The birthday boy didn't want a party this year, just a walk in the woods with a few friends. He requested that his dad dressed up like a bear as he had done for his third 'we're going on a bear hunt' birthday party, but the fancy dress hire shop didn't have the costume anymore! Instead we walked through the river, looking for animal tracks. We found lots of deer slots and each child was able to make a cast with plaster of Paris to take home as a souvenir.
We then cooked sausages and our campfire favourite, damper bread on the fire before heading home tired out.
How to make Damper Bread...
You have to twist your bread around a green stick and keep turning so as not to burn it, but it tastes delicious on its own, freshly baked.
500g plain flour
3 tablespoons natural sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup of softened butter
1 cup of warm water
in the kitchen...
1. mix together all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Add water and stir. Dough should be too dry to come together into one lump.
3. Cut in butter and knead by hand just long enough to make it smooth and consistent.
4. Form into a log, wrap in plastic and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
at the campsite...
5. Prepare 1 or more sticks 1cm in diameter by shaving clean with a pocket knife.
6. Cut dough into 12 pieces. Roll into long pencil thin snakes 30cm (12 inches) and coil these around the end of the stick, ours are always quite chunky else they fall off!
7. Hold sticks high over the fire, constantly turning until the coiled dough turns golden brown.
8. Cool and eat straight off the stick! My friend from New Zealand recommends drizzling butter and jam into the hole as she did as a child.
adapted from the recipe in the book Baking Bread with Children by Warren Lee Cohen