Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Welcome to Camp Fire Rules

Country and Region of Origin: Varied
Type of Cheese: Goat's milk cheeses come in various shapes and textures as can be seen in the photo above. They can be very fresh, soft and creamy with a mild flavor, as in the Montrachet log on top of the plate. Or they can be aged with a rind as in the Gouda Goat cheese at the bottom of the plate. French Goat cheeses are often referred to as Chèvre. Commonly imported varieties are Montrachet, Bucheron Valençay and Sainte-Maure. Other cheeses that can be made from goat's milk or cow's milk include Gjetost, Cabrales, Feta and Arina.
Texture: Varied from soft in the fresh young goat cheese, to semi-firm in the aged cheeses.
Rind: Once again this varies. A fresh Montrachet log has no rind. Aged cheeses may have a pale, straw color rind as in a gouda. Others have been covered with ash, and aged to develop a mold on the outside.
Tasting Notes: Most goat cheese has a distinctive goat flavor, although some pick up the characteristic flavoring of the variety they've been used for such as a gouda.
Wine Pairing: A fresh, young goat cheese would be accompanied well by a delicate, light, fruity red or white such as a Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc. An aged goat cheese would be better with a more robust Cabernet or Zinfandel. A pungent, moldy rind goat cheese could be served with a sweet dessert wine such as a Merlot, Sauternes or Riesling.
Serving Suggestions: A variety of goat cheese is always an interesting addition to a cheese board. Goat cheeses also go nicely in salads, spread on crackers, or as an addition to a bruschetta.

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Camp Fire Etiquit

Camp fire etiquit

How to Build a Campfire
Ah, the sweet sound of a crackling fire, the gentle orange glow and the woodsy smell of smoke. There's nothing quite like a campfire to make your adventure complete. The following tips will help keep you safe and cozy.
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1. Know the Rules
Though it may be tempting to have a campfire where one is not permitted, camping rules and regulations were created for one reason - to keep you safe. Call ahead to make sure that campfires will be permitted where you want to stay. If not, and having a campfire is important to you, you might want to find another park.
Keep in mind that fire rules can change on a daily basis depending on weather conditions. If a park posts "No open fires due to dry or windy conditions," always be sure to comply for the safety of all.
2. Use Designated Fire Pits
If campfires are permitted, use the area that has been designated. These areas were chosen for a good reason (a good wind break, good brush clearance, etc.). If there is not a formal fire area, make sure that your fire ring is surrounded by a circle of rocks, large enough to keep wood and kindling contained and not blowing or tumbling over the sides.
3. Clear Area of All Debris
Make sure there are no extraneous twigs, leaves, paper products or other flammables within several feet of your campfire. And don't forget to look up. Overhanging branches should be avoided.
4. Use the Right Wood
Different kinds of wood are needed to make a great campfire. Start by gathering a supply of all three:
Tinder, or small twigs, wood shavings, dry leaves or grass and when it is raining,you can peel the bark off of a cedar or fir tree trunk,as it is usually dry and will ignite easily. (Never use flammable liquids to start a fire!) Kindling, or small sticks one inch in diameter or less, go on next. Make sure to let your kindling get burning well before you add on the last kind of wood. The last kind? Your Fuel, or larger pieces of dry wood that burn for longer periods of time.
Be sure to stack your wood in separate piles, well away from the fire area. Never pull branches off trees or cut living vegetation.
5. Don't Over-Build.
Campfires can easily get away from you. Keep your campfire well within the borders of the pit, and keep it small to avoid sparking. You can always snuggle up to the fire (or each other) to keep warm.
Bring warm clothes to wear.
6. Be Ready to Put it Out
Be sure to have a bucket of water and a shovel or a fire extinguisher nearby.
7. Be Safe
Enjoy your campfire, but be safe. Make sure an adult is present at all times, and discourage running or horse playing near a campfire.
8. Douse, Dreg,Dig and Feel
Before leaving camp, make sure that your campfire is completely out-and that means doing more than just dousing it with water once or twice. Douse with water, dreg up the fire to uncover any hot spots and douse again. Finish up by turning over the fire debris to make sure everything is cold, and never put fire ash into trash receptacles. Check out my stories at to find more products to help you have a warm and secure camping trip.With a few precautions, you can ensure that your campfire experience brings you wonderful memories of toasted marshmallows and smiling faces.