Posts tagged wine
Camping Cheese Boards
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I’ve written before about my love of cheese and charcuterie boards, and talked about laying them out when you have all the fancy accoutrements and comforts of home. When you leave those comforts behind for the woods though, there’s no need to leave the meats and cheese behind too! Whether you’re paddling and trekking into the back country like I was, or driving out to your car camping site, here are some tips for bringing your favourite snack boards camping!

Cheeses

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When refrigeration is less consistent, you want to make sure you can keep your cheeses as fresh as possible! I’ve listed my tips below but you have to commit to a certain level of loss. Best case scenario? All your cheeses will be in great shape and you’ll have food aplenty! But if you open something out there and it looks, smells, or tastes weird? Trust your gut, accept the loss, and dispose of it properly.

Choosing cheeses

Wherever possible, choose hard cheeses. These will last longer and with less refrigeration.

Storage

For hardy cheeses, wrap with cheesecloth! This allows the cheese to breathe and prevents condensation from collecting on the surface and molding.

For riskier cheeses, buy them packaged as much as possible and leave them sealed as long as possible. Anything in its own wax or rind seal is a decent bet - you can find small wheels of Brie sealed in plastic trays that are more airtight than the regularly wrapped ones.

packing

If you’re not carrying a standard cooler, pack your cheeses at the bottom of your food bag or barrel, in a soft sided, insulated cooler bag with an ice pack or another item you need frozen. They won’t stay cold if your trip is longer than a day or two but they’ll stay cool-ER which is usually good enough.

Meats

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Meats are typically one of the easier parts of this equation as many salamis and summer sausages are shelf-stable.

If you do choose to bring something sliced like prosciutto, go with a prepared package that’s already sealed airtight. Store this in your cooler spot with cheese.

Accompaniments

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There are lots of great, shelf-stable accoutrement for your cheese board. I recommend sweets like chocolate covered almonds or berries, a small refillable bottle of honey, and olives packed in a vacuum bag (found at most grocery stores and save the weight of a glass jar). When looking at more sensitive items, choose the heartiest ones possible, or go with something sealed. I like baby carrots and proportioned, sealed hummus containers.

Crackers

If you’re car camping this one is pretty easy but when space is an issue crackers are a challenge. Pita is always a great, durable option. Otherwise I recommend something sturdy like Triscuits, unless you’re willing to pack in the box for protection.

Serving

If some of your items are being kept cool I recommend serving no later than day 3 of your trip. If everything is shelf-stable you can definitely push further!

I assembled my board on two light-weight, bendable cutting boards that I stored down the side of my food bag. I used the small white plastic tray from the Brie to serve my olives.

Assemble your board as quickly and as close to serving as possible, working away from bugs and the hot sun. You’ll have to consume faster than usual but that shouldn’t be an issue given the appetite you’re working up in the outdoors!

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If you want to get extra fancy, make friends with someone willing to pack out chilled white wine in an insulated thermos like Julie from Lavender Julep! It’s the perfect compliment to your afternoon snack.

Homemade Rosé Gummy Bears
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Perfect for Galentine’s Day, bachelorette parties, or bridal showers, these sweet little gummy bears are just as fun to make as they are to eat! They’d also make a great little treat for a friend, and you can change up the ingredients to make different flavours. Julie (@Lavender Julep) and I had these out at our Galentine’s Day party last weekend!

I had to play around a little with ratios and how much to reduce the rosé to get the best possibly consistency on these but I’m really happy with how they turned out. They’re honestly really easy to make with store-bought gelatin and your favourite rosé and they don’t require a candy thermometer!

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I used these gummy bear molds from Amazon but you could also use any molds you like (silicone is easiest to remove) or even pour a sheet of the mixture into a rectangular casserole dish and cut into cubes or with little cookie cutters! This recipe will make enough of the gelatin mixture to fill two of the molds I used, so feel free to scale up or down accordingly.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups rosé (but I’m sure you’ll find a use for the rest of the bottle)

  • 3 envelopes of unflavoured, powdered gelatin (these are usually 0.25 ounce envelopes)

  • 1/3 cup granulated white sugar

Recipe Steps

1. Add one cup of the rosé to a small saucepan over medium heat, and bring to a bare simmer. Allow to reduce down to a 1/4 cup. The more you reduce this the better the flavour, colour, and texture of your finished gummy bears will be.

2. In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of rosé with the three envelopes of gelatin and stir to combine before setting aside. The gelatin will swell and thicken the entire mixture into a jello-like consistency.

3. Once the saucepan of wine has reduced to a 1/4 cup, lower the heat and add your sugar and gelatin mixture. Keep the heat at medium-low, stirring until the sugar and gelatin have dissolved.

4. Increase heat to medium and bring to a bare simmer again, reducing slightly so that you have a slightly syrupy liquid.

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5. Turn off the stove but leave the saucepan on the element to keep it warm while you work, otherwise it will begin to solidify. Quickly transfer your mixture into the molds using a spoon and wiping clean or using an eye-dropper/pipette. With the silicone molds I found I did not need to grease them at all for the bears to release cleanly, but if you are using a rectangular dish you may want to spray lightly with cooking spray before filling.

6. Allow gummies to cool in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours - or if you’re living in Canada in February like me, just cover and put them outside on your porch for 30 minutes. They should release evenly from the molds!

These can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for several weeks, or for 12 hours uncovered at room temperature. Note that uncovered (refrigerated or not), they will begin to shrivel up making them chewier. You can change up the rosé for any flavouring of your choice, other wines, fruit juices, etc.!

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