Our new Adventure Series is going to start with one of our favourite camping destinations, Dinosaur Provincial Park. The majestic hoodoos and badlands call us back time and time again as we love to get out and explore this vast land. This is just one of a few of our favourite places to go camping and I hope to share several of our other favourites camping spots during this journey.
In this new series, I will occasionally be picking a recipe to make based on the experience and fun we’ve had. Kind of in a trailblazer and explorer kind of way except adding a recipe to accompany the journey. Each recipe I select will be carefully chosen based on what we’ve experienced and that could be just about anything. I’m super excited to get this party started as ideas have been flowing for quite some time.
Dinosaur Provincial Park is located in Eastern Alberta, Canada. This park is a Unesco Heritage Site and well worth the 2.5 hour trek from Calgary. As you drive through the country to your camping destination, all of a sudden this breathtaking landscape (called the Hoodoos) opens up in front of you and you stare in awe thinking you have entered Jurassic Park. Truly stunning.
Being a Unesco Heritage Site you are only allowed access to certain areas. But this park has a ton of things for families to do. From guided tours and hikes, family programs, dinosaur digs, camping, theatre shows, exhibits both at their information centre and on self guided trials, there is something for every level of activity. The four of us took in a Fossil Tour while we were there, and were intrepid explorers in an active bone bed site discovering real dinosaur bones from 75 million years ago. So very cool.
The kids loved being able to explore the self guided trails despite the warnings of rattlesnakes, scorpions and black widow spiders. And when they weren’t exploring they were off bike riding, making smores, Geocaching or playing down by the stream. The only con to this particular weekend was how crazy the mosquitoes were. But that is camping life…you come have to come prepared.
Dinosaur Provincial Park is a great place for families to go camping and only a short distance from Calgary. The recipe I choose to make for this adventure is Dinosaur Bones (aka Turkey Leg Drumsticks), as big pieces of meat come to mind when I think about our experience. I tried to wrap a little parchment on the bottom of the leg to make them easier to hang onto. That was an adventure unto itself.
I’ve been doing a lot of brining chicken this year and since we like to occasionally brine our holiday Turkey, I decided to brine the turkey legs to impart some flavour and moisture into the meat. Success was mine. We all felt like cavemen as we ripped into these Dinosaur Bones.
- 4 turkey drumsticks
- 4 cups water
- 2 tbsp smoked alder salt or kosher
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp herbs de provence
- 1/3 cup your favourite spice rub
- olive oil or cooking spray
- In a saucepan add your water, salt, sugar, peppercorns, bay leaves, herbs de provence and turkey drumsticks. Bring to a boil. Take off heat and let cool down. Once cool pour brine into a ziplock bag and add turkey drumsticks. Let sit in fridge over night.
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- When ready to cook take turkey drumsticks out of brine and pat dry. Let sit on counter for about 30 minutes before baking. Place on parchment lined baking sheet. Pour and massage spice rub all over turkey using a little more if necessary.
- Place on parchment lined baking sheet and into oven. Cook 15-20 minutes turning once or twice.
- Drop heat to 300-325F and cook another 20-25 minutes or until juices run clear. If you have larger legs they may take a little longer to cook.