Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024
Then and now: country kitchen

In today’s post, Chef Deb Rankine, aka The Fridge Whisperer, shares tried-and-tested recipes for beans and bannocks.

As Ontario Parks celebrates its 125th anniversary, it’s fun to remember how backcountry camping in our multi-landscape wilderness has changed over the decades.

In Algonquin Provincial Park, for example, the original camp included a birch bark canoe and a dunnage bag filled with enough supplies to last adventure seekers a week or two as they paddled and portaged across the numerous lakes and park rivers.

A 1940s provisions list from the Algonquin Hotel suggests that the following, plus other pantry staples, candles, matches, and soap, should be enough to supply two people for a week in the wilderness:

  • seven pounds of bacon
  • six pounds of sugar
  • three pounds of dried white beans
  • three pounds of coarsely ground coffee
  • two pounds of canned fruit
  • four cans of evaporated milk

The cost was $9.00. The duo camped for the night, cooked dinner over the campfire and headed off to get a good night’s sleep on a bed of balsamic branches.

Fast forward to today

In fact, camping in rural areas looks very different.

Couple cooking in the country on a sunny day

The birch bark canoe has been replaced by a two-person inflatable kayak with telescoping aluminum paddles. Tree branches have been transformed into ultralight all-weather tents.

Cooking products have evolved, from heavy cast iron Dutch ovens over an open fire to anodized aluminum cook kits, weighing less than four pounds, that include a portable gas stove, pots, pans and cookware. foldable.

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While backcountry camping has changed over the years, one thing is certain: our love of rugged home cooking hasn’t. So wherever you call home for the night, here are two camp-worthy recipes that have not only stood the test of time, but can also be prepared over a campfire or camp stove.

Campfire Baked Beans (8 servings)

Speed ​​up this recipe by swapping out the ingredients with cans of baked beans with a little molasses and you’ll be sitting down to dinner in half an hour..

Baked beans in a brown ceramic pot on a gray terrace (photo taken from above)Photo: Jason Chow Photography

  • 3 cans (540 ml) white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/4 pound salted pork belly, diced
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup molasses for cooking
  • 2 teaspoons mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • boiling water

Place beans in a cast iron pot along with onion, pork, brown sugar, ketchup, maple syrup, molasses, mustard powder, salt and pepper. Stir until well combined.

Add enough boiling water to barely cover the beans.

Place the pot over low heat coals and bake until the beans have absorbed most of the liquid, about two hours, stirring occasionally.

BannockEdit (1 ago)

  • Round bread with small holes (from a fork), on a cutting board with a butter knife sticking out of itPhoto: Jason Chow Photography

    3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups water

Mix flour, baking powder and salt. Using a fork, beat in butter until mixture is crumbly.

Add water and stir until a soft, slightly sticky dough forms. Place it on a floured work surface and knead until smooth and not sticky (about five minutes).

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Roll out the dough into a 1/2-inch-thick round and transfer to a large, well-greased cast-iron skillet. Prick the surface of the round with the tines of a fork.

Cook over indirect heat over low heat coals or, alternatively, over low heat until golden and crispy, and the bannock is cooked through the middle, about 15 minutes per side.