Biscuits and Gravy Tweaks

It’s the little details that change “good” to “great”, especially in preparing and serving  food. I have some Biscuit and Gravy tips for you to try on the trail or in the kitchen.

I am off work today so I thought I would recreate a great BWCA camp breakfast in the comfort of our own kitchen. Pay attention to a few details for a great meal. Here goes!

B&G Sausages1) Seasonings and Sausage selection: Try a “HOT” flavored tube sausage. The seasonings have had time to work through the sausage. Temper the flavor with a regular sausage if you must.   Use a chipotle seasoning and some crushed garlic for extra flavor and kick if needed. The sausage will come with Red Pepper for taste and heat.

For those needing an exact step by step  recipe, I am not very helpful. Just follow a recipe and shake some extra seasonings in after tasting. Black pepper is a must! Remember, these are tips to add to your recipe.

B&G Sausage and flour2) Soak up and caramelize the extra oils. The grease fried off the sausage has all the flavor. Sometimes I add a couple glugs of olive oil when browning the sausage. To merge in the oil and grease, put in enough flour to soak up the grease and keep browning. The gummy mixture will caramelize a bit and turn brown (do not burn) for better taste as well as texture. Immediately add your gravy base and milk (or water depending on your base) and stir.. Burnt gravy is unfit for bear or coon raiding camp!

I have a couple of possible suggestions for making your gravy base. Both work well if you want more then a white peppered paste. Please want more!

B&G secret base

Use an “Our Family” cream of mushroom base

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Use a “Southeastern mills” prepackaged base

 

 

 

Mix and stir until you get the right consistency. I use milk for thinning out and a flour and water paste for thickening or just adding bulk to the gravy.

B&G recipe3) Time to make biscuits. Choose wisely. Actually how you make the biscuit is more important than any single recipe. I have used a complete pancake mix and water on a wilderness camp site with tinfoil (makeshift reflector oven) as my greased pan in front of the fire. It works and tastes good.

A couple of biscuit tips: A) Use flour to give it “break-apart” layers. Make the biscuit dough and set the lump of well mixed dough on a flat surface dusted with flour. sprinkle flour on top and flatten to 3/4 to 1″ thick. Fold over, squish down again with another sprinkle of flour. fold over again and flatten to 1″ (this is an important tip). Cut out biscuits with a cutter or a glass to the dimension you desire.

B) Thickness is important. I like 1″  biscuit dough because after baking they come apart 4 ways because of the flour sprinkled between the layers. When they are baked, only the outside is crispy and brown with a large area of flaky white biscuit. Thin biscuits tend to become little frisbees very quickly if not watched in the oven.

B&G biscuts and gravy

4) Bake the biscuits and taste test, with the gravy, the poorest looking biscuit. Add ghost pepper if they are still not spicy enough (You will need a towel to wipe the sweat off your forehead if you add ghost pepper).

5) Finally: Make more then you can share so there is some left for you. The gravy and biscuits pictured will not make it very far and the guys usually polish off the biscuits first with gravy or butter and jelly. Somehow I know I will see gravy piled up on the plates hash browns and eggs as well as the biscuits (that’s just not right!).  I made a pot of gravy and three pans of biscuits for our church men’s breakfast tomorrow morning. Fun times!

Yep…not working today, Just puttering and experimenting in the kitchen. An unusual post for me. hope you try it sometime. Let me know your tweaks!

Gary

PS…I might let you know how the steaks turned out another time…

Steaks marinated, basted,grilled

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Posted in accomplishment, biscuits, biscuits and gravy, breakfast, breakfast food, Food, food blog, food blogs, food tips, Gary Fultz, gravy, Outdoor Cooking, quality of life, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Fishing is always good

Sometimes the catching is good as well.  I am happy to represent truth in this statement. I have a natural bent for life on the water and in the woods. The more remote the better. Maybe parts of our DNA bent are like-minded you and I. Maybe not! Maybe you think my DNA is a little too bent. If you have not experienced a remote wilderness trip, maybe some pictures will help you decide how far up the bucket list a BWCAW trip should be?

Trip # 63 for me, it’s more than worth the work getting there! Click to enlarge and enjoy.

 

 

Stories abound! Fish caught, bushwhacking through burned areas to lakes with no access, great open fired food, failed live wells (all the fish escaped) and friendships deepened. Deep conversations and unbelievable scenery with a few mosquitoes and black flies thrown in. I have been blessed with friends and family on these trips. I believe my son has logged almost a quarter of the trips. I have so much to be thankful for.  It’s about the catching, but if all I catch is fish, I miss out on most of what I could have caught. Life is like that. 

In your busy world. Do you pause to fish? what do you take time to catch? Slow down to a canoe pace, cook something from scratch, start a long and deep conversation and pause to look at the night stars and long to know your creator as intended from the beginning of time. Take the time for a timeless journey because fishing is always good!

Gary

And just for the record, yes, we caught a lot of fish!

There are no “do overs” in life, but you can go fishing again and again!

 

Posted in abundant life, accomplishment, adventure, Adventure story, Boundary Water trips, Boundary Waters, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness photos, BWCAW, camping, canoeing, canoeing adventure, Fishing, fishing adventure, gone fishing, Nature, outdoor adventure, Outdoor Adventures, Outdoor Cooking, quality of life, relationship building, solitude, Uncategorized, wilderness adventure | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Take on Time

Bears 5 Pan
I’m on vacation. We traveled a few states away to abscam four of our grandkids for awhile and be an ever so small influence. wide open spaces, lakes and forests is our abode. They live in town.

We watched mama with 4 cubs for an hour with them in front of the house. We went fishing, 4 wheeling, roasted and burned many marshmallows for smores. Deer walked through the yard and turkeys fed in the fields. yep, really good times!

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Our early rising (5am) little man sat with me drinking a manly drink of creamed coffee on the screen porch a few mornings and discussed life far beyond his years. Good times! I think he is a budding poet with unique insights. Write them down Bud.

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I’m on vacation but just from the workplace. I hope to never take vacation from family, God and country. There are important things in life and urgent things in lifeI am often caught up in the urgent with no time for the important.4 wheeling eml.jpg

I will leave you with that thought as I type in the middle of a milling family ready for coffee time. I like you people in the blogosphere but I will take no more of our time for now. I need to be with them for a few more days.

Oscars Crappie 2018 eml

Gary

 

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Wilderness Food Planning for the unorganized (like I should talk)

I was in the grocery store for a couple hours (seemed like) with a cart load of camping food and my cart disappeared. It was just gone. I found it two isles over being pushed by a very small elderly women with a friend pushing a similar cart. They were shopping together. When I asked her when she was going camping and trying out the smores. her partner being quicker of mind started laughing. The look on my cart abductors face would have gone viral. I told her she could keep the cart if she liked my food choices. Minutes later they were still laughing in the next isle…made my day.BWCA food 2 eml
I am an expert in unorganized. (62) trips has as many stories and more suggestions about “next time”. This year will be (12) meals for (6) people in the wilderness by canoe, portaging from lake to lake and catching some (probably a lot of) fish.

A wagon load of groceries finally appeared on our screen porch. Not by accident mind you, but by semi-careful planning. I am not much of a planner or organizer type person. (62) BWCAW trips have taught me to get way outside of my comfort zone on the planning end of life.  Now I have a list of how to go about getting the food right.

    1. Menu. List each meal of food ingredients, what to drink and dessert if any.
    2. Master ingredient list. a number beside each ingredient for number of meals used.
    3. Cooking and campsite aids. Salt, pepper, ghost pepper, garlic, T.P., zip lock bags and so on.
    4. Buy the food
    5. Repackage the food in waterproof bags by the meal and put in cooking directions (anyone in camp can cook with the menu on hand and directions to each meal)
    6. Label meals. Put each meal in a grocery bag and label it (ie…#1 lunch), on label state meat added (if frozen stuff in collapsible cooler is an option).
    7. Shop again for all the stuff you forgot to put on the list and possibly are missing from the little ole lady putting stuff back (I’m missing (4) things…at least).
    8.  Pack all meal packages in food pack before leaving on the trip. Put in vehicle that you are taking (important. really important. triple check and stop at the 1st gas station enroute and check again).

Simple is good. Just follow the steps. Notice the progression…Focus Gary focus. You can do this (I’m already catching trophy walleye from my canoe on a pristine lake 16 portages and a mile of bushwhacking where few humans have ever seen).

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My assembly line for (2) trail lunch’s.  in a quart bag per person: mixed nuts, dried banana chips, dried mango, dried pineapple, dried blueberries, granola bar, nut bar, jerky sticks, and a couple cookies.

BWCA trail meal eml

Filling, fits in fanny pack or a pocket. munchies for noon and after. On the water, hiking or lost.

BWCA menu and meals eml

As you can see I have a loose structure but it usually works for me. This allows me to announce to the group “we eat to live not live to eat”. I usually hear “speak for yourself” comments  when I leave the cold stuff in the freezer (forgotten at home) as we are whittling out our spoons, forks and knives. Ah… bonding times in the camp site!

There are rewards to planning. you get to eat. Everyone can have a part in cooking if there are directions. we cook over open fire grates so learning fire building and heat control is important. A little stove is as well if there is a fire ban. Bringing the fuel for the stove helps.

BWCA june 07pork steaks on the grill

Ya, I’m looking for a spatula, fork or stick to flip these sunny side up steaks. planning ahead helps

River , no danger here email

I make fun of planning but I know it is off the charts important

Every year we talk in depth on our plans for the future, relationship stuff, hopes, dreams and tell stories. We sense the peaceful solitude helps us align life’s priorities. I want to stay madly in love with my wife of 41 years. We have not had a bad year relationally. Rich, poor, sickness and health. We have done all of it. We are growing, learning and facing the future together. It’s serious to say “til death do us part” and some day it will as it has done to parents on both sides. this is serious stuff for this free wheeling non-planner kind of guy. The fish are biting!

  On the most serious and personal note: Some day I will meet the author and giver of life and I aim to be prepared. I do not have (62) trips for a warm up to spend eternity with God. There will be no” do overs” on this life. I have sat on a rock on shore or around the fire in the deepest of conversation with many people on knowing God personally. Maybe we need to talk. I sure do. My plans are so poor. It’s a good thing God has made that plan for us (it’s a good thing to read the Bible. Read the book of John and understand John 3:16. yes that’s the verse so many make fun of, but God won’t let anyone steal that shopping cart! It holds the stuff of eternal life. Better then chocolate and marshmallows roasted over the fire. I asked God for smores in heaven. We will see on that one.

Gary

46 inch pike

46″ Pike, his head is bigger than mine. Released. We do not swim there anymore. Yes I was younger.

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A Distracted Mind

I get distracted easily. Well I really don’t, but my mind wanders into every nook and cranny around. Once in awhile (or less, but don’t take a poll) My mind goes off on an imaginary journey if I don’t keep it on a short leash.

Grey Squirrel 1 eml

Look, Squirrel!

Focus Gary, focus!

Help Gary’s mind stay inbounds solution: Noise canceling wifi headphones! Download all kinds of nature sounds to drown out all other distractions and thus I will get my work done error free. Gary loves nature! this is a slam dunk in the basketball world.

I am not sure how many nature sounds are available but there is enough to last the day or even a week in five to six minute playing time increments. Just hit shuffle and you go from one to another without catching your breath in between. What an adventure! I am actually able to focus more on my work but there is an occasional hiccup as my mind encounters the wild.

YA, there goes Gary’s mind again!

I now have a long list of items to aid in using those nature sounds. I have a few of them on hand but see for yourself…I have only begun!

Nature stuff 2 eml

Rain gear, spray lube, repellents, helmet, head net and swatter. It’s a start!

A Gary Adventure

There I was doing my work. I put my headphones on and I am, wow, on a nice beach with the waves gently lapping for a few minutes and then bang! thunder, lightening (saw it in my mind), and it started to rain. I knew I was getting wet and me without any rain gear. The rain subsided after five minutes and the mosquitoes came out. One lit on my back and I couldn’t reach it. My whole back started itching. The black flies were buzzing my head. One flew into my ear.  I could only picture my mosquito net somewhere in my camping equipment boxes as I looked for something to stick that fly in my ear.

The nice birds started singing pleasantly and the crickets started rubbing their legs together and make their evening cricket music. I heard and smelled the campfire. This was not so bad but one cricket was real close and I was wishing for some spray lube for that crickets legs. I must have built that fire close to a bees nest because they began buzzing all around me. Now I’m thinking an epipen might be a good investment if I go here again.

I wandered out to the beach again and a flock of distant sea gulls started heading my way. They were all looking at me and their squacks told me their intentions. I ran for the trees off the beach. I know exactly where my helmet is at home but I am frozen in place as I think I hear a rattle snake. I now need a snake stick! I would look for one but there’s something big in the woods. Sounds hungry.

I was exhausted by the end of the day. Like I said, I have a long list of things to get for my nature adventures to help me focus on my work. I still don’t know how to to keep the walruses from cornering me against the big rocks and high waves. I got cold and wet!

What a mind trip!

Reality check: Just take off the headphones. The mind is amazing but easily swayed. Movies, television, news media, sound bytes and even nature sounds affect our sense of reality. Modern thinking mostly believes that we create our own truth and thus each one of us is bigger and better than someone else’s “truth”. There’s a few holes in that bucket I dare say! What is your foundation for truth and living life?

Personally, I know my mind has an overactive imagination but it seeks truth (that exists outside of me) without making it up. It does not believe much of what the ears hear without heavy duty evidence. I have seen and heard tons of evidence that God exists. I do believe and experience the truth that God loves us and we can know Him personally. This is my foundation for my fragile mind. What I know, think and feel come from a person and not an ideology. It also works for more than just little ole me. What is your foundation?

I could direct you to hundreds of like minded bloggers but I leave you with a bible verse and a blog link (good stuff there Lynn) as good example that I read this morning. LYNNABBOTTSTUDIOS

“So now the Lord says, “Stop right where you are!  Look for the old, godly way, and walk in it.  Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls,” ~ Jeremiah 6:16

Admit it, most of us struggle with a restless soul. Trust me, nature sounds only cancel out other noise. I think I will only use them for work adventures.

Gary

ps: guys at work if you read this and see me dive under the shelves, watch out for the mountain lion. If I am running for the rest room I started hearing that innocent rippling brook.

Posted in abundant life, adventure, deception, devotional thoughts, Faith, GaryFultz Blog, Humor, Nature, Nature and Inner Peace, perspective, quality of life, Spiritual Perspective, story teller, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Images: One Frosty Morning

Imagine for a moment that we have no ability to know or understand the concept of beauty. What the eye sees other than a field, trees, leaves, landscape, sunrise colors and frost on the bush is not attached to any compartment in our brain labeled “Beauty”. The emotion of a moment is never lost; it’s just not there. We would never know.Frosty View ed eml

    I’m sorry but I can’t do it. I can’t imagine what is not because of what I know and experience on a daily basis. Beauty is everywhere, should one care to have beauty in their life. 

I got up this morning, looked out the window, grabbed my camera and ran into our attached, but heated garage in my PJ’s and moccasins. A quick look at the temperature outside confirmed my suspicions that it was zero degrees F and I would freeze fast. A parka, hat and ice fishing pants were handy so I was able to last 10 minutes before my fingers couldn’t function anymore. I captured a few images within a few yards of the house and enjoyed breath taking beauty that could never be captured in whole. I’m sorry that I can only show you some slices of from this amature photographer.  You can click on a picture and go to the slide show feature. I hope you enjoy them.  Which is your favorite?

Imagine for a moment that we have no ability to know or understand the concept of God.

    I’m sorry but I can’t do it. I can’t imagine what is not because of what I know and experience on a daily basis. Like beauty I have a life-time experiencing an interactive walk with God. He is! God shows himself in so many slices, should one care to have God in their life. 

I can however imagine eternity with God if only in small slices of what I see, hear, feel and experience here (without the pain). I cannot however imagine an eternity without God. I cannot even go there. No one should.

The words to the captives in ancient Babylon are as true for us as to them as recorded by Jeremiah “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13) 

Gary

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Snow day

winter Hydrenga 2 cp eml
It’s a very nice day to stay home, stay inside, lounge, drink coffee and make plans with my wife for the year. After a solid morning of much coffee and good talks I’m thinking cabin fever is highly overrated! I guess I only thought staying in a cozy cabin in Alaska for the winter would be fun. There is not enough coffee for that!

With camera and tripod in hand I decide an outdoor jaunt would be fun. I didn’t get very far as snowflakes blurred the lens but you decide if endeavouring is worth the effort. Sometimes we get something other than what we sought.

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I had hoped to capture the snow flakes and it was a learning curve for me even in a heavy snowfall.

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Sumac and Spruce contrast. Snow accents the various tree shapes.

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Our Driveway is there somewhere beyond the bush. The mailman said he couldn’t deliver a package today. I say what? the drive is only half a mile long.

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Birch limbs hang low, I suspect the deer will nip these off. Snow changes many things, even our perspective

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Playing with the light meter, getting new perspectives through the viewfinder. Very heavy snow

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A little lighter and happier snow picture of the shed. I’m happier now. What a large difference is made with a small change in perspective.

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Now I notice the railing and blurry wood pile and it’s snowing!

I’m quite sure we should have more snow days. I know my perspective needs to tweaked more often than I would admit. It’s a good day. I needed this snow day.

May your crooked paths be made straight. May we gain an eagles view as we reset. May we have more snow days!

eagle cp eml.jpg

Even eagles need a snow day. Not snowing so much now.

I shouldn’t minimize the talking, much coffee, making a couple of life direction decisions  and reflecting on the past few years gone by. Our strength lies in our relationships with each other and in our walk with God. Our lens on life gets a cleaning on days like this.

What if we could see through the lens of life through others view finders? Friends, spouse or even Gods?  Our Life: same subject but different perspectives, and yes, in life it gets cold, blows, snows and rains on all of us. Here’s to more snow days!  

Gary

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Wintering the Weather

I know, it’s the other way around but sometimes having  moments of lysdexia can be advantaged. I took some photos from inside my sons house while visiting northern Minnesota at -50 below zero fahrenheit (wind chill as it was really only -34).

My budding Picasso wannabe grandson created a perfect picture which could describe the extreme ends of cabin fever. It only took a few moments to create it. One would think by now there would be a market for erasable anything refrigerators. Less paper trail.Caleb Art cp

While visiting, helping some small house projects and entertaining 3 small grandsons with more energy than a stick of dynamite, I was able to photograph some of the less fortunate but very amazing creatures. They seem to survive whatever life brings and so they winter the weather. Longer fuller hair, fall fattened, nipping nutritious buds (Yum), and eating constantly. I found three deer just behind the house which served as a small wind break until moving on.

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The Doe. Yep, it’s cold facing the wind!

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The Fawn nipping buds in the brush

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The buck. Notice his tines have both been broken off.

We were only guessing but the buck with both antlers broken off probably lost to a larger buck in the rut. The other scenario is a hunter missed and shot them off.

The deer are ready to winter the weather. We (the intelligent ones) try to weather the winter. We buy a new car battery when the car does not start in -30. We get a snow blower after the big snow storm, we look for our shovels after…and I am the picture boy of all the above.

I know people (sometimes they are rather peculiar) who winter the weather well. They seem to be prepared not only ahead of time but to assist those who are struggling at weathering the winter. Why fill your car with extra stuff I ask? Well since the heater on our car went out on our seven hour trek across northern Minnesota, we do now! I think I need a bigger car just for all the stuff needed on a trip in a blizzard at life threatening temperatures.  I’m actually willing, ready and able to help someone who is wintering poorly and in a predicament. I found most of what I needed in the garage. Who knew?

So, how are you wintering this weather or life for that matter. Your job? Marriage? Handling kids? personal integrity? Need I go on? Are you able to assist those who need help? This week I was moved to help a college student who lost her whole family. Someone set up a go fund me page for funeral expenses. I may never meet her or know her but I was moved to help so we did. I confirmed with my wife that we could and we did. We cannot do much very often but it’s important to us to live this way.

I guess it’s never too late to be ready (ahead of time) to winter all of life’s weathers.

Gary  

By the way: In my Spiritual Blog I am still writing about wintering the Soul. That will post soon for you who have an interest. An ongoing story that moves me may move you as well.  Visit at https://garydweb.wordpress.com/  after january 22/2018.

Posted in accomplishment, Adventure story, Nature, nature pictures, outdoor scenery, perspective, quality of life, Uncategorized, Winter prepared | 2 Comments

Have a Great Christmas To You All Around The World

Ice fishing cp eml
To all you readers and fellow bloggers, Merry Christmas from the frozen lakes areas of northern United States. The sun is a bit inconspicuous through the cab and the trees as it sets over the small lake I was fishing.  A safe 7″ of ice with the fold up shelter allowed me to see 9 fish and catch 3.

When I read your blogs from South Africa, UK, South America and so many warmer countries, I often wonder what I am missing that excites you. I only know what you are missing if you have never driven or walked on a frozen lake or peered down a hole in the ice as a monster fish suddenly appears to bite your hook (Or decide not to).

I dropped a camera down the hole to show you just what it looks like down there. I was catching some blue gill that day.  Check out this utube video 

Have a Merry Christmas fellow readers and bloggers. may you keep connected. May you also become more connected to the God who created all that we know and love.

For me, Christmas is a time where I reflect on how our creator exchanged His eternal Glory for a different kind of glory never seen before. A glory He wants to pass on to us through God in a finite human body as a baby. Inconspicuously inserting himself into his own creation to make a way to restore our relationship to Him.  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. ” Luke 2:14

may you make room for Jesus in your everyday life this next year.

Merry christmas All

Gary

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Get Yourself Out There!

It’s winter here. Quite a ways below freezing and the winter wonderland lies just outside. I cheated a bit and took a few pictures out the window from the comfort of home between sips of strong morning coffee. Here have a look…


I can still hear my mother telling us when we were little kids pressing our nose to the icy windows “bundle up, get your duds on and get out there. Shovel the snow first and play later”

So, whatever is on your daily bucket list that you cannot seem to get to, Bundle up, get your duds on and get out there! I even have a motivational picture for myself  (it motivates me anyway, maybe you need your own picture) from the last time I thought “What should I accomplish today?”

Winter Pike on a spoon email

Caught through the ice on stout line, a hook and a stick as shown! Really!

Don’t procrastinate, life is short. Go get um!

Gary

Or you could go shopping for those last minute Christmas presents…

Posted in abundant life, accomplishment, adventure, dreams, Fishing, fishing adventure, Gary Fultz Blog, ice fishing, Uncategorized | Leave a comment