Last weekend it was absolutely beautiful in Northwest Michigan!
Nevermind that, yes, it was 33 degrees at night and never hit 60 during the day. It was simply gorgeous. A perfect weekend for camping.
This weekend trip was my mom’s birthday celebration. Okay, so her birthday was actually in August but hey, we had a busy August, so this was the best way to defer the festivities and still make it the kind of weekend my mom deserved.
Now, my mother is amazing on SO many levels. She’s also super human. I mean that in the “very” human sense, as much as the Superwoman sense. See, she has no concept of how to dress for cold weather. She cannot STAND to wear bulky clothes. But she is the Queen of style – color, texture, accessories, current trends, the works – at all times. Including camping. In 33-degree weather.
I think she wore five different sets of footwear (boots, slides, sneaks, sandals and gold thongs – yes, I said “thongs”, my mother does not wear “flip flops”.) She wore at least three different vests, two jackets, including this adorable dark brown leather biker jacket (unlined, of course), two different hats, scarves, gloves, and coordinating jewelry. Do you think she had longjohns or silkies under all those cute clothes? No way. Do you think any of those cute gloves & scarves were warm? Not a bit. Sure she was cute, but I’m pretty sure it took her 48 hours to warm up after she got home.
Rick & I do not go “glamping”. But with my parents, we were totally glamping.
Food included. Mom & I exchanged no less than 98 emails over the last week planning our menu. (Don’t you think she could have had the courtesy to send me just ONE email about wardrobe??? Sheesh.)
Anyway, we had brie & honey crisp apples.
Bagel chips & red pepper hummus.
Breakfast burritos with bacon, eggs, Virginia ham, Swiss cheese & salsa.
Vanilla nut latte.
Cinnamon French toast.
And French onion soup.
All over an open camp fire.
I can’t even tell you how good wood-fire grilled French onion soup is. With a couple’a cans of cold beer. Man! Awesome. Great idea, Mom!
Glamping French Onion Soup
4 yellow onions, sliced fairly thin (I halved my onions first, mom sliced hers whole).
1 stick of Oleo (magarine, for you young’uns)
Sautee onions in margarine in a big, heavy-bottom soup pot over an open camp fire (or on the stove, sure, wuss out on me) for about 15-20 minutes until the onions are softened and almost transparent. Stir frequently.
Add 2 cloves of garlic, minced. Cook for another minute or two.
Add 2 quarts of low-sodium beef stock. Cook until almost boiling.
Portion out in (ideally not plastic) bowls. Sprinkle herbed croutons on top, add a slice of mozzarella cheese and a few bacon crumbles. Let the cheese melt & devour.
Enjoy with a cold beer, outside, under a canopy of golden sugar maples, with your amazing lumberjack grillmaster husband and fun-loving parents.
I think this is pretty light as is, but if you’re watching your waistline, add a lot less Oleo or butter, use a little light olive oil instead, and use just a few croutons & no bacon. But what fun would that be?