The Nostalgia of Percolated Coffee

Do you remember the smell of freshly brewed coffee filling your kitchen in the morning? The sound of bubbling water and the sight of steam rising from the spout? If you grew up with a coffee percolator, you probably have fond memories of this classic brewing method that dates back to the early 1800s.

Percolated coffee is made by cycling hot water through a basket of ground coffee beans, creating a strong and aromatic brew. Unlike drip or pour-over methods, percolated coffee is brewed multiple times, resulting in a richer flavor and more caffeine. Percolators can be used on the stovetop, over a campfire, or plugged into an electric outlet.

Percolators were once the most popular way to make coffee in America, until they were replaced by automatic drip machines in the 1970s. But percolators have never gone out of style completely, and they have experienced a revival in recent years as more people seek to rediscover the nostalgia and simplicity of this old-fashioned method.

If you want to learn how to make percolated coffee, here are some tips and steps to follow:

  • Choose a good quality percolator that suits your needs. You can find percolators in different sizes, materials, and designs. Some have glass knobs on the lid that let you see the color of the brew, while others have indicators that tell you when the coffee is ready. Some have permanent filters, while others require paper filters. Some are electric, while others are manual.
  • Grind your coffee beans to a medium-coarse consistency, similar to what you would use for an espresso machine. If the grounds are too fine, they might clog the filter or escape into the brew, making it bitter and gritty. If the grounds are too coarse, they might not extract enough flavor and aroma from the water.
  • Fill the bottom chamber of the percolator with cold water, up to the maximum level indicated by the manufacturer. Do not overfill or underfill the percolator, as this might affect the brewing process and the quality of the coffee.
  • Place the filter basket on top of the bottom chamber and fill it with the ground coffee. Use about one tablespoon of coffee per cup of water, or adjust according to your taste preference. Shake the basket gently to level the grounds and avoid creating air pockets.
  • Assemble the percolator by screwing on the top chamber with the spout and placing it on your heat source. If you are using an electric percolator, plug it in and turn it on. If you are using a stovetop or campfire percolator, set the heat to medium-high and watch for steam to come out of the spout.
  • Percolate the coffee for about 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how strong you like it. You can check the color of the brew through the glass knob or indicator if your percolator has one. You can also listen for the sound of bubbling water, which means that the water is boiling and passing through the grounds. The longer you percolate, the stronger and darker your coffee will be.
  • Turn off or remove your percolator from the heat source when your coffee is done. Let it sit for a few minutes to allow the grounds to settle at the bottom of the basket. Carefully pour your coffee into your favorite mug and enjoy!

Percolated coffee is not for everyone, but it has its loyal fans who appreciate its bold and nostalgic taste. If you are looking for a new way to experience coffee, or if you want to relive some childhood memories, give percolated coffee a try. You might be surprised by how much you like it!


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The Best Time to Go Fishing for Steelhead in Erie Pennsylvania

Steelhead fishing is one of the most popular and exciting activities in Erie Pennsylvania. Steelhead are large and powerful trout that migrate from Lake Erie to the tributaries for spawning. They can put up a great fight and offer a rewarding challenge for anglers of all skill levels.

But when is the best time to go fishing for steelhead in Erie Pennsylvania? And what are the best techniques and baits to use? In this blog post, we will answer these questions and give you some tips on how to make the most of your steelhead fishing adventure.

When Do Steelhead Run in Erie Pennsylvania?

The steelhead run in Erie Pennsylvania starts as early as Labor Day, but the peak season is from late November to early April1. This is when most of the fish enter the streams from the lake and when the water conditions are more favorable for fishing.

The steelhead run is triggered by several factors, such as rainfall, temperature, and photoperiod1. Rainfall increases the water level and flow of the tributaries, which allows the fish to swim upstream more easily and safely. Temperature affects the metabolism and activity of the fish, which prefer cooler water. Photoperiod refers to the length of daylight, which influences the spawning behavior of the fish. Steelhead tend to run more at night, when they have more cover from predators and anglers.

Of course, these factors are not always predictable or consistent, so there may be variations in the timing and intensity of the run each year. The best way to know when the steelhead are running is to check the local fishing reports, weather forecasts, and stream gauges regularly.

Where to Fish for Steelhead in Erie Pennsylvania?

Erie Pennsylvania has many tributaries that offer excellent opportunities for steelhead fishing. Some of the most popular ones are Walnut Creek, Elk Creek, Twenty Mile Creek, Sixteen Mile Creek, Twelve Mile Creek, Seven Mile Creek, Four Mile Creek, and Crooked Creek2. Each stream has its own characteristics and challenges, so you may want to explore different ones and find your favorite spot.

The best places to fish for steelhead are usually near the mouths of the streams, where the fish enter from the lake; near pools, riffles, runs, and bends, where the fish rest and feed; and near gravel beds or riffles, where the fish spawn3. You should also look for areas with cover, such as rocks, logs, undercut banks, or overhanging vegetation, where the fish can hide from predators and anglers.

How to Fish for Steelhead in Erie Pennsylvania?

Steelhead fishing can be done with various methods and techniques, depending on your preference and experience level. Some of the most common ones are fly fishing, spinning, baitcasting, centerpinning, and float fishing2. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, so you may want to try different ones and see what works best for you.

Regardless of the method you choose, there are some general tips that can help you catch more steelhead:


Steelhead fishing in Erie Pennsylvania is a thrilling and rewarding experience that you don’t want to miss. By following the tips and advice in this blog post, you can increase your chances of catching these magnificent fish and having a memorable time on the water.

Remember to always respect the fish, the environment, and other anglers, and to follow the local fishing regulations and etiquette. And most importantly, have fun and enjoy the beauty of nature!

Happy fishing! 🎣

How to Start a Campfire: A Beginner’s Guide

Campfires are one of the best parts of camping. They provide warmth, light, ambiance and a place to cook delicious food. But how do you start a campfire safely and efficiently? In this blog post, we will show you the basic steps and tips for building a successful campfire, whether you are at a campground or in the backcountry.

Step 1: Find or Build a Fire Ring

The first thing you need to do is find or build a fire ring. A fire ring is a circle of rocks or metal that contains the fire and prevents it from spreading. If you are at a campground, there are usually designated fire rings, fireplaces or grills to build fires. Most campgrounds have some version of these. Using a fire ring will lessen your impact and keep your fire contained. Always check with the campground operator to make sure fires are permitted. In some areas, severe dry periods can cause campfires to be prohibited even in campgrounds1.

If you are in the backcountry, where fires are permitted, use an existing fire ring if one has been left behind. Build a new one only in emergency situations and, if the situation permits, dismantle it when you are done1. If one already exists, clean it out before you depart. Clear away all flammable material from your fire pit. Ideally, the base of your fire should be sand or gravel or mineral soil (often found in streambeds or on gravel bars)1. Intense heat can sterilize healthy soil, so choose your site conscientiously.

Your campfire needs to be on level ground and a minimum of 15 feet away from any tents and surrounding trees and bushes2. Pay attention to what’s above the site and avoid locations below low-hanging branches. Keep the site away from material that can become fuel, such as fallen leaves or pine straw2. The site should have shelter from wind gusts. Note the direction of prevailing winds that could carry sparks or embers away2.

Step 2: Gather Fire Wood

To burn a successful fire, you’ll need three types of fuel: tinder, kindling and firewood13.

If you are at a campground, use only local firewood1Nearby stores often carry firewood, and sometimes campground hosts offer bundles of firewood or kindling for sale1Do not bring wood with you if you’re traveling from more than 50 miles away1Campgrounds may even ban bring-your-own firewood regardless of the distance you travel1Why? To avoid introducing troublesome insects into a forest1. Call the campground or a local ranger office in advance for information and advice.

If you are in the backcountry, gather only downed wood far from your site1Do not cut live trees or branches1Look for wood that is dead, dry and off the ground1Avoid wood that is damp, rotten or covered with moss or fungus1Collect wood of different sizes, from pencil-thin to wrist-thick1. You will need more wood than you think, so gather enough to last for the duration of your fire.

Step 3: Lay Your Fire

There are many ways to lay a fire, but we will show you two common methods: the teepee and the platform.

Step 4: Light The Campfire

Now comes the fun part: lighting the campfire. You will need matches or a lighter to ignite the tinder. You can also use natural or artificial firestarters to help you start the fire faster and easier2. Firestarters are materials that burn longer and hotter than tinder, such as cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly, dryer lint mixed with wax or commercial products like lighters cubes.

To light the campfire:

  • Strike a match or flick your lighter and hold it to the tinder until it catches fire.
  • Blow gently on the tinder to help it spread to the kindling.
  • Add more tinder or kindling as needed until you have a steady flame.
  • Once the kindling is burning well, add some small pieces of firewood.
  • Gradually add larger pieces of firewood as the fire grows.

Step 5: Build Up And Maintain The Fire

Once you have a good campfire going, you need to keep it going by adding more fuel and adjusting it as needed.

  • Add more wood when the flames get low or when you see mostly glowing coals.
  • Use dry wood that is about as thick as your wrist or thicker for longer-lasting fires.
  • Arrange the wood loosely to allow air flow between them.
  • Avoid piling too much wood on top of each other as this can smother the fire.
  • Use a stick or poker to move around the wood and coals to create more heat and flames.
  • Keep an eye on your fire and don’t leave it unattended.

Step 6: Extinguish The Campfire

When you are done with your campfire, you need to put it out completely before you leave your site or go to sleep. A campfire can stay hot for hours or even days after it stops burning visibly2, so don’t assume it’s out just because you don’t see flames.

To extinguish your campfire:

  • Let the wood burn down to ash as much as possible.
  • Sprinkle water over the fire slowly and carefully until it stops hissing and steaming.
  • Stir the ashes and coals with a stick or shovel to expose any hidden embers.
  • Sprinkle more water over the fire until everything is wet and cold.
  • Feel the ashes with your hand (be careful not to burn yourself) to make sure there is no heat left.
  • If water is scarce or unavailable, use dirt or sand instead of water to smother the fire.

Step 7: Clean Up The Mess

The last step is to clean up your campfire site and leave no trace behind.

To clean up your campfire:

  • Scatter any remaining ashes and coals over a wide area away from your site.
  • If you built a new fire ring, dismantle it and return the rocks to their original places.
  • If you used a mound fire, disperse the soil over a wide area away from your site.
  • Restore the appearance of your site as much as possible by removing any trash or debris.
  • Pack out any leftover wood that you brought with you.

And that’s how you start a campfire! We hope this blog post was helpful and informative for you. Remember to always follow local regulations and safety precautions when building a campfire outdoors. Have fun and enjoy your camping trip!

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