This is probably one of my favorite times of the year. Having just returned from a gluttonous camping trip, I get to recount all of the food I ate & fun I had. Despite the rain, hail & general bad weather, this year didn't disappoint.
Day 1; Thursday.
2 cars with 6 eager campers arrived at the grounds in the early afternoon rain & proceeded to get our tents & sleeping quarters set up. Having been drinking for pretty much the entire day & soaking in the rain by nightfall, we realized how much we missed our resident cook, John (he was arriving on Friday).
We had managed to make a fire & were listening to the Lakers/Nuggets game on a car stereo as we cooked up some bratwursts on a small Weber grill. No condiments, just a brat & a bun. I'm pretty sure we looked like Neanderthals!
Day 2; Friday.
Our misery was compounded as we waited for John to show up, no breakfast for us! More people did arrive though & in time Scott had the jockey box set up & cold Coors Light was flowing.
There were other luxury items in the camp that I had missed from my absence the year before. There were now 2 large tents, one for the kitchen & another for the house band; The Texas Creek Massacre. In the band tent was booze on a rope (see the 1st picture), which did well to keep us warm as night.
The kitchen tent had several massive coolers, a serving/buffet table, a fully stocked pantry & a new 3 ring gas cooker with griddle that John had picked up, along with a very ingenious folding bench system that provided all of the room needed for him to prepare the meals that I'll be talking about soon enough. Outside of the tent was a large deep fryer & a coal BBQ for grilling.
Before we knew what hit us, John & crew were fast at work with an early dinner. Chicken Fried Steak, Gravy, Tater Tots & Jalapeno Poppers w/BBQ Sauce (both deep fried). Delicious! Finally, a proper meal!
John had some TCM Blueberry Cobbler baking in a iron pot, so we were treated to a dessert as well. Full, we retired to the band tent to hear some music & do more boozing.
Day 3; Saturday.
Finally, we were treated to our first breakfast. John didn't spare the horses. I think that every year our new 14" TCM burritos are getting more & more insane...
Meats (chorizo & bacon), vegetables (onions & peppers) & eggs were sizzling on the griddle, green chili on the hob while tater tots & spam got a dip in 350 degree oil. Josh had also made some cornmeal mush.
This is basically cornmeal that is boiled till cooked, packed into a convenient shape to firm, then fried. In this case in a skillet. Topped with cheese, hot sauce & other additions, it made one hell of a start to the day!
George was nice enough to hook up some Bloody Mary's as well. I'm not normally a fan, but these were great. Really strong, with pickles & pickle juice added & beef jerky stirrers!
Josh began to prepare his signature pulled pork shoulder. 1 was done with a rub, the other simply with salt & pepper. 7lbs of pork when it was all said & done!
It was getting around to dinner time, so 24 8oz Sirloin Steaks were seasoned & sizzling away on the charcoal grill.
Tater tots (yes again, we had loads of them!) & beer battered Vidalia onion rings were dunked into the deep fryer. The tots were topped with a little cheese for added flavor.
As you can see, dinner could have fed a ravenous animal! Not pictured, was a peach cobbler that John made much in the same way as the previous nights blueberry dessert. As usual, the night ended with most of us in the band tent. By this time, we had graduated onto our second handle of Jack Daniel's whiskey (3rd & final handle consumed).
Day 4; Sunday.
The previous night was a bit heavy & most of us woke up with raging hangovers. Breakfast was insane again, just way over the top! Corned beef hash, bacon, breakfast sausages, eggs, melted cheese, peppers, Josh's green chili & more.
Some rolled their breakfast up. Others (myself included) opted for the 'plate-method'!
Around lunch time, 2 batches of wings were put into the deep fryer; 1 hot & the other with a whiskey BBQ sauce. The band played their hit single; 'The Wings Are Ready' while people piled into the kitchen tent.
Ted began to work on his monstrous bacon roll and soon that was in the smoker & the pulled pork, was well, being 'pulled'. No use of utensils here, Josh & Lem went caveman & did it all by hand.
Served on a bun, with BBQ sauce, smoky baked beans & coleslaw, I really enjoyed the final dinner of the trip.
Day 5; Monday.
The last day was pretty simple. Hangover recovery. A breakfast of Pancakes, leftover Pulled Pork, Breakfast Sausages & generous helpings of maple syrup. After that we cleaned up the camp, took the tents down & anything that didn't go 'BOOM!' went into the fire for destruction.
We skipped our usual stop at The Coyote Cantina in Buena Vista, so our trip ended there. A great time was had by all, so rest assured that I'll be going to Man Camp again next year.