August 20, 2014

Bacon Night could be a new camping tradition

As published in The Erin Advocate

We got lots of hiking done last week, and we didn’t have to wear bells. You may have heard that some people advise wearing little bells to scare off bears while hiking. And of course you need to watch for bear droppings – the ones with the little bells in them.

We’ve been camping with a group of friends from the Georgetown area for the last 20 odd years, since our kids were little. We haven’t seen a bear yet, but we still stash our trash in the vehicles at night, to avoid tempting the local raccoon population at Point Farms Provincial Park.

There were 27 of us (plus dogs) on five campsites last week – four generations, including a newborn, a bevy of short people, a gaggle of medium to well-dones and a great grandmother.

We still use a tent, but most have retreated to the comfort of trailers. To facilitate this escape to nature, there were various stoves, fridges, furnaces, televisions, a mini trampoline and sufficient acreage of tarps to ensure that torrential rain would only be a minor inconvenience. The campfire light blended nicely with the glow of cell phone screens.

We had our traditional outings to mini-golf and historical Huron County Gaol, and knowing that the Goderich Walmart was only a short drive away brought a feeling of security. I also managed to get in a little book larnin’, thanks to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

As usual, things alternated between loud and laid back, with everyone mostly doing their own thing. Except of course for a possible new tradition, known as Bacon Night. It could be called a "pot luck pig-out", though this term is perhaps disrespectful to the providers of the bacon.

The main dishes were:

• Bacon burgers, of course

• Caesar salad

• Fresh pole beans (from my organic garden), with cubed barbequed back bacon

• Bacon-wrapped potatoes, with cheese and sour cream

• Spaghetti à la Carbonara, with bacon cooked in wine

• Devilled eggs, sprinkled with bacon

• Mashed cauliflower casserole, with you know what

• Bacon-wrapped barbequed shrimp

• Pork sausage meat, rolled in strips of bacon.

Someone forgot to bring the bacon-flavoured vodka, but like true woods people, we adapted quickly and passed the bottle of Sambuca around.

Surviving Bacon Night without undue gastronomic distress requires some discipline. Know your limit. Eat within it. And then have some dessert, which in this case was bacon dipped in chocolate, then drizzled with more chocolate.

So there you have it, a fine escape from day-to-day affairs. My only regret is that I had to miss last week’s Town Council meeting. I hear it was intents.