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On the Placemat column: Camp food hits new 'gold standard'

8:12 PM, Apr. 2, 2013  |  Comments
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For years my gold standard for the best meal ever eaten came from Dallas, Texas. But last week, in the Westboro area, a new standard exploded on the scene.

While gathered with friends at Camp Forest Springs, we immersed ourselves in artistic endeavors. Knitters, quilters and scrapbookers wove yarn, fabric, words, pictures and memories together. Others painted, stamped, embossed, snipped and rearranged scraps into works of art. As we created, a talented man named Matt Huffman worked magic in the kitchen.

The fun of this retreat was being able to leave the mess of works-in-process littered on tables, share energy and laughter with like-minded women, have meals prepared and not have to clean up.

The first night there were three kinds of lasagna. The Mexican lasagna was excellent, the vegetarian delicious, but the chicken one got me so excited that I punched my neighbor's arm. What can I say? Excitement makes me lose my mind. She never sat by me again, lest enthusiasm should strike once more.

The following day, the creative staff transformed the dining room into a cozy candle-kissed bistro. Matt shifted into over-drive. He and his crew served up an unforgettable evening of scrumptious food seasoned with servant hearts.

Raspberry lemonade left berry gems floating in our goblets. Rice pilaf with almonds and cranberries, a mound of puréed carrots and parsnips with baby pea pods nestled next to them and chicken breasts topped with a delicate mushroom sauce sent waves of joy through the room. Dessert was Death by Chocolate.

Though my taste buds shouted for joy, I didn't hit anyone while enjoying the best meal ever. A new gold standard was born.

What's your take on the Packers Family Night change?

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If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

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