spent the weekend with my in-laws, ate yummy pound cake, and just about passed out trying to blow out the candles on the cake with party horns.

I'm sorry this is late, but Happy Birthday/Father's Day to my best friend and the greatest daddy my children could have!

And to all the "dads" in my life, I want you to know just how wonderful you are!


Nessa Dee

Friday, June 13, 2008

One Man Show

In my house, it's not unusual to see the occasional pirate running by, or a spy lurking through the hallways, or even a princess/knight all in one ensemble. We like to dress up around here ......a lot. Someday, when I have a little more time, I might post a collection of pictures that shows our numerous outfits over the years, but for now, I'm going to post a few pictures of Finn. The following pictures (with the exception of Finn in his army helmet) happened in a time span of about 15 minutes. I think he had a little help and prompting from his sister, but it was entertaining nonetheless.

Nessa Dee

Thursday, June 12, 2008

IF: Forgotten

Sometimes we feel as if our friends have forgotten about us.

I haven't posted in a while, mainly because we got a new computer and we're still trying to get everything hooked up and installed. I had something to post last week, but didn't have the means. Anyway, this was a quick painting between projects.
Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Almost perfect, but not quite.

Camp bread. The recipe is simple, mix flour, milk, baking powder, oil, and salt. It's quick and easy to cook, put it in a skillet on top of the stove, heat for 5 minutes on each side. That's it, you're done. A delicious compliment to any meal, or add honey and it becomes a tasty dessert.

My love for camp bread stemmed from childhood. It wasn't a staple in my own household, but in the house right up the street from mine. A lot of good memories of delicious food came from my grandparent's home. My MaMaw was an excellent cook, making everything homemade from butterhorn rolls to chocolate sheet cake to chicken fried bacon, but camp bread.... that was my PaPa's domain. I remember him standing in that old kitchen, his cane propped up against the cabinets, rolling out the dough, and then setting it into the hot skillet. The smell of freshly baked bread filled the air, and although the bread was ready in no time, it still seemed like an eternity before it was done. My favorite things to pair with camp bread? A bowl of pinto beans, or some peach jelly.
There's only been a handful of times that I've attempted to make this simple bread. The first time, still a child, my brother and I had a craving for camp bread. We decided that it would be quicker to make it ourselves instead of trekking just up the street to see if Papa could make it. It was way too salty. Another time, during my "everything should be healthy" phase, I made whole wheat camp bread. Not bad, but not great either. Several other failed attempts, and I determined that camp bread was beyond my cooking abilities. Well, today my daughter asked if I could make "that bread you make on the stove, in the pan." So, I pulled out my cookbook, turned to page 31, and with determination, started to prepare the dough. I made sure everything was measured to a tee, and I tried not to over mix. I placed the dough in the heated skillet, covered it, and even set the timer to make sure each side of the bread was cooked just so. I removed the bread from the heat, cut it into manageable pieces, and tasted. It was good, really good!!

My daughter asked me if it was just how I remembered to which I replied, "Almost." I want to pass this tasty tradition down to my own children, but I can't seem to get it quite right. Trying to figure out what it could possibly be missing, it finally hit me. The camp bread will never be perfect. It can come close, but never perfect. It's not because I've missed an ingredient, or that I overmixed it, or undercooked it. It's because it will never again be made by that man who stood in the old kitchen with his cane propped against the cabinets, who told us countless adventures of his days as a Texas Ranger, who swore my eyes were green when I just knew that they were brown, who played some of the best pranks on his grandchildren, who always greeted me with a kiss on the large freckle on the side of my nose.

No, it will never taste like it did when I was a child, but at least, in my kids' eyes, it's perfect.