Monday, December 23, 2013

A New Coat for Winter

It's been a busy couple of weeks at Basecamp getting ready for winter.  The lodge and cabin were in need of some fresh color around the interior, so the winter team - Kim, Steve, Jaclyn, Brianna and I -  got to painting.  As with all painting projects there were spills, the need for multiple coats, paint on objects that should not have paint, and general unpredicted yet predictable happenings that increased the length and amusement of the project.  In the end, we painted nearly every room in the lodge as well as the main room in the cabin, adding such colors as earthquake, telluride tan, terra-cotta tile, and clay pot.

The painting, along with general winter preparedness work including wood chopping, shoveling, cover building, and all around cleaning, has been my main activity since arriving in Mazama at the beginning of December.  It was great to get back out to the Cascades after spending the autumn back home in New England.  The night I arrived there were 6-8 inches of fresh, heavy snow on Lost River Road, which I took to be a sign of good things to come.  It was, however not in the snow department. Since then, there have only been small flurries of an inch or two, making it a decidedly mediocre start to the winter.  Don't despair though, six inches of snow was plenty for an East-coaster like me to get out on the Methow Valley Ski Trail Association trails.  Nearly every day I've been able to head right out my door and explore the myriad trails snaking around the valley.  Since I arrived here I think I have already doubled the amount of nordic skiing I've done in my life.  And I love it more every day; the motion of skate skiing is somewhat addictive.

I'm enjoying settling in to life here at Basecamp, getting to know Kim, Steve, Emmitt and Amelia better every day and building on the already-strong bond Mica and I have formed during our brave, late-night hardwood floor crossings (significantly more challenging for some of our four-legged friends).  I look forward to the rest of winter here with the other staff, - Jaclyn and Dierdre along with the Bondi family - meeting our guests, and maybe, possibly, more than a couple inches of snow this year!

A couple pictures from skating on Davis Lake (where we found a bat frozen in the ice!):

Double Chocolate Chip Cranberry Sea Salt Cookies

We just served these this afternoon to our guests (and our employees) and they sound like a go for the season.   These cookies were discussed in great lengths at lunch time about how they are not too sweet, perfect consistency, and their sweet/salt combination hits the mark.  Funny, I didn't get one from this batch!

     1 cup salted butter, softened
     1/2 cup sugar
     1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
     2 eggs
     2 tsp vanilla extract
     2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
     3/4 tsp course sea salt
     1 tsp baking soda
     1 1/2 tsp baking powder
     2 1/4 semi sweet chocolate chip cookies
     1/2 -3/4 cup cocoa powder
     3/4 cup cranberries
     course sea salt to sprinkle on top

Preheat oven to 350 degr F.  Cream butter and sugars until fluffly (approx 3 min on med-high speed).  /add both eggs and vanilla and beat for an additional 2 minutes.  Add baking soda, powder, salt, cocoa and flour until cookie batter is fully incorporated.  Finally add chocolate chips and cranberries until well distributed.  Cookie batter will be thick.

Form dough into disks using a medium cookie scoop or hands.  Dip into course sea salt and spread onto your baking sheet.  Bake for 12-14 minutes until edges are golden brown.  Allow to cool and enjoy!

Printed from North Cascades Basecamp recipe blog
December 2013
Inspired from Nicole Scheirlburg (thanks nicole!)

Basecamp's Emmer Waffles

These waffles are light and fluffy, and not nearly as filling as they look.  The best way to make them is to use Bluebird Grain Farms Emmer Flour- or any local flour source that is freshly milled.  Served with fresh berries during the summer (or frozen during the winter season), yogurt, and pure maple syrup makes a great meal before heading to the great outdoors.

Serves 6 adults

     2 eggs
     1 3/4 cup milk
     3/4 cup melted butter
     3 cups flour (1/2 Bluebird Grain Farms Emmer flour & 1/2 all purpose flour)
     1 tsp vanilla
     4 tsp baking powder
     1 T sugar
     1/2 salt


Melt butter and beat with eggs and all other ingredients.  Substitute 1/2 of the milk with yogurt if you like a fluffier texture.  Cook on a preheated waffle griddle.  Serve hot with your favorite toppings.

Printed from North Cascades Basecamp recipe blog
December 2013
Adapted from Sue Roberts waffle recipe and Cory Diamond's Special Waffle for Sunday Guests recipe. Thanks for the inspiration to both of you!