Cassidy: Adventure & Purpose

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Dead cow follow up with new inspirations

My two new recipes had mixed results but still served as good food. This week I was inspired with two additional new recipes to experiment with in the coming weeks as I prepare for the next adventure. 

I was disappointed with the oven-style cooking of the Jerky. I’m not sure if it was the overly dry nature of the cow or the absence of smoke. Probably a little of both.

The VIP Cow didn’t have the vanilla infusion I was looking for. I attribute this to not allowing it to marinate long enough. It only sat in the VIP Porter for a few hours at most, whereas I normally marinate it for 12-24 hours. I think when I’m on a deadline and making last-minute jerky, I’ll just stick with the reliable pepper & smoke. I think I may try the VIP again when I’m not crunched for time. 

On the other hand, the pepper and smoke batch turned out as it should. It was smoking, chewy, and not overly dried out.

I was on a beach retreat with a bunch of students this past weekend and they ate all the jerky. They agreed that the VIP batch was too dry.

Since this week was the Thanksgiving holiday, John and I do majority of the cooking for the family. We were at a local farm picking up fresh squeeze spiced apple cider and discussed how spiced cider might make an exciting marinade for jerky. In addition to our cider discovery, the farm carried a micro-brew from Great Divide brewery that embraces the Yeti/Sasquatch theme. It’s a bit spendy at $10-$11+ per big bottle which will translate into expensive jerky, but how could we pass up on the opportunity to make Yeti/Sasquatch themed jerky. I’ll try it at least once. Who knows, Maybe it’ll be worth it. 

Also, we’re starting to prepare for another winter snowshoe backpacking adventure where we’ll spend 3 or 4 days in the Mt. Rainier National Park. In the next month we’ll experiment with the cider jerky. We went to REI in Seattle to get our usual gear-a-holic fix and start figuring out what we need equipment-wise for this years Rainier trip. I still need to replace that evil Big Agnes Insulated Air Core mattress that gave John and I both a lot of trouble. I think I’ll end up with Exped’s SynMat 7. It has great reviews and weighs just under two pounds I think. Also, it’s 2.8 inches thick with an R value of 4.9 which should provide me with plenty of warmth against the snow and ice, and hopefully give my back/hips a more comfortable experience. It took me several weeks before I was feeling better after our trip last month. 

While standing in the check-out at REI, I found a milk chocolate bar that was flavored with smoked beef jerky. I was inspired. The woman who makes this stuff, Wild Ophelia, spoke of dipping beef jerky in chocolate. I was a little wierded out by the idea, but had to try it none the less.

Wow! I’m going to see about experimenting with a batch of chocolate covered smoked jerky for our rainier trip as well. Wild Ophelia is definitely on to something here. Whether we’re surviving exposure in a winter blizzard or dining in the comfort of our frozen palace (both situations occurred last time we went on this trip), the stomach gods will be satisfied.

With the second book taking place up on Mt. Rainier, I will continue to spend quite a bit more time exploring that area as the story is developed and refined. In meantime, I have food to perfect before we set out. Difficult adventures are more tolerable and satisfying when you have good food to eat.


**Musings transcribed from my handwritten journal, napkins, and voice memos during my travels may contain partial thoughts, improper grammar, misspelling, and tangents with varying degrees of clarity depending on the situation during which they were recorded.**

Filed under Backpacking Beef jerky Great Divide Brewery Microbrew Mt. Rainier Spiced apple cider cooking snow shoeing snowshoeing Wild Ophelia Chocolate Milk Chocolate