Oct 22, 2011

Camping Virgin

Posted by Tonia at Saturday, October 22, 2011
By Rachel

“Camping is nature's way of promoting the motel business.” - Dave Barry

Our family recently went camping with some of my girlfriends’ and their families. We had four moms, two dads (2 dads backed out - begged their employers to work overtime) and 10 rambunctious kids. Since we had never been camping, we borrowed a tent from another friend - which seemed smaller than our sleeping bags. But what do I know? She explained that her larger tent’s poles were broken as light sabers during her kids’ last Star Wars battle. On the bright side, a smaller tent should be easier to put up!

Now I should tell you that my husband has spent very little time outdoors; he couldn’t even figure out our kids’ play tents at home. But when we got to the camp site he suddenly insisted on setting up the tent – guess it was the manly thing to do. Well, he finally got it upright….but backwards. The front door faced some kind of thorny bush on steroids. The kids cried every time they had to go in or out of the tent. I looked like I had been making out with a porcupine. My husband simply said that is how he feels when I don’t shave my legs. Note to self: next trip leave husband at home and rent a camper.

I guess we all looked pretty incompetent because the Park Rangers kept coming around to check on us. They must have thought we wouldn’t survive for a whole weekend away from home. However, I noticed that after a few hours the visits stopped. Maybe it had something to do with every time they came around we asked to borrow something and the kids (all 10 of them) begged for more candy. That will teach them not to carry candy in their little trucks.

As we were heading to bed a copperhead snake appeared. My husband freaked out and wanted to find the Park Ranger. I’m surprised he didn’t try to call 911. Finally got the snake out of the campsite and headed to our tent to sleep. We were so cramped I think I would have had more room if I had slept in the cooler. Woke up and thought my neck was broken. I’m hoping that someday I will be able to hold my head straight again.  

I’m thinking that my next camping trip should be with girlfriends. And, when we go, we’ll take along this fabulous snack – Campers’ Caramel Popcorn. It's delicious!

Campfire Caramel Popcorn
½ cup butter
½ cup corn syrup
2 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ½ quarts popped popcorn

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and baking soda. Warm the popcorn in the oven and then place it in two large shallow baking pans. Pour the brown sugar mixture over the popcorn, stirring to coat. Bake in the oven, stirring every 15 minutes, for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Break into pieces and serve!


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