Third of a four-part series
What is one of the most important element of a camping vacation? Food, of course. From campfire smores to grilling hot dogs and eating watermelon and even taking the easy way out — letting somebody else fry the fish and sizzle the steaks! And if there is one part of an agenda I’m good at planning, it’s that part. And here’s more on our recent summer camping vacation.
The first night there, we took it easy on ourselves and went to Port-Au-Prince restaurant on Lake Claiborne, a lot easier than buying, packing, and lugging all the stuff for a fish fry, then having to clean up. And if you time it right at this place, you can even watch the 7 p.m. blast off of the weekly summer Friday Night Bass tournaments which takes place just outside the big plate glass windows.
They serve fried fish dinners family style. Big piles of hand cut fries, hushpuppies, sliced white onions and cole slaw followed by piles of catfish filets and even whole fish, if you ask for them (which I do). There’s three-bean soup for everybody and some pretty good homemade pies. They also serve steaks. The Prince family started the place back in 1966. They also live there, and you can plop down on the sofa in front of fireplace and check out their family photos along the walls.
Back at camp, we ate pretty light for breakfast and maybe a ham sammich and chips for lunch. Snacking was almost constant, from chips and homemade salsa, peanut butter and jelly (a staple of Ollie Hopnoodle’s) and even fancy feasts of vienna sausages!
Our other big night out on the town was not near any town. It was somewhere up La. Hwy. 9 not far from Friendship Road north of Homer. Welcome to Moon’s, an old country filling station converted into half country store and half country restaurant. For those that don’t know what a filling station is, it is a place where you used to pull up to buy gas and somebody came out and FILLED your car’s tank for you. Today, there are not even any gas pumps at Moon’s, but they’ll fill your personal tank with a big old steak.
In fact, that’s what’s on the menu: steak and baked potato. If you want a salad, bring your own. You can buy a jar of dressing off the shelf. Fancy bread? There’s a loaf of white bread on every table. Want a drink? Hop up and get one out of the store cooler. Dessert? Just reach back behind you on the shelf and pick out one of six or eight flavor’s of Moon pies — the kind in a wrapper.
Want an appetizer? They have one of the best — a tray of Saltines with fresh cut pieces of hoop cheese. What more could you want? And at Moon’s you don’t order your steak by the ounce. You order it one inch thick, 1 1/2 inches thick or two inches thick. That equates to pound, pound and a half and two pounds plus. It’s charcoal grilled out back in a big round black grill like the ones you see at the church picnic. They were great.
The last day, we did our own grilling as well. We grilled marinated squash, green tomato and garden onion skewers along with fresh buttered sweet corn picked right out of the field a week earlier. The meat Supreme was hot dogs, topped with venison chili cooked earlier and brought from home. Hey, Jack, it don’t get no better than this…