Mr. P’s is offering a special deal on gift certificates from Dec 1 through Dec 15: Purchase a $25.00 gift certificate and receive a complimentary bottle of House Sauce, Sweet Sauce or Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic Hot Sauce, a $5 value. All of the sauces are gluten-free, dairy-free and contain no meat products (can’t forget about the vegetarians!) Give it to your barbecue aficionado or keep it for yourself! Gift certificates can be used for food, market items or Mr. P’s gear. Coming soon….watch for new holiday gift baskets including Mr. P’s House Rub and sweet treats from Shelby’s Kitchen Therapy coming soon.
Shelby & I had been trying to figure out how we could move to the Adirondacks for a while. After having the house on the market for over a year (you’ve heard about the housing market in Michigan, haven’t you? ), by early February it became apparent that the house was finally going to sell, and we needed to find a place to move. We considered finding an apartment in Detroit metro vicinity and living there for another year or two, but then it hit us: moving is a pain, why do it twice? Why don’t we move to the Adirondacks now and open a barbecue joint? Out came the laptop and we started searching the internet for buildings that would work.
We were looking for a small-ish place with a storefront, a kitchen, and living quarters. With those requirements, we found five properties: one in Tupper Lake, one in Keene, one in Moriah, and two in Schroon Lake. I grew up in Syracuse and I lived in Albany for almost 10 years, so I was pretty familiar with the Adirondacks in general. I knew Tupper Lake and Keene, but I had never gotten off the Northway in Schroon Lake until we came out to look at properties in March. Honestly, between the location and the property, we just fell in love and set out to make it happen. We moved in on May 23 and opened on June 24, and we haven’t looked back.
Instead of shooting for a Martha Stewart traditional cookie recipe this time, I opted for a recipe with pumpkin. Our awesome Sysco rep Angel dropped off 20 pounds of fresh pumpkin, all peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch squares. Side note: I know sometimes the big food distributors get a bad rap about the quality of food they carry, but we’ve been really pleased with the selection of fresh foods, some from New York, non-GMO and artificial growth hormone free dairy, meat, poultry and produce. Check out the photos of the pumpkin, the brightest orange possible in nature!
So now I have 20 pounds of fresh pumpkin to play with! Every recipe website has a bazillion pumpkin cookies and cupcakes,
but I found an interesting option on the almighty grand poobah Martha Stewart’s website: Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins.
Shaped like a muffin, but the exterior texture and taste is like a doughnut, and they are baked, not fried. I’m whipping up a batch of mini-muffins to take over to the Schroon Lake Central School Blood Drive today, so if you’re there, enjoy!
Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins (gluten-free)
1 cup + 4 tablespoons butter
2 scant cups rice flour
2 scant cups soy flour
1 ½ cups corn starch
2/3 cup tapioca starch
2 tablespoons guar
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon allspice
2/3 cups buttermilk*
2 ½ cups fresh pumpkin puree*
1 ½ cups brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
5 teaspoons cinnamon
½ cup melted unsalted butter
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat your pan with cooking spray or use the butter/flour method.
2. Whisk together all flours, corn starch, guar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and allspice.
3. In a separate bowl, combine buttermilk and pumpkin puree.
4. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
5. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed.
6. Using the low setting, add the flour mixture alternating with the pumpkin mixture and beat to combine.
8. For mini-muffins, bake approximately 12 minutes. For regular size muffins, bake 30 minutes or until tops are golden brown and toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean.
9. To make the coating, in a medium bowl combine the sugar and cinnamon.
10. Let the muffins cool 10 minutes after being removed from the oven.
* If you don’t keep buttermilk around, here’s a quick & easy substitute. Measure out your milk of choice, whole, 2%, whatever. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice for every cup of milk. Let stand for 5-10 minutes. The milk will get all chunky from the lemon and can be used in any recipe that calls for buttermilk. I haven’t tried it with non-dairy milks like almond or soy, not sure if it would work in the same way or not.
* You can substitute canned pumpkin puree here. If you have fresh pumpkin, you can make a puree by smashing it the same way you would make mashed potatoes. If you have a food processor or blender, that works really well too.
Adapted from Martha Stewart, Everyday Food, November 2010, Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins
I left Schroon Lake about 4:15, hit the Garden and was on the trail by 5:15, headlamp on low. I made JBL by first light. Just a dusting of snow overnight, but by the time I was half way up Shorey Shortcut I got out the microspikes, and left them on until I was half way down the Ore Bed Brook trail. I hit the intersection with the range trail by 11:15, with the sun blazing and a beautiful blue sky, and thought I might make lunch on Basin.
Two hours later I was on the summit (just .7 mi!). I had read a few trip reports and knew that it was a tough climb, but there was just enough snow and ice to make for slow going. I tend to take it pretty easy when hiking solo, slow and steady wins the race. After enjoying the views and taking some pictures, and pushed on.
Down the other side was a bit exposed and windy, got down and started up Saddleback without much difficulty, although there were a few steep spots. Cresting the ridge, noticing a bit of a dip and then down into the next col, I thought to myself, wow, that was very uneventful, I didn’t even see a summit marker. I started looking for the Ore Bed intersection.
As I started back up, I thought I was going up Gothics, and thought I had missed the intersection. So, of course, here is the first lesson. I should have done more research, and know what to expect. About half way up I turned back to check for the intersection, thinking I’d missed it. After getting across the col and heading back up with no sign of the intersection, I came back down and headed back toward what I thought was Gothics, carefully looking for the intersection I was sure I’d missed.
I headed back up what was actually Saddleback peak, and wow, it was hairy. Just enough snow and ice to hide the hand holds, I got about half way up the rock face and stopped. I had convinced myself that this was Gothics, and I didn’t think I had it in me to run the rest of the range to get back to the garden. That’s when I made the first phone call. Left a message at DEC Ranger HQ (wasn’t carrying the dispatcher number), then called my girlfriend. I wasn’t sure I could make it over, and really didn’t think I should, so I considered going back into the col and try bushwhacking down the valley to find the Ore Bed trail. I was pretty uneasy about this plan, so I was really calling to let someone know about the change of plans in case something went awry.
I got back into the col, checked the map and took a compass bearing. I turned the phone back on, and I had a message from DEC dispatch. I called back and explained my situation, where I thought I was, what I was looking for, that I was prepared to spend the night if needed, but really preferred not to if I didn’t have to. After talking for a few minutes Ranger Burns helped me figure out that I was in the saddle of Saddleback (do you see the cables on Gothics? no. ) and I needed to go over to get to Ore Bed, or back over Basin the way I came in. Remembering the climb up Basin, I knew I didn’t want to go back down that way. I also was feeling like a bit of a dumba$$ for not knowing where I was, so I decided to give what I now knew was Saddleback another try. It was 4:30 by this point, and I had killed almost two hours dinking around looking for trail that wasn’t there.
I was more motivated this time, knowing that this was the shortest route out. and the trip that I’d planned. I made the summit by 5:30, not without a little missing skin on my knees and elbows. It was a tough climb. I could see where this would be fun on a dry sunny day, but given the patchy ice, and snow/ice filled hand and foot holds, it was a real challenge. The second lesson was really knowing that I’d pushed myself farther than I had in the past, and a bit past my comfort zone.
I called Ranger Burns and my girlfriend back from the summit, explained that I’d made it up and was going out the way I’d planned, and promised to call both back when I got out. I got my headlamp back out, had a couple granola bars and headed down. This time the Ore Bed intersection was easy to find.
The re-routes on the Ore Bed were a bit challenging in the dark, but fortunately there were footprints in the snow from a group that had been through earlier in the day. The new slide was really awe inspiring, even (especially?) in the dark. I lost the trail briefly just past the ADK property line, but picked it up again near one of the cabins. The rest of the walk out was uneventful, and got back to the garden just before midnight.
I knew that this trip was going to be one of the hardest I’d done since I got back into hiking a few years ago. I wasn’t worried about a long day, I’m not fast but I can go all day. But I now have a better idea of my limits, and I know that I pushed them pretty hard. I should have been a bit more aware of the conditions. There was more ice than I was expecting, and while prepared for basic climbing, I probably wasn’t prepared to do the scrambling required on Saddleback. Which leads me to being better informed about the trail. I should have been better prepared for that scramble, but I had also convinced myself I was someplace I wasn’t. So convinced I was that I almost started bushwhacking to get out. That would have been a bad decision that time of day with snow on the pines. I’ll store that one off for next time.
Thanks to Ranger Burns for not calling me a dumba$$ while I was up there, but he and all y’all are welcome to now.
Here’s the link to this trip report on the ADKHighPeaks forum, and the resulting discussion.