There are multiple reasons why I launched this blog. Being one of a gazillion other travel blogs is not on top of the list, but I do have a few good reasons. While there are indeed a LOT of travel blogs (and various assorted other blogs) out there, I wanted to put just a bit of a different spin on mine and I knew food needed to be a piece of the puzzle.
Why? Because I cook every day. Granted, as an innkeeper I cook breakfast (and bake) every day, but still food is an integral part of my daily life. Well, I suppose technically it is an integral part of everyone’s life cuz after all … one of the best parts about traveling is eating! We try to avoid the chain eateries and look instead for the local mom and pop cafe, or anywhere where the locals eat because they know best. A large part of traveling abroad is sampling the local ethnic fare, and when you don’t speak the language you kind of hope you’ll get what you think you ordered! So, I knew food had to be a part of the blog in some fashion.
On the Rogue River
I also knew I wanted to bring recipes from around the U.S. and the world to my readers. With that being said, here is a fun story and a recipe from Will who was raised in boats on rivers in the Pacific Northwest. On July 4th of this year we were thrilled to raft the Rouge River with Will and all I can say is that if you find yourself in southern Oregon, do not, I repeat … do not miss the opportunity to get in a raft with Will and his crew!
A Story & A Recipe
“A trip down Idaho’s Middle Fork of the Salmon is a journey through one of America’s greatest wilderness areas. The Frank Church “River of No Return” Wilderness Area is comprised of 2.3 million acres in the middle of Idaho’s most rugged terrain. In the heart of this landscape flows the Middle Fork of the Salmon in a northerly route to its confluence with the Salmon River.
It normally takes six days to float the Middle Fork of the Salmon. Nights are spent along the riverbank with a blanket of stars overhead and mornings are greeted by incredible sunrises and the smell of “cowboy” coffee wafting from the campfire. Life on the river is comfortable, simple, and – on the best trips – delicious. Meals prepared on the river are healthy, tasty, and plentiful. Guides double duty as river chefs and, with the use of Dutch Ovens, can make meals that seem impossible in the outdoors.
Here’s a recipe for a Dutch Oven breakfast we make on the second morning of our Middle Fork of the Salmon trips. To learn more about these trips, visit Idaho Rivers.”
Artichoke Breakfast Strata
This recipe is for one dutch oven. For 15 or more people make two D.O.’s.
8 English Muffins, split and quartered
Oiled Dutch Oven
3 tablespoons melted butter
2.5 cups chopped lean ham
1 1/2 cups grated fresh Parmesan cheese
6 tablespoons chopped green onion
2 cans Artichoke hearts (14 oz) drained and chopped (not marinated)
6 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 (12 oz) cans evaporated milk
18 large eggs
Arrange muffin pieces, crust sides down, in a oiled Dutch Oven or 9 x 13 inch casserole pan; drizzle with butter. Arrange ham, Parmesan cheese, green onion, chopped artichokes, and minced garlic over muffin pieces. Combine eggs, nutmeg, and evaporated milk in a bowl; stir well with a whisk or a fork. Pour over muffin pieces. If you have time, you can prepare this the night before and chill before baking overnight. Bake with coals for about 50 minutes. In conventional oven bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes or until set.
Will Volpert owns Indigo Creek Outfitters, a whitewater rafting company in Ashland, Oregon. He has worked on the Middle Fork of the Salmon for over ten years and grew up on the river with his brothers. His parents, Bob and Mary, own Idaho River Journeys, a whitewater rafting and fly fishing outfit based out of Salmon, Idaho.