Ski Touring Dumplings Stewed in Chocolate Porter and Date Conserve with Pacific Rock Cheese and Kettle Corn

I have been doing a lot of vicarious living this week through my friends at Heather Mountain Lodge as they return from shredding through glorious fresh powder with intoxicating smiles and joyful spirits. I alas am not a good enough skier to join, to experience through them with the added joy of filling their bellies is just as good. This week I tagged along with some friends on a ski touring trip; I brought along my camp stove and some ingredients with which to make a simple, high calorie, high protein dessert for afterwords. I spent the afternoon playing in the snow, setting up an outdoor kitchen, and attempting to build a fire which no amount of almond extract or gumption could ignite ”special thanks to Christophe for trying though”.


Vicarious learning or experience is a wonderful and amazing adaptation of consciousness and in my opinion one of the most beautiful and curious processes of the mind. Our existence on this earth is limited by our perceptions, we can only experience what drips through the far too coarsely ground coffee of our perceptions. Our mental faculties “or cerebral reducing valve as I like to visualize it” then decides what is important enough for us to be congnicent of.

Vicarious experience is not dependent on perception the way regular experience is; it relies on the experience and communication of one individual and the imagination and empathy of another. With one foot not so firmly planted in reality and another floating around in the abstraction that is consciosness “at least mine”. The grind in which our perceptions filter through gets a little finer and the valve a little larger. Is this Turkish coffee of existence less real than the coffee flavored water? So for the sake of concluding this ramble and ceasing any existential crises lets say existence is dependent entirely on the mind, that is to say existence exists in the mind for if there where no mind to be conscious of existence it wouldn’t matter if existence existed or not. Than we can conclude that vicarious experience although no substitute for personal experience is just as real. In some cases depending on the minds doing the pondering the experience can be amplified to a level that surpass our physical perceptions. How’s that for a positive feedback loop of paradox?


On with the Show!

Yields 8


Flour 2 cups
Sugar 1 cup
Egg 1
Baking Powder 1 tbs
Salt 1 tsp
Butter 1 cup
Milk 1 cup
Pacific Rock Cheese 250g

Date Conserve

Chocolate Porter 250ml
Water 125ml
Dates, Dried 1lb brick 1 pound
Brown Sugar 1/4 cup
Anatto Seed 2 tsp
Dark Chocolate 100g
Orange Zested and Juiced 1

Caramel Corn

Brown Sugar 1 cup
Butter 1/4 cup
Popcorn kernels 1 cup

This recipe was eye balled when I was out in glacier national park and then converted into cups, as long as you follow the ratios for the dumplings it is a really easy recipe to eyeball.

I would have liked to have cooked this dish over coles and created a tinfoil tent to direct some smoke into the date conserve, so step one is to prey to the god of fire, do a dance, whatever it takes to get a fire started. Then place all the ingredients for the conserve in a large sauce pan, make sure your pan has enough area to cook 8 to 9 dumplings. For the annatto seed either grind them or place in a tea ball to get the flavor out, they will stay hard and not be pleasant to eat. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes until the dates have broken down.

Meanwhile mix together all of the dry ingredients for the grunt and place them in a bowl cut the butter into the mixture until you have pea sized granules. Mix together the eggs and milk, make a well in the dry ingredients and poor the wet ingredients in. Mix until a loose dough is formed and then use a spoon to drop the batter into the date conserve, leave an inch between each dumpling for expanding. Cover with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes. They will not brown on top, but a knife or toothpick should come out clean when inserted. Thinly slice the Pacific Rock Cheese and lay a generous amount on top of each dumpling, keep the pan on a very low flame to keep warm until the caramel corn is done.

To make the caramel corn place the brown sugar and butter in a pot, bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling add the popcorn kernels, continue to cook on high heat with a lid until the popcorn begins to pop, shake well and periodically remove from the heat to ensure the caramel does not burn. Once the popping slows down remove from the heat and let the last few kernels pop with residual heat.
Put the popcorn on top of the grunts and grab a spoon! This dish needs to be enjoyed family style.

One thought on “Ski Touring Dumplings Stewed in Chocolate Porter and Date Conserve with Pacific Rock Cheese and Kettle Corn

  1. Sounds good Ryan! Glad you are having fun with winter and cooking. But you forgot your Cub Scout firemaking skills! Always have dry tinder with you especially in winter! Love Mom

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