The Black Hills, Part Two: Oh, how we ate!

September 13, 2011 § Leave a comment

I think we dined better over a campfire than I often do in my somewhat well-equipped apartment kitchen. We met up at Spokane Creek Campground and Cabins, nestled in a quiet valley outside of Keystone. Such a peaceful place, with just enough conveniences to keep us comfy. The first day, I’d dozed under a tree and listened to the creek running along behind me, waiting for my family to get there (they all came from the east, while I came from the west) . . . they arrived just before dusk and everyone was hungry!

We had quick happy greetings and then, starving, got dinner started. How nice to stand next to my sister, slicing peppers and summer squash and onion and garlic and hamburger to wrap in aluminum for hobo pies. With sweet corn on the grill. Most of the vegetables were from the CSA my sister and her husband belong to, with some of the squash and the garlic from the farm where I work. I brought raw milk and filled everyone’s blue speckled mugs. We were eating late so darkness crept around us as we buttered the corn and felt happy about being together. My father and brother-in-law set up kerosene lanterns, and we put water over the fire for coffee. A good first dinner. A good sign that we’d be eating well for the week. And so we did.

Breakfast was zucchini chocolate chip bread (courtesy of my sister), sometimes cereal, and gluten-free and buckwheat pancakes. Lunches were buffalo meat, cheese, bread, peaches, plums, apples, crackers. Of course we had s’mores. Peach cobbler in the Dutch oven. Dinners of brats and burgers with a side of beans, and more sweet corn. And more roasted marshmallows. (I will make homemade marshmallows one day. This was not that time, so yes, we had the bad-for-you marshmallows, a little food-sin I can occasionally live with.)

Later, we moved over to a cabin at Palmer Gulch Resort. What a fun place! The electricity was out the first day we were there, though, so we laughed and made shiskabobs over the fire. How entirely delicious. Thanks to E. and J. for their hard work! Thanks to the cabin for having a delightful porch, with a picnic table and stunning view.

One evening after lots of driving and hiking and scrambling over rocks, we ate at a pie shop in a purple-and-pink painted Victorian house, aptly named The Purple Pie Place. Admittedly, the appearance of the building got us three ladies to clamor for going there. Mostly we wanted a good dinner after our day’s long activities, and we got it . . . then split a piece of  bumbleberry pie for dessert.

Our last real meal together was a good-fun chuckwagon dinner, at the Circle B Ranch. Mom and Dad went ahead of time, to get on horseback for a South Dakota trail ride. We met up with them later to see the miniature donkeys, the wood carver, the small shops on the Old West street, and then to eat: beef, beans, potatoes, biscuits, peaches, and ginger cake on a tin plate, and coffee and lemonade in tin cups, while the cowboys strummed their guitars and sang to us in rollicking harmonies.

Ah, good food. Good times.

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