Honanki Heritage Site

Yesterday we drove out to the Palatki and Honanki ruins, which are both on our campsite road. I was pleased to find a drinking water spigot at Palatki, so I was able to fill up 4 gallon jugs.  I didn’t go into Palatki; I thought I’d save that for when Jeanne joins me but it’s a 1/2 mile walk which I think I can do. I did go into Honanki to see the cliff dwellings; it was also 1/2 mile walk rd. trip and my bad knee is NOT thanking me today, but it was pretty interesting. There are 15 rooms left more or less intact. It’s hard to comprehend that these mud & rock walls are almost 1000 years old!  It looks like each family had a little tiny room walled off from each other. I meant to ask the docent what they used as a water source but Roxie saw me coming and started barking and people were looking around for the duck and I forgot. Yes, my dog sounds like a duck; the result of being 1/2 debarked. It’s weird but MUCH more pleasant than the brain-piercing shrieky bark she had when I first got her.

On the walk I saw this really cool burl on a tree stump. I love all the texture it’s showing.

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I also loved the textures of this rock; I thought it looked like wood grain! Erosion can sure make some amazing sculptures.

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On the way there the scenery was just gorgeous. It’s so frustrating to me that I can’t capture the brilliance and color with my little point-and-shoot camera. When I got back I looked up digital SLR cameras again but I was right the first time; I can’t afford one, let alone the filters & lenses I’d also want!

I have woken up early the past three mornings and have really TRIED to at least get up and look out to see if the sunrise was worth photographing, but I couldn’t make myself do it.  It’s cold in the camper (around 50) and I just don’t want to have to get out of bed before Roxie makes me.  I did drag out at 7:30 this morning and take her out though, and was rewarded with a wildlife sighting!  The whole time I’ve been in Arizona, I think the only wildlife I’ve seen is a couple of bunnies in the state park campground. But today I saw a couple mule deer!  They were a ways off and on the move, but it was gratifying anyway. I really thought I’d see more animals camping out here in the desert but it just hasn’t happened…..there aren’t even many birds here! I also got to see the hot air balloons lifting off over Sedona, which I think happens every morning.

I dug out my brand new cast iron enameled dutch oven that I bought back in May and never used, and I made meatloaf!  I cut and folded the edges of a small foil bbq drip pan and lined it with heavy duty foil to make higher sides, plopped my meatloaf mixture in and started it cooking on the stove. With the dutch oven it’s impossible to tell what temperature you’re cooking at, but in about 20 minutes it smelled dreadful and I realized all the grease was leaking onto the bottom of the pan and I was going to have a horrible mess to clean up, and me with no running water! Why didn’t I think to line the whole bottom of the pan with foil?!  I let it bake for almost an hour and then checked it, and it was beautiful!  And it tasted just exactly right; a miracle since I didn’t use a recipe or measure anything.   It really hit the spot, and the cleanup wasn’t as bad as I thought. I scraped off the worst of the goo with a nylon scraper, then heated some water on the stove & put several tbsp. of baking soda in, swirled it around and let it sit awhile, then later everything came off easily and the pan looks like new again!  Yum.  My next project is to try and figure out how to bake my sourdough bread in it. I just need to find a pan that will fit, and I’m thinking those small disposable loaf pans might work!  Next time I go to town I’ll stop at Dollar Tree and see what they’ve got.

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8 Responses to Honanki Heritage Site

  1. Audrey says:

    I am betting that the disposable pan would work. Don’t know if your dutch oven is round or oblong, but if it is round you could use a round casserole dish. Bread would be round but that is ok. It would taste the same. Also you might want to place the pan on crumpled up foil (3 pieces) or find a thin board to place under it so air can circulate under the bread dish. I’ve never tried that but think I read it somewhere.
    Sure enjoy reading your blog. We full timed for 8 years but had to find a home base due to health issues. It is fun to still live the life by following you. AZ was our winter home and the rest of the USA the rest of the time. Good luck to you in your adventures.

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    • janispaqu says:

      Thanks Audrey! When I made the meatloaf I did put some crumpled foil under it so the bottom wouldn’t burn; good idea. Hadn’t thought of using a glass or ceramic dish; I think I may have one that’ll be perfect for bread!

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  2. txfisherman says:

    after you clean your dutch oven you may want to set it back on the stove and let it get hot then take it off and put some oil in it……after it cools then wipe it out….this will help keep it from sticking in the future…..
    if you ever decide to cook with it outdoors let me know and I will send you a chart that shows how many coals to use for whatever tempature you want to cook at……
    love your blog…keep up the good work…
    chuck

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  3. Marsha says:

    I’ve always wanted to try baking in a dutch oven. Mine’s all cast iron. I did make biscuits on the Weber Q using the same concept – raise it up so it’s not directly on the grates and turn the grill on low and bake. They turned out great. I also make English muffins in a cast iron fry pan. Those you don’t have to bake.

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    • janispaqu says:

      Hmmm, baking in the Weber is a good idea; I’ll have to check and see if the dutch oven fits in there. I think it’s too tall. I tried making pizza on the grill once and it was more like charcoal on the bottom!

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      • Marsha says:

        I was working with what I had, so I wrapped my four English muffin rings in aluminum foil and then put the biscuits on top of that and baked them. We tried pizza, too, and burned the bottom. I’m going to use an old, smaller inverted cake or pie pan to set the pizza and/or biscuits on in the future (or maybe a throwaway tin pan). The key is to keep it above the grill grates.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Marsha says:

        Try a disposable pan like the one I see your meatloaf in.

        Liked by 1 person

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