Get em while they’re hot, trail hounds. Read and listen here.
Get em while they’re hot, trail hounds. Read and listen here.
Can’t get much better packaging than Cream Of The West, a Montana “staple” since 1914. Not a bad name either…
After a few days out in the woods, it’s inevitable that the “What are we going to eat when we get back to civilization?” conversation is going to make its way to the campfire. We all have our favorites, and around these parts, it usually involves something Mexican. So it’s no surprise that on our recent excursion to the southwest, we were more than excited to taste some local fare. Perhaps it’s cheating to mention Tania’s 33 in this conversation as we actually ate here before departing to the Organ Pipes, but I can’t help but think that Tucson, AZ will be an après-camp destination for some of you in the months to come.
I don’t believe we’ve ever plugged a restaurant here on Cold Splinters before, so I’m happy that Tania’s is our first. There are all sorts of burritos out there in the world (Papalote after a long afternoon hike in Point Reyes is a fine choice) but the stupidly-good homemade flour tortillas (they’re vegan) and range of filling options (for those of you who don’t eat meat, their homemade soyrizo is, well, also stupidly-good) to satisfy any hungry hiker. And the owner, Rudy, who is pictured above, is just about the nicest guy in the world. It’s impossible to get him to shutup, so don’t ask too many questions about the impossible-to-read menu. Just go with it. Best pre/post camping meal I ever done had. Thanks to our host, Eric from MOCS1986, for the recommendation.
I’m sure you all have favorites, so hit me in the comments.
It usually happens that you’ll stop at a gas station/convenient store en route to wherever it is you’re going. And whether or not you need it, it’s probable that you’ll pick up some snacks (candy) for the trail. I can’t remember the last time that I went on a camping trip without some black licorice. (Though, yes, I usually get the individual sticks of Panda, which, no, you can’t usually pick up at a gas station.)
What do y’all buy? And I ain’t talking some Green Macriobiotic Seaweed Stevia snack. More like…candy necklaces or another Cold Splinters favorite, Boston Baked Beans.
I haven’t eaten meat in many years. There, I said it. And getting lightweight protein isn’t always the easiest thing (or tasty) for non-carnivores.
For that reason, May Wah, located in New York City’s Chinatown, has seen my credit card many of times before a big trip. Beef and Chicken flavored TVP (textured vegetable protein), vegan jerky (I like the spicy squid) and an array of other weird things (the mock lobster, which is obviously not trail food, comes shaped like a lobster) are wonderful for vegetarians, vegans and even meat eaters while out in the wild. I’m not usually a huge fan of these types of foods while back in town, but out in the woods, it sure is nice to have around.
I hadn’t seen the article until a few weeks ago when I made a pit stop in the store, but the New York Times wrote an article about May Wah in September, citing it as a great place for campers to buy snacks. Wild.
In any case, have a look around their website, learn more and thank me later. Or never.
Hardtack (also known as Pilot Bread, Ship’s Biscuit, Eskimo Cookies, Pilot Crackers etc.) refers to a simple cracker of flour and water. These bland little things will last for a long long time and were common fair for sailors, soldiers, and yes, campers back in the day. Today, most hardtack is made by Interbake Foods under the “Sailor Boy” label, pictured above. 98% of the their production goes to Alaska, where the crackers can be found just about anywhere.
There’s no denying that a few sips of alcohol will keep you a bit warmer in these colder months. Whiskey is usually the camping go-to, but around these parts we’re partial to Laird’s Applejack – aka Jersey Lightning. The cider spirit tastes just like alcohol should taste around a big ol’ fire.
Keep it comin.
There’s an article on the NYTimes website today, written by Dwight Garner, about the peanut butter and pickle sandwich. If you read this rag regularly or know me personally, you’re hip to the fact that peanut butter is quite the obsession in these parts, so these idiot articles get me a little excited. In his intro, Garner references Ernest Hemingway’s favorite sandwich, peanut butter and onion on white bread, a recipe I’ve been meaning to write about on CS for many moons. The sandwich, which I’ve consumed more than a few times, though unfortunately not on white bread, is a real time. And of course, like always, chunky is king.
“Well, go down to the galley and see if that bottle of tea is cold and bring it up. Antoni’s butchering the fish, go make a sandwich will you, please?
“Sure. What kind of sandwich?”
“Peanut butter and onion if there’s plenty of onion.”
“Peanut butter and onion it is, sir.”
He handed a sandwich, wrapped in a paper towel segment, to Thomas Hudson and said, “One of the highest points in the sandwich-maker’s art. We call it the Mount Everest Special. For Commanders only.
And in honor of the weird Lyle Lovett reference in the NYTimes article, here’s a hell of a Tuesday morning tune:
If you’ve read any of the previous posts about camping food in these parts, you’ll notice that most of them contain some sort of tofu/TVP/peanut butter ingredient, so it might be obvious at this point that I don’t eat meat. Though after years of practice, it’s rather simple to work with while in the woods, and if I’m really being completely honest with myself, all I crave after a full day of hiking is a massive amount of carbs.
Chickpea flour, or Gram/Besan flour, is a mainstay at home and is easy to pack into the backcountry as a source of protein. Here’s a very easy recipe for Indian chickpea “burgers” to try instead of those god awful freeze-dried packs of “food.” Man, I get the easy cleanup and preparation of those suckers, but they’re all just so bad. So so bad. It’s like eating McDonalds at your wedding. Sort of.
Recipe after the jump…
As mentioned previously, I spent a few nights on the JMT last week with friends from Juniper Ridge and beyond. Because I was in a foreign land, I made a stop at the Whole Foods in Oakland before we headed out to Yosemite and made it a point to buy only things that I’d never eaten on the trail. Of course I always eat loads of nut butter (everyone told me to stop calling it that), but surprisingly enough, I’d never bought these little packets of Justin’s. Game changer. Anyone? Yes, probably everyone. Chocolate Hazelnut and Chocolate Almond literally taste like brownie mix. And they’re vegan too, if that may matter to ya. Score.
Have the goddamn weekend of your lives, alright?
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