Monday, May 23, 2011

Our Northwoods Adventures: #1 for 2011

Just about two weeks ago now we packed our bags, loaded the car with gear, snacks, John, Scott, Harper (dog) and I, and headed North. After five hours of driving and playing spot-the-dead-elm (we are avid morel hunters, you'll understand if you are too!) we arrived at our favorite place in the world, the Hamstra Family cabin.

We all eagerly anticipate our time at the cabin, as it is such a restful place. After each visit to the cabin  I leave feeling relaxed, recharged, but most importantly I am reunited with my calm, happy self after months of busy, stressful life in the city. During the warmer months most of our time is spent fishing, either in the lake on which the cabin resides or in any of the numerous rivers in the surrounding area. We fish rain or shine, on dreary days and on hot sticky days and always love wading into the water to get up-close and personal with the fish (or to dunk ourselves on a hot summer day).

When we're all tuckered out after a day of playing it is so comforting to return to the cabin. We almost always have a fire in the evenings, whether indoors in the fireplace or outside in our portable fire pit. We've even been known to play Yahtzee and Monopoly if there's nothing else to do.

When all the playing is done, my favorite thing to do at the cabin is cook. The cabin boats a full sized, well stocked galley kitchen with an amazing view of the lake. When we do keep the fish we catch, typically walleye, crappies or bluegills, they end up breaded and friend, either as an amazing main course for dinner or even better, with breakfast. The land the cabin resides on is also filled with wild edibles including ramps, may apples and arrowroot (even though I haven't tried the latter, yet!). Tucked on the shelves of the built in cabinets there are at least a dozen cookbooks with "classic" recipes dating back to the late '60's to mid '70's. The recipe gold mine, however, is compiled in the olive and lime recipe box; filled with all of the Hamstra family's favorite recipes. (Don't ask me what striped delight is, though! Maybe someone will fill me in ...)

Photo from
A dish that I first learned to make at the cabin, found in the afore mentioned/pictured recipe box, is ebleskivers. An ebleskiver is a puff pancake that was traditionally filled with apple slices, thus the name, meaning apple slice in Danish. They are light and fluffy, perfectly round and absolutely delicious. It is no longer common to find them filled with apple slices, but they are the perfect vessel for all sorts of sweet and savory foods. When filled with blackberry jam and topped with a drizzling of maple syrup they make the best breakfast that disappears just about as quickly as they arrive on the table. I typically love sharing recipes but, unfortunately, not this one. If you want to try them, you'll just have to come over for breakfast! We love sharing these with our friends, and have a few that can already attest to their tastiness.

Edition: I was uploading photos and found a couple shots of my own ebleskivers in production. Yes, the pan is covered in batter and my stove is covered with burnt on splashes, but that's the life of a busy, baking momma!

ebleskiver pan, mid production

batter, just after being poured into pan

almost ready!