I’m alive again! I just got back from “Okie Acres” – my little slice of heaven. It’s a pie shaped slice of wooded acreage that comes to a point at the center of a small lake in the New York Catskill Mountains.

I’m alive again! I just got back from “Okie Acres” – my little slice of heaven. It’s a pie shaped slice of wooded acreage that comes to a point at the center of a small lake in the New York Catskill Mountains.

upstate ny

Oksana Charla

On that parcel of land is a dock extending out into the water, a stream, a pond, and a one-room cabin complete with a composting toilet outhouse.  Oh…. and a campfire pit and Weber tailgate grill. There is no plumbing, no electricity and best of all no cell phone service.  

It’s a wonderful place to recharge one’s battery and center one’s self. There is something really refreshing about being surrounded by nature; just hearing the leaves rustling, the birds chirping and frogs croaking—the crackling of the campfire—and the sound of twigs snapping off in the distance from the deer, raccoon or maybe even the bear whose habitat we are sharing for the night.

upstate ny

Oksana Charla

Being off the grid with no cell phone to be beholden to, no computer to enslave one to take care of that “just one more thing” for work, and no e-mails to respond to, is therapy in and of itself. However, there’s another aspect of “the cabin” that is integral to the whole experience and one of my favorite aspects of time spent there. It’s the food.

Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t fancy, nor is it easy. Everything that we eat there has to be schlepped in (carried for over an 1/8 mile down a narrow and steep deer path), including water and ice….enough ice to keep all food safely refrigerated in our coolers. The nice thing though, is that this really levels the playing field. What you don’t bring in, you do without. That goes for everyone, not just us gf folks.

upstate ny

Oksana Charla

Whereas my son and I (both gf) usually have to do with less, or settle for “not exactly” what we would like when on vacation or out at a restaurant, when at the cabin we eat just as well, if not better, than everyone else (HINT: I do the packing).

campfire

Oksana Charla

We feast on grilled burgers, chicken tenders, kielbasa, shish kebabs and corn, as well as plenty of salad and fresh fruit. Schar breads, which are shelf stable until opened, have been a staple for us for years. We bring along all varieties from hamburger and hot dog rolls to ciabatta rolls and toast bread.

At night we sit around the campfire and roast marshmallows and make smores  (thank you Kinnikinnick for your GF graham crackers!).  We laugh, we talk, we sing. We enjoy each other and enjoy our beautiful, peaceful surroundings. There’s nothing we have to do but think of our next meal. Breakfast…grilled bacon and eggs! YUM!

Camping—it’s the great equalizer. Why? Because it’s GFA: Good For All!

For some great gluten-free campfire meal recipe ideas from Gluten Free & More magazine’s frequent contributor, Matthew Kadey, click here.

Happy Summer to all!