Into the WildPosted: May 20, 2009
This weekend, the 30/Week household is going camping with friends up in the Adirondack State Park. More specifically, we’re going camping on a little island in a big lake in the Adirondack State Park that we will be reaching by canoe.
Campfire cooking is one of my favorite kinds of cooking. For one thing, you’re outside in a (hopefully) beautiful locale. For another, it takes a while because you have to build and tend the fire, but that’s perfectly fine because you’re not rushing off anywhere anyway. And of course everything you cook gets that wood smoke flavor to it…sometimes because you end up getting a fair amount of flying ash in your food, but whatever.
This is one venue where our rule about investing time rather than money is especially true. Buying prefab freeze-dried camping food in fancy foil packages is super-expensive. Traditional camp cooking with basic ingredients and minimal equipment can be super-cheap and rewarding. The only packaged foods we tend to bring on camping trips are a package of veggie dogs and s’more fixins. Besides that, we usually bring seitan steaks and eggs to fry up in a skillet, potatoes to wrap in foil and bury in the coals (apples are great this way too), and we’ve had a couple of questionable experiments baking bannock on a stick. Basic salad ingredients are a good bet as well, since so much camping food is on the heavy side.
This time around, we are planning to try some lentils and couscous with caramelized onions. Maybe not so traditional (at least in the American camp cooking canon), but we think this is definitely a recipe that will work well with some extra smoke.
Anyway, we have until Friday to finalize our menu. Any suggestions?