In my life, I have eaten many things:
wild-caught salmon in Alaska
Fresh, squeaky cheese curds in Wisconsin
Artfully prepared sushi in Japan
Amazing Indonesian street-food in Yogyakarta
Homemade arepas in Bogota
And even some resourcefully doctored frozen pizzas (hey, I went to college)
But very few meals can compare to the joy of eating a bowl of steel-cut oats cooked in boiled lake water over a campfire in a light rain just a stone's throw from the Canadian border. A handful of us here at Proozy.com found ourselves trying to outrun a looming Boundary Waters storm on day number 4 of an otherwise sunny canoe trip. Though our muscles were sore, we still awoke with purpose and ambition. We discovered how tough we were on the first day during our 540 rod portage. (Check out what a "Rod" is here)
Setting off early, we wanted to reach our next campsite before the storm dampened more than our spirits, in lieu of breakfast. The plan was to paddle and portage the short two and a half hours to the next campsite and then make a lunch of legend. We broke even with our luck in that the rain held off, but the new campsite became much more elusive. It seems other people had gotten the good idea to camp that weekend.
The Search for a Suitable Site
When we finally found a suitable, and uninhabited campsite, it was going on 4 PM. If anyone asks what the breakfast of champions is, please tell them that it is not crumbly granola bars and beef jerky. The paddling crew at Proozy have field-tested that idea and it failed worse than Evel Knievel's Snake River Canyon jump. (Spoiler Alert: He didn't clear the gap)
We quickly pitched the tent and began cooking. That first spoonful of steaming, steel-cut oats silenced the gathered crowd faster than breaking the vase during an indoor game of catch among 10 year-olds.
We wordlessly ate the simplest meal but the most appreciated one of the 5 day trip.
Just a day or two earlier, we had a strong desire for pancakes and one of us was thoughtful enough to bring a box of pancake mix. The problem was that we neglected to bring a spatula. So a new breakfast creature was born out of necessity. It is essentially a pancake brick, (See below). It actually tasted pretty good; however, the tragedy of the situation was that the syrup had been destroyed on the first day through an odd series of events. So, we made it work with melted butter and it was delicious.
"The Pancake Brick"
Our bodies required carbs as we had used up all of our energy proclaiming how many fish we were going to catch that night. Also, we had burned a lot of calories wagering who could smash the greatest number of donuts into our faces back in Grand Marais.
Quite literally the "World's Best Donuts" in Grand Marais.
We all slept very well that evening, but I'm convinced that the raw power from the steel-cut oats gave us the energy to get up and paddle our stinky bodies back to civilization the next day. That, and the promise of a soft bed and the desire to eat the "World's Best Donuts" about an hour after we docked.
While the breads, grains, and sugars kept us moving during this aquatic journey, it wasn't long after we started the 6 hour drive back to Proozy HQ that we all needed something a little stronger. We switched to coffee for a while, but ultimately we made an ice cream stop. Everything is better with ice cream. Even blogs.
Thanks for reading!