Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Our Anniversary Dinner at Line Camp Steakhouse

Roughlock Resort/Runnin’ Iron Inn/Line Camp Steakhouse

7980 US-191 (9 miles north of town)
Monticello, Utah, 84535

Phone: (435) 587-2351



October 8, 2018, Roy and I were celebrating 15 years together; 15 years of being best friends, lovers, companions and the strength for each other.  What better place to celebrate than at Line Camp Steakhouse, a restaurant made strong by Bob and Jane Musselman.  They had a strong marriage as well, and everyone can rightly say that Bob was, indeed, a character.  After his passing, locals wondered what would happen to the inn & steakhouse, and that’s where daughter, Bobby Jane Gregory, comes in.

With experience in the hospitality industry, there was very little thought about taking the place over.  Oh, it’s frustrating at times, especially trying to repair Bob’s amateur attempts at handyman work.  Then, looking at the tablecloths and table settings picked out by mom, Jane; the fond memories far exceed the frustrations.  Around the walls of the restaurant are hunting trophies donated by locals, photographs of Musselmans long past, and odds and ends of items that tell a sort of history of Monticello.  It’s fine dining, in a hunting lodge, where cowboys can hang their hats & spurs, and everyone becomes friends during a delicious dinner.

Bobby Jane and her hubby, Jerrod, made a few changes to the menu, added a few lighter items, and have plans of creating dishes for vegetarian/vegan tastes.  For the warmer months, an outside bar, with food offerings of tapas and appetizers, is on the creative board.  While we had an anniversary dinner, wedding receptions, birthday parties, or any other type of celebration can be arranged for at the Line Camp.  The Roughlock Resort is still accommodating guests at the Runnin’ Iron Inn; most recently visiting was a Corvette car club, and then a motorcycle club.  Soon, decorations for the holidays will begin appearing, the Christmas tree to be adorned with handmade porcelain ornaments.  Need a place for the office or family holiday party, give Bobby Jane and Jerrod a call to arrange a date.

I mentioned food, so best to get to the enticing descriptions.  To start off our meals was a colorful salad of greens, tomato, black olives, red onion, green bell pepper, cucumber, croutons and house made dressings.  Sounds like a meal in itself!  Next came Bob’s famous garlic toast and cowboy beans (each servings in its own little pot).  While they can be eaten separately, I enjoy doing the British style beans on toast; oh so yummy!  Poor Bobby Jane tried to take my little pot of beans away before I was totally finished, and got the Cokenour glare.  Of course who doesn’t remember Bob’s joke about the beans, “Each batch only has 239 beans in it.  Know why?  Otherwise, it’d been 2-farty!”.

The salmon grilled on a cedar plank has been changed up; no longer with maple syrup and pecans.  Now it is lightly seasoned with lemon pepper and salt, allowing the full flavor of the salmon to shine through.  

One of the newest items on the menu is a grilled pork tenderloin, lightly seasoned again, with the taste of the grill enhancing, not covering up.  The pork was moist and flavorful all throughout its full two inches of thickness.  Baked red skinned potatoes, serves with sour cream and parsley, was our choice and they were perfect!  Don’t fret potato lovers, Bob’s Roughlock potatoes are still an option.

The food served at the Line Camp is locally sourced from Blue Mountain Meats; quality is always before quantity.  If the product doesn’t meet expected standards, off the menu it comes.  The wait staff are very friendly, knowledgeable on the menu items and aim to please.

Looking round at diners who had wandered in, or were staying at the Inn, all seemed to be enjoying the atmosphere and the food.  Several of the women, and yes, me included, wandered outside to watch the antics of the outdoor felines, or even play with them ourselves.  We laughed and said what adorable kitties they were, while the men stayed inside and just shook their heads at us.  Bobby Jane shared a childhood memory of when she was a child.  Whenever she was out walking about, all the family cats would follow her in a line.  Her mother, Jane, could always find her, just by following the last cat in the line.

Well, the Roughlock Resort/Runnin’ Iron Inn/Line Camp Steakhouse are still alive and doing well; whether a weary, hungry traveler looking for a soft bed and a hearty meal.  Or just one of the locals wanting to reminisce while enjoying an Elk tenderloin (another new menu item), enjoyment will be found at the Line Camp Steakhouse.

Mary Cokenour

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Autumn Equinox and Harvest.

On or near September 21st, the autumn equinox, or Mabon, is a celebration of equal day and night; as with its spring counterpart, March 21st, or Lammas.  This will be the last harvest of fruits and vegetables before winter blankets the landscape with frosty whiteness.  Or, as the southwestern states hope for, tons of snow upon the mountains to swell up the creeks, rivers and lakes come springtime.

Celebrating the autumn harvest is centuries old and spans many cultures worldwide.  In ancient Greece, Oschophoria was a festival held to celebrate the harvesting of grapes for wine, and in honor of Dionysus, the god of the vine.  Oktoberfest, a 16 day beer festival (September to October) originated in Munich, Germany, 1810, to honor the marriage of Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen.  What better way to celebration the harvest of hops and grains?  Originally, the American Thanksgiving holiday was celebrated on October 3rd to celebrate the end of the fall harvest.

With the fall and winter holiday season fast approaching, many cooks and bakers are thinking about what creations will come from their bountiful harvest.  Apples, pumpkins and other types of squash will take center stage; while the last of the fruits and vegetables will be canned or frozen.

Apples; even though they are available all year long, there is just something special about the fall apple.  Maybe it’s all in the mind; the clear, crisp fall breeze upon the skin, as one bites into a juicy apple and a scent of spice suddenly wisps by.  The most delicious apple I have ever eaten was from an orchard on Mount Penn in Reading, Pennsylvania.  The “Mutsu” was a specialty apple with the most delightful taste of spice in every bite.  I have tried to find a similar type of apple, but nothing has even come close.  That is probably because what the orchard growers called “Mutsu” was a name used by other orchards as “Crispin”, “Pipkin” or “Liberty” apples; yet they were still not the same.  Well I might not find that apple ever again, but I sure do have very fond memories of it.

Now I’m going to ask all those wonderful made-from-scratch bakers to forgive me for the recipe I’m about to write out.  I came up with this semi-homemade recipe when, during a past holiday season, I had surgery on one of my hands.  The hand was immobilized for 6 weeks, so I was very, very limited to what I could do with one free hand.  So please feel free to use your own cake batter recipe and freshly spiced up apple slices instead of the packaged goods I mention.  I used a Super Moist Yellow Cake mix; yellow cake mix can also be bland, so I umpped up the flavor intensity by adding apple pie spice mix and a bit of ground ginger.  You could also think of this as a type of "upside down" cake where the toppings are baking in the pan underneath the cake layer, but when you flip the finished cake out, you see all the lovely apples and caramel.  I will consider myself redeemed by that little feature of the semi-homemade cake. 

Caramel Apple Cake


For the Caramel Layer:

8 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 cups brown sugar
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon

For the Apple Layer:

1 (21 oz.) can apple pie filling

For the Cake Layer:

1 box Super Moist Yellow cake mix
1 tsp apple pie filling
Pinch of ground ginger


Preheat oven to 350F; spray two 9 inch cake pans with nonstick baking spray.  Cut out two circles from parchment paper to line bottom of cake pans; spray the paper with the nonstick baking spray.

In a medium bowl, mix together the ingredients for the caramel layer until it resembles coarse crumbs.

Divide the mixture up between the two pans pressing to the edges and 1/4 inch up the sides.
Divide the pie filling between the two pans, spreading it out up to one inch from the edges.

Prepare the cake mix according to packages directions, but add in the apple pie spice and ground ginger.  Divide the batter up between the two pans and use a spatula to smooth it out.

Bake for 35-40 minutes; cake will be golden browned and you might see some of the caramel oozing up the sides of the cakes.  Remove pans to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes.

When cooled, use a hot knife around the edges to make sure the caramel will not stick to the sides of the pan.  Carefully flip the cakes onto a serving plate and peel off the parchment paper.  Cut into 8 wedges and serve with a scoop of ice cream.

Makes 2 cakes, 8 servings each.

Mary Cokenour