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Friday, May 29, 2015

Activities Centered on the Woodstove

Big breakfast cooked on the woodstove

Camplife on Afognak centers around the woodstove.  We feed it wood and it feeds us heat.  It is the center of all attention right in the middle of the teepee.  I much prefer it for cooking rather than the white gas powered Coleman 2-burner that we used to use.  The heat is tempered and food does not get burnt or stick to the bottom of pans - perfect for slow-cooked meals and 'fire-side' conversation.

On this trip one of my favorite meals was nettles cooked in SPAM.  This is a long-time favorite field food (click here for another recipe).  Basically you pick the tender tops of the nettles and cook them with SPAM.

I start by cooking thinly sliced SPAM to achieve a crust on each side.  I then remove the SPAM and set in a warm pan under the stove, and add around 3 table spoons oil to the cast iron frying pan.  Once hot I add the nettles and toss to coat with oil.  Sometimes I also add Old Bay or Cajun Seasoning.  I toss until the nettles are slightly wilted, and then add a 1/4 cup or so of water.  This creates an explosion of steam and flash steams the nettles.  I might do this twice until the nettles are thoroughly cooked (and will not sting anymore).  But don't overcook them too much either!  Then I re add the SPAM and serve.


Zoya washes the dishes with sand and salt water

S'mores on the woodstove

Picking nettles to cook on woodstove

Nettles sautéed in oil

Nettles and SPAM - my favorite meal

Gregg sawing wood for stove

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