Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Camping Creations

Earlier in July, I had the extreme pleasure of going camping with one of my fave peeps and a fellow foodie, Ms. P. The weather was perfect and we spent Friday gathering our gear and getting ready while also squeezing in time for a quick look around a clothing store. Just as we set off I decided I needed a green tea for the road as I was driving and was quite tired so we nipped into Bean Around the World at Westview and I ordered my tea. It was a hot day so I asked for unsweetened ice tea. Apparently this is not easy to get hold of! lots of coffee shops have sweetened ice tea ready to go but unsweetened is clearly not popular so most places look at me quite blankly when I ask. This particular barista was especially perplexed so I explained I would like her to make the green tea as usual with hot water, let it steep for a bit and then add some ice. Some places make the tea with cold water and then add ice, resulting in tea that actually has less taste than plain water. After the explanation I was hopeful until no less than 30 seconds later, a cup with cold water and ice in it was handed to me...oh well, I'll just have to deal with it! So while I attempted to let my tea steep, Ms P and I sat reading the paper when the barista called out "anyone want a free Americano?" there was only one other person in the store, clearly she had messed up that order too! So Ms P was in luck and walked out with a large free coffee...the weekend was off to a great start!
Food wise, we decided that Bratwurst hotdogs were the order of the day. We stopped in Squamish to get supplies and hit the store at the perfect time as there were lots of samples. We chose out Bratwursts and picked up onions, buns as well as marshmallows for dessert. I have a bit of an onion specialty dish that I discovered during a previous camping trip and now it's impossible not to have them when I camp. I slice the onions very thin and put them in the pan with some olive oil. You can also add honey or balsamic vinegar if you like. Then slow cook the onions over the fire for about an hour until they caramelise. I leave the lid on the whole time and stir them occasionally. Taste them regularly until they have sweetened and softened enough. Add to perfectly charred hot dog...YUM!
The trip resulted in another creation too. We had a mango leftover from the salad earlier and so I cut it into chunks, added a bit of honey then wrapped it in foil and placed on the fire to heat and caramelise. Once the mango had caramelised, I added some marshmallows on top, re-wrapped and put in back on the fire for a minute or so to melt them. We weren't quite sure what to expect when we opened the package....dessert heaven or a complete waste of perfectly good marshmallows? We opened it up and the marshmallows had melted about 90% so had a perfect gooey texture. We literally dug in right away (with our camping sporks!)and O M G it was the best camping dessert ever! It quickly was devoured and conversation flowed about what other combos this style could work for...banana is the fruit of choice on the next trip...I can hardly wait!

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