Autumn Camping + Pumpkin Mascarpone Pancakes & Butternut Chili

Autumn Camping + Pumpkin Mascarpone Pancakes & Butternut Chili

Back at the end of October I went on a weekend camping trip out at Tumbleweed Farm in Parkdale near Mount Hood. We caught the perfect weekend, it was cool and crisp but dry and the trees all around us were a crazy mixture of red, orange, yellow, and green. The little highway to the farm is dotted with apple and pear orchards, and I pulled off at one for breakfast (a delicious apple cinnamon roll + hot fresh-pressed cider) and picked up some ripe pears for the campfire feast. We did some serious open-fire cooking, my friend Mike from Finex let me borrow some of his vintage cast iron pieces for the camp set-up including this handy device that's consists of a large cast iron ring with a smaller cast iron ring on the side of it. You drive a metal stake through the smaller ring into the ground of the fire pit and then when you put a heavy pot on the large ring, the weight of it catches the small ring on the pole and it holds the pot right over the fire. I'm not sure what it is called, only that I've been desperately wanting to get one ever since because it made cooking over the fire so simple and easy.

I ventured out with Jeremy, Christiann of Portland Fresh, and Jeremy and Christi of Woven Magazine. In the morning we huddled around the fire and layered ourselves up in Bridge & Burn gear while Christiann made pumpkin mascarpone pancakes and I smashed together a rosemary maple sea salt butter. This, combined with sausages and jowl bacon from Old Salt Marketplace (my favorite Portland butchers) made for the most epic camping breakfast of all time. Later in the day Christiann made a spiced mulled cider and I put together an autumn chili, full of butternut squash, pork sausage, beans, chili flakes, and turmeric. It was smokey from the campfire, rich from the pork sausage, and slightly spicy. We topped it off with a bit of toasted pumpkin seeds for a nice contrasting texture, too, and it was so good I ended up making it back at home again with one of the Greek winter squash from my garden. So there we were, wrapped up in our cozy Schoolhouse Electric blankets around the fire, drinking and eating until the sun went down.

Going back through these photos is making me miss fall so much, especially since all the trees are bare now and everything looks pretty dark and dreary outside. I wish it was possible to trade a month of winter for an extra month of fall, but time just doesn't work that way. You can't grab onto a flowing river. That's something I've been realizing more and more lately, how quickly time goes by. I think it's made worse by how busy I've been this year (see: not getting my autumn post up until winter), it seems like the more I pack into one day the more quickly it passes me by. Warm memories like these are a stake in the river, though; they always take you back to that place, that moment, and let it wash over you. So even though the days are short and dark and everything in my garden looks blackened and dead, I can still look back through these photos and remember brighter, more colorful days and good food shared with friends.

Like what you see? Finex Cast Iron Cookware, Schoolhouse Electric Supply Co. Patti Plaid Throw,  Enamelware Mug, Buffalo Plaid Fringed Throw, & Navy Vintage Check Towel, Bridge & Burn Flint Slate Blue Overshirt, Ivy Heather Wool, Amherst Olive Heather, West Elm Enamel Dinnerware

Pumpkin Mascarpone Pancakes

1 1/2 cups whole or 2% milk


  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons whiskey
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3-1 cup filtered water
  • 1/4 cup cultured butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon flake sea salt
  • 1 pound pork sausage
  • 2 pounds butternut squash, cubed
  • 32 ounces vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon arbor chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
Read the whole recipe on Adventures in Cooking