Dokken: Culinary Creations Add a Delicious Touch to Your Last Fishing Trip in Ontario – Grand Forks Herald

Brad Dawkins

HEADWATERS LAKE, ONTARIO – I was told the list was hashed out on the back door of a pickup truck one October evening nearly three years ago after Jason Laumb and Peter Hinderlie completed a successful hunt for grouse in northwestern Minnesota.

Known for their unforgettable lists on previous hunting and fishing trips, the couple really outdid themselves during their June 30-July 7 fly-fishing trip to Headwaters Lake, a campground in the Ontario wilderness 120 miles northwest of Red Lake, Ontario.

While breakfast and lunch consisted of traditional hunting camp fare such as eggs and bacon or sausages and sandwiches, the evening meals resulted in culinary creations worthy of a five-star restaurant.

This is just a sampling of our evening meals: Pasta crusts stuffed with roasted Roma tomatoes, lamb thighs with a red wine reduction sauce with garlic, rosemary and twice baked potatoes, pork specialty in white wine sauce with potatoes or gratin, “Surf and Turf” consisting of filet mignon and Fried Walleye with homemade sweet and sour sauce and currant crumple for dessert, and the other night, spicy fish tacos.

This is all built right up to the feast served on Wednesday, July 6, our last night at camp: Wally with Black Butter Caper sauce, made-from-scratch chocolate cake and homemade ice cream.

Sausages and beans? Not when this couple is in the kitchen. No wonder we didn’t make hunting after dinners; We were too crowded to move.

In the months leading up to the trip, which was originally scheduled for the summer of 2020 but was delayed by two years due to the pandemic, Lamb said more than once that he was as excited about the menu as he was about the hunt.

He even ordered a custom chef’s uniform for him and Henderley before the pandemic. Unfortunately, the chef’s uniform was lost for the next two years, and Lomb was unable to find it as the flight approached.

Instead, the camp’s chefs wore “kitchen glasses” similar to the glasses the Hanson brothers wore in “Slapshot.”

This was just fitting, because they both play beer league hockey anyway.

The entire food bill came to about $100 per person. Considering what you’d pay in a five-star restaurant for just one of those meals, the bill was money well spent for those of us who enjoyed the Laumb and Hinderlie meals he prepared.

In the history of that outpost, which I know goes back over 30 years, I seriously doubt they’ve ever been served better meals.

Paul, 34, of Henderley acquired his culinary skills from his father-in-law, Paul Henderley, who once ran Harbor View Café, a popular restaurant in Pepin, Wisconsin. Reduced sauces are his specialty.

There’s no room for error when it comes to shortening sauces, says Henderley, and he’s spent the past decade perfecting the craft, whether at home or on hunting or fishing trips.

He says the Black Butter Cup sauce was the hardest dish he made on the trip because it had so many moving parts.

Laumb, 47, is the barbecue maker on this team and has painstakingly worked the grill and deep fryer for every evening meal. He even brought a Bluetooth meat thermometer on the flight to make sure the lamb shanks were prepared to his specifications.

she was. Paired with Hinderlie’s Garlic Sauce and Rosemary Red Wine Reduction, Leg of Lamb was a highlight of the trip.

I wouldn’t call it the “highlight” because every evening meal was a highlight. As the grill maker, Lamb says lamb thighs were the toughest “because overcooked lamb is considered junk.”

Which begs the question, of course: Why put in all that effort into a campground hunting camp?

Their answer is simple: Why not?

“You’re absolutely in a great position, so why not eat great,” Lomb said.

On top of that, says Henderley, making good food is fun.

Lamb certainly says he cut fishing time a bit, but that last afternoon, when they baked a cake and made ice cream with the Cuisinart he brought on the trip, it was rainy anyway.

“Especially on these flights, you can fish pretty much at any time, so a watch here or there won’t change much,” Henderley said.

Trim the leg of the lamb.  jpg

Jason Laumb clips a lamb’s leg, Peter Hinderlie works in the background on Friday, July 1, 2022, while preparing an evening meal at Camp Headwaters Lake in northwestern Ontario.

Brad Dawkin / Grand Forks Herald

No two cabins are alike when it comes to cooking utensils, so Laumb and Hinderlie bring a few essentials, just in case they aren’t available at camp.

“I always bring my favorite spoon, and Jason always brings his good knives,” Henderley said. “Honestly, all you need is a good knife, a spoon, and a pan. Everything else can be done more or less on the fly. Sometimes fancy equipment is nice but not necessary to make a great meal.”

Lomb admits that the homemade ice cream, which requires bringing a cuisinart to camp, “was more luxurious than anything else.”

However, it was a delicious way to spend a wonderful week.

“We wanted this list to be our biggest and best,” Lomb said.

It was so, but it could be better, says the chef. All they’ll need, they say, is a different trip to a new lake (preferably a lake with walleye and trout).

And another 15 minutes at the back door.

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