Sunday was our baking day at the Novak’s. We made all of our Hudson Bay Bread, hot chocolate, bannock, and hamburger. The morning went very smoothly as we had 3 houses along the same street to bake at. A special thank you to the Kruchten’s and Dvoracek’s for allowing us to use their ovens. The girls had a lot of fun thinking up creative flavors for our bay bread and we can’t wait to try it on trail! I personally am excited for the apple cinnamon and s’mores :) The bannock and hot chocolate are dry mixes that we prepare ahead of time. Bannock is a thick bread that we bake on trail for our lunches when we aren't eating bay bread. Each batch had to be mixed separately and bagged, making it a little time consuming. Thankfully, the hot chocolate was mixed in one giant plastic tote. If you've never seen 28lbs of hot chocolate powder being stirred in one plastic bin - it's quite the sight!
We saved the hamburger preparations until after lunch. It’s a bit of a labor-intensive process to prepare the hamburger, as the crew can attest! In the beginning, we designated a few “master meat mixers” to mix seasoning into our meat before we baked it. This meant hand mixing 10+ lbs of raw hamburger with plenty of steak seasoning, pepper, garlic salt, and Lawry’s….yum!! Kenzie and Anna took over this job and could be seen either elbow deep in meat or out on the deck holding the remaining frozen beef up on a fork to thaw in the sun. (Interesting method, but thankfully Cathy Novak pointed us to the defrost feature on the microwave and saved us some time there!) Once the meat was mixed it was spread into pans and baked. Then came the challenge of removing large pans of meat swimming in hot grease from the oven without spilling a drop. Through the skillful use of a turkey baster and over 9 rolls of paper towels we managed to get our meat grease free and ready to dehydrate! We cut the meat into small squares and broke up the chunks to make ground beef. Finally, we were ready to give it one last press with paper towels and leave it on the dehydrator.
It was a long day of baking, but the delicious food we made will be well worth the time!