“To poke a wood fire is more solid enjoyment than almost anything else in the world” U.S novelist Charles Dudley Warner
Nights under star-filled skies, roaring camp fires, beautiful wines and the distinctive flavours of flame-grilled and slow-cooked camp-oven food … ah, the simple pleasures, which we’re melding into our lives, as we craft nightfall camp‘s new Australian wilderness experience.
Fire is soul-food for Steve and I. Like moths, we’re are magically drawn to the leaping flames. We’re seduced by the gentle crackling of the burning timbers and entranced by the flavours of flame-cooked cuisine. nightfall camp‘s main fire pit sits under leafy figs, not far from our private stretch of tumbling creek waters. While we continue to build the camp we spend most evenings seated on or beside the large rocks which surround the fire. It’s easy to talk, laugh and share experiences, as we watch the dancing flames, savour the unbridled warmth and often cook our meals.
As I write, the mouth-watering smell of ironbark smoke lingers on our hands. We’ve just lit nightfall‘s new custom-built Aromatic Embers wood-fired oven and grill, in preparation for another evening exploring the alluring art of wood cookery. Our mission — to evolve a distinctive signature flavour for the organic cuisine of nightfall‘s Queensland luxury camping wilderness experience.
In-spite of the fancy new oven, cooking with fire has a strong primal-feel. This is food which harks back to a past when life was simpler. It speaks of ancient traditions, family gatherings, comfort-giving nourishment and nostalgic memories of camping.
We’re learning to tame the leaping flames to a level which sears and caramelises when fast grilling, or imparts delicious deep smokey flavours, laced with woody aromas, when slow roasting. Do it right, in combination with high-quality freshly-picked produce, and fire is the ultimate flavour-enhancer. The wood used is not just a fuel. It also becomes the healthy additive-free seasoning. Each timber species has its own personality with unique distinctive flavours – citrus compliments fish while lighter woods, such as olive, impart delicate nuances of flavour best paired with vegetables. I can’t wait to experiment with wood from old wine barrels – I’ve read ‘they realise a toasted smokiness with a subtle interplay of oak and wine, giving notes of vanilla and spice’.
What a delicious journey we’re on …
(If this is the first time you’ve read our building nightfall blog diary, you might be interested in looking at other entries and the rest of our website. As with on-the-ground construction, our website is also a veritable work in progress. New images and information are added as we progress.)