The husband had originally planned a 'Dads and elder kids' weekend with a mate who is renowned for his lack of follow through. Come Thursday night, said mate realised he had possibly over-committed himself(after arriving home from work at 11pm, feeling rather tired and not quite ready to face the 7+ hour return trip). Oh - and he'd also forgotten to tell my husband he had to catch a 6 hour flight San Francisco on the Sunday afternoon...?!
So - long story short, the mate pulled out and we decided to all go up again as a family. Now being a 'boys' trip the accommodation booked was pretty basic - cabin on a lake [ circa 1930 ("we've put you in one of the newer cabins")] long drop toilet (no door!) and communal showers 1/2mile down the campground. So far okay, as husband and I have experienced much worse (we are used to pretty basic camping in some parts of NZ) but the problem was, it was about 50*F (10C) and we had a shivering and rather wimpy 3 year old in tow. And there was no heating in the cabin...apart from an old woodstove in the kitchen, possibly from the 1830s...To make matters worse the manager had forgotten to leave out firewood or a key for us ("oh he's gone hunting for the weekend" advised a fellow camper when we enquired).
After deliberating for 10 minutes we decided we needed to find somewhere else to stay or freeze to death that night (okay well maybe have a very cold night and probably end up 4 in a bed). Problem was, by now it was nearly 7pm and we were miles from anywhere else. Luckily we had the phone number of the people we'd rented from previously and knowing they had other properties in the area, gave them a call. An hour later we were not only settled in a cute little cottage at Caroga Lake, (finally some WARMTH!) we were also tucking into a delicious meal at the nearby Vrooman's Hotel. Next day we had one of the best breakfasts ever (bacon and egg rolls, pancakes with local maple syrup and fantastic oatmeal) at this cute diner called 1 cook and a waitress - check out their facebook page!
Inspired by their oatmeal (that's porridge to all us non -Americans) I have added a recipe for a delicious and quick maple and almond porridge I make for the kids when time permits - ie weekends.
Maple, Cranberry and Almond Oatmeal (Porridge)
1 1/2 cups oats (I use Trader Joe's Steel Cut oats)
pinch of salt
1 cup water
2 cups milk*
2 Tblpns maple syrup
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup dried cranberries (TJ's orange cranberries are delish)
Bring water and milk to a boil and add oats, salt cranberries and maple syrup. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring quite a bit. Finish cooking when favourite consistency is reached. Pour into bowls and sprinkle on chopped almonds. Serve with extra milk/maple syrup as needed.
NOTE: You can substitute almond milk for cows milk which gives a lovely creamy flavour.
Click HERE to link to more great breakfast recipes!