Friday, June 06, 2008

Camping Food

So, I went camping. Now, this statement may not sound shocking to those who do not know me, but this is a REALLY BIG DEAL. After a horrific camping experience at 19 (ok, there was a frog that freaked me out and the whole sleeping outside/no electricity/dirt combo is just not suitable to my needs)I swore I would never camp again. This rang true for almost 9 years, but alas, it was dashed on Memorial Day weekend. It all started with my new boyfriend. When you begin a relationship and you are all lovey dovey, somehow one may be convinced to things they might not ordinarily do. Like camping, for example. So, there I was stuck with the conundrum, if J loves camping and I love J, does that mean I love camping?! Does it work like that? (In case anyone is curious, NO, it doesn't. Love is not transitive like that). But I had to experience this for myself. So off I went with a (borrowed) backpack filled with such things as a headlamp, a mini stove, and wine (yes, I brought wine camping) and I was off. Off into the wild wilderness never to be seen again perhaps.

Living in the Bay Area, the wild is really only a 40 minute drive from the comfortable apartment in San Francisco. I refused to go to the Sierras (there was a chance of rain and snow, and I was RIGHT!) and I thought that knowing how close I was to civilization might help put me at ease on the trip. So J, his friend Brian, another experienced camper, and I set off on our expedition. In an Audi. Wearing my new white North Face Jacket, armed with artisan cheese and tabbouleh and wine. Or so we thought.

Now, the three of us arrived in Point Reyes and started unloading our gear. We were doing a 3 miles hike to Sky Camp and we had a site reserved. At my house before we left we had loaded a cooler with food for the trip. Sausages, cheese, wine, my homemade tabbouleh, fruit, etc. We were going to leave this in the car and refill on day two. So as J and I take out our backpacks both us say, hey Brian, where's the cooler? Well people, the cooler was on my kitchen counter in San Francisco. Brilliant! We forgot all the food. Except for some sardines, a package of freeze dried Chili Mac (needless to say I did not want nor did I have anything to do with this), mustard, salami, sausages, and buns. Are you noticing a theme here? (hint, processed meat). Oh, and two apples I had stashed in my backpack. So, we were going to starve. Well I was. For 15 years I did not touch red meat or pork products. This is changing a little bit. I like to say I am flirting with the stuff, a bite here and a bite there, but I don't really want to indulge of a meal of two different sausages and salami. But not really. We simply ran into Pt. Reyes station, picked up some cheese and crackers and called it a day, or a hike.

Well I have never actually hiked to camping. I have car camped, but this was the first time I had ever put literally everything I needed on my back and hauled it straight up a mountain. It's funny, men say that women are high maintenance, but camping, now THAT is high maintenance. You have to carry your bed, food, light, entertainment (this came in the form of a bottle of vodka), toilet, shower, etc all with you. Staying at a nice hotel, LOW maintenance. And I will give credit where credit is due, I had some help carrying things up the mountain. My pack was heavy, but J's was really heavy.

When we got to sky camp it was really pretty. I got to see things like this.

The trail was beautiful and we saw deer and yellow finches. It was quite nice. And for about 5 minutes I was really content sitting on a picnic table, while the boys put the tents up, and relaxing. Then I realized that I had to sleep there and got a little grumpy. But, I started making appetizers and I was really excited. I got into it! The top photo is of my appetizer, a triscuit with mustard, cheddar cheese, and a sardine one it, doctored up by J. He decided it would be nice to fit every food we had into said bite. So there are two types of cheese, salami, smoked salmon, and a sardine atop a pita. I lied, we had some more stuff than I claimed. This looks absolutely revolting if you ask me, but J said it was quite tasty, as evident below.

After a lovely meal of said appetizers and some sausages that the boys hungrily ingested, I thought, ok, I can eat in the wilderness. And I can sleep in the wilderness. It isn't so bad. Then J suggested I should write a cookbook of camping food and he offered to be my guinea pig. He said we can go every weekend and he will taste all the food. I said "don't push your luck buddy."


John said...

Well, those were some of the best (only) appetizers we've ever had out in the woods.

The entertainment recipes goes something like this: one part vodka, one part water and a package of lemonade crystal light. You sleep like a baby.

Great description of the weekends eats.


miss v said...

wow. i wish my camping food was like that. it's usually granola or a peanut butter sandwich, complimented by a can of miller high life lite.

my expectations just went to a whole new level. :)