Tuesday, November 15, 2011
A ROOTIN' TOOTIN' TIME
The story I'm about to relate is true. I hope that I don't offend anyone who follows my blog. So, put down anything that you are drinking, and any sharp objects that are near you.
Now, growing up in my family, we did a lot of outdoor stuff: hunting, fishing, camping. We did a lot of this before we kids were old enough to hunt. And, of course, there are a few traditions that go along with it.
This tradition has to do with food. This food is Dinty Moore Stew, with pork and beans. Now, anytime we were in the hills, we had this for at least one meal. It is quite tasty! I still like it to this day.
My brother in law, Robert, on the other hand has had to eat this on lots of our trips to the hills. He has had it so much that on one deer hunting trip as we were doing the shopping for supplies, my friend Ed and I were told, "NO DINTY MOORE STEW AND PORK AND BEANS!!"
We said OK.
Well, we got a big can of Dinty Moore Stew, and instead of pork and beans we got a can of ranch -style beans and a can of chili. So, now he couldn't say no to the stew, right?
We all know that when you eat beans, you can get gas. But, we had had this for years! All the guys know what it is like in hunt camp. And maybe some of you ladies know also. We cuss, spit, tell dirty jokes, fart, scratch, some may do some drinkin', and we just get silly and have a good time.
Well, we had been hunting for three days and the weather was great -- nice and warm during the day and cool at night.
The next morning we had snow. . .about four or five inches of the white stuff. And it was COLD!
So, we ate a quiet breakfast and headed out to hunt. We all packed up, and took some MRE's for lunch. We figured that we would hunt all day, and come back to camp a little past sundown. The hunting was great. We could walk through the forest and not make a sound, because of the snow. Well, Robert dropped a fat three-point buck, and I got a nice doe. Ed, on the other hand, didn't even get a shot.
When we all got back to camp, it had started to snow and it was getting colder. We got our animals hung and dressed out, then decided that a warm dinner was in order. Ed and I said that we would fix dinner. So, we set up the Coleman stove, got out a large pot, and opened up the stew, ranch style beans, and the chili, and we put it all in one pot.
Now, some of you might be going YUCK. (But it's good!) As it warmed up on the stove, it started to smell pretty good. As it got hotter, it started to smell great! 'Course, Robert had to come over to check out what we had cooking. When he saw the stew can, we thought he was going to pack his gear and go home. But as he took a closer look in the pot and sniffed at it a couple of times, he smiled and said that it smelled better than it looked.
While we were cooking, Robert made us a nice campfire and we had three logs to set on. When the stew was ready, we dished it out in big bowls. We cut up a loaf of sheep herders bread.
Boy howdy, we were like total pigs. We ate, and ate, and we didn't even talk while eating. I mean, this stuff was GOOD! We all had seconds, then thirds.
Well Ed and I quit after the third bowl. Robert, on the other hand, went over to the pot and proceeded to finish up what was left, even taking what was left of the bread to sop up what he couldn't get with a spoon.
So, after a great dinner, Ed and I figured we had come up with a new traditional meal for hunting. Robert cleaned up the mess from dinner, and Ed and I just sat, had a beer, and a smoke. When Robert had finished, he joined us at the fire. We sat, talked, laughed, told stories, drank more beer, and smoked, and just had a good time. After about two hours of this, Robert or Ed let one loose. And of course, we laughed.
Pretty soon, more farts, more laughing. And we moved a little further apart around the campfire. I swear, I saw the flames get bigger and higher a few times. And still, we sat and talked, and laughed. And of course, more farts.
Well it got to the point, that we couldn't finish a sentence without passing gas at least six times. Now that I look back on this, I think it was one of the most quiet outside of camp that I had ever heard. I mean, we were on some open range, and there had been some cows around the outside of our camp, and there had been some birds around also. And the pesky chipmonk and squirrels that are always in camp were nowhere to be seen or found.
After several hours of passing gas and talking we decided it was time to hit the sack. We have always slept in a tent when hunting. Even in the dead of winter. And this time, we had one of them little dome tents. You know the kind -- you get down on your knees and crawl in. The tent was plenty big enough for the three of us. Ed on one side, me on the other, and Robert in the middle.
We found out why they call sleeping bags "fart sacks" that night. It's a good thing that the tent was staked down. With all that gas, we could have floated off, never to be heard from again!
Well, poor ol' Robert, being in the middle, caught the biggest part of the gas that was going around. Ed and I had set our bags up so that the zippered part of our bags were towards Robert. And when one of us would let one loose, we would fan our bags toward him.
None of us got up that night to make a call to Mother Nature. We went to sleep, fartin' and laughing. Robert, on the other hand, was not laughing. He gagged, coughed, spit, and sputtered, and made all kinds of comments about not being able to breathe. Me? I have this sinus thing 24/7. I've had it since I was a little kid. So, I only got a whiff every once in a while. Ed, I think, had put a bandana over his nose and mouth.
When I awoke the next morning, I could smell! My sinuses had cleared right up. And, boy! did it ever stink in that tent. I looked over and Ed was snoring, Robert, at some point in the night, had unzipped the tent flap and stuck his head out of the tent. I woke Ed up, and he looked over at Robert, sleeping with his head outside the tent. Robert hadn't moved.
At some point it had quit snowing during the night. As we moved the tent flap just a bit, to take a peek at Robert, he let out a scream. As we had moved the tent flap, some snow fell and hit Robert right in the face. Have you ever seen some one try to jump up in a little tent?
Well, we got up, made some coffee, and dragged our bags out of the tent. We hung the bags up every morning for the next three days, and they still smelled of chili, ranch style beans, and Dinty Moore Stew. Hell, we even threw some pine branches on the camp fire, and tried to smoke our sleeping bags so they would smell of pine.
Didn't work. They then smelled of pine and ranch style beans, and chili, and -- yep -- Dinty Moore Stew.
The rest of our hunting trip was pretty dull. Every night we tried to stay up, so we wouldn't have to get in them sleeping bags. The last night, we all slept in Robert's van.
When we got back home, I washed my bag like three times and ended up having to have it cleaned at the laundromat. Ed had to do the same thing. I never used that bag again. I bought a new one for the next hunting trip.
Somehow, my sister managed to get Robert's bag to smell pretty good. It was a bit shorter, but it smelled nice.
The tent: Robert set it up in his yard to "air out." The sad part is, the tent belonged to his sons. It sat in the yard for something like a week. They never had to waterproof that sucker ever again. I'm sorry to say that my nephews had to use that tent for a winter boy scout outing. They had the whole tent to themselves. No one offered to sleep in the tent with them. And it seems that the color of the tent was not as bright as it was when we used it for hunting. Go figure. The boys said it wasn't too bad, as long as you had something to cover your nose with!
The following summer, the tent was used maybe twice. It was just too unbearable. It was completely permeated. The good thing? They didn't have any bugs or flies in the tent, as they pretty much keeled over at the doorway.
All hunting and outdoor excursions from then on required that uncles and friends had to sleep in a tent of their own.
Robert and I haven't had our traditional meal on any mountain trips for years. And if the subject comes up, Robert's eyes just seem to start leaking and he turns a funny color.
So, if you want to pull a good one on some of your huntin' and fishin' buddies, just buy a big can of Dinty Moore Stew, a can of ranch style beans, and a can of chili. Dump it all in a big pot, and heat it up. Serve it in a big bowl with some bread. They may think that it is gross until they get a whiff of it after it is heated. It really does smell -- and taste-- good.
For yourself, I would suggest that maybe you eat a sandwich or something, and don't set near a open flame. Also, you might want to sleep by your self that night also. And maybe at some distance from the rest of them. Also, after all the fun that night, it might be a nice gesture to hand out some extra T.P. the next morning.
And maybe you should not serve this if you're in bear country. You know how they like the smell of dead things. If you serve it while duck hunting, maybe serve it for lunch. You can then hunt without that pesky duck call hanging around your neck that always gets in the way. But, please. . . do NOT do this if you are hunting from a heated duck blind. Big explosions scare off the game. If you use a tree stand -- well, you'er on your own. Maybe this should be under FEED YOUR FACE! Oh, another thought, maybe serve this to your pesky in laws. They won't come back for years.
Kathi and I have Dinty Moore stew with a little can of pork and beans every now and then. When we do, we try to do it on a weekend. But I wouldn't do it on a Sunday. Come Monday, people you work with would not be pleased. 'Course, you could maybe blame it on someone else. If you're female, I wouldn't wear pantyhose. You might blow a shoe off and hurt someone.