Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Art of Simple Food and Camping

I want to be one of those really sturdy types of people who simply THRIVES in the outdoors, but the truth is, I find it a little challenging. All that dirt! All those crazy yahoos camping way too close to our camp site as they knock back cheap beer after cheap beer, followed by the sound of a sorority girl puking not too far from our tent - kind of a buzzkill! And then there was the constant soundtrack of classic rock blaring from the neighboring campers...I mean, whatever happened to campfire songs under the stars? HOW ON EARTH IS ONE SUPPOSED TO FOCUS ON THEIR SCRABBLE GAME STRATEGIZING WITH THE NEIGHBORING CAMPERS SITTING ON THEIR DAMN WHOOPEE CUSHION REPEATEDLY???

If we wanted dirt and noise pollution, we could've stayed in Oakland and camped in the back yard! But what can you do but make the best of it? We played a lot of Scrabble under the light of the moon, we splashed in the Russian River with two dogs, and we made ravioli with cherry tomatoes and fresh basil using our brand new camping stove. And we figured out how to set up the tent! And we didn't burn anything down!

It was fun while it lasted, but I could hardly wait to get home and cook something fresh (not to mention, take a shower and sleep in comfort again!). Since I've been enjoying the Alice Waters book The Art of Simple Food so much recently, I decided to enjoy it a little more. Dinner on Sunday night was a frittata with chard and onions, and green beans with almonds, garlic and lemon juice. Another delicious meal.

Simple food really is an art, and I've yet to find anyone who explains this art better than Ms. Waters, so I strongly suggest you add this cookbook to your own collection. I think you'll be glad you did, whether you are a beginning cook or a seasoned pro. I wish I had some suggestions about how to make your next camping experience more idyllic, but I guess I'm not the expert on that matter yet. But I'm determined to keep trying, oh yes I am....

No comments: