Saucyman, I am going on an overnight(s) canoe trip with my special friend. Do you have a beef jerky recipe that will blow her away? This is our first trip away together and I really want to impress her. – Grizzled Adams
Grizzled, you are definitely paddling up the wrong creek here.
I am more along the lines of what you might call a great indoorsman. Sure, I have been ‘outside’, but who hasn’t? Years ago, I traveled with a special someone to a lake at the edge of a forest. Even then I didn't consider it camping, telling myself I was actually acquiescing to sex in the woods, only to find mosquitoes have more surface area to attack on a naked body. That was 18 years ago and I haven't been tempted by nature since.
For me, the great outdoors has been, well not so great. I am proud, very proud to be the only resident of the Pacific Northwest who does not know what the inside of an REI looks like. Not only have I never entered one, I shun my eyes when pass their display windows. As you might imagine this puts me at odds with the denizens in the upper left of the US map.
Singularly, I have railed against this pro-outdoor bias: Pointing out that for the last 50,000 years humanity has been moving away from the outdoors, constructing elaborate shelters, developing systems to deliver potable water and eradicating the threats from predators and disease carrying insects. All for what, so the drumbeat of civilization can be drowned out for 48 hours by a $400 backpack, a more expensive tent and eating food on the trail that is both charitably and accurately called rations? On the upside, having never set foot in fragile ecosystems, I am the lowest impact camper I know.
All I know about making jerky is watching Emile Hirsch/Alex Supertramp/Chris McCandless attempt to preserve meat in the movie version of Into the Wild. And considering that didn’t turn out to well, I am going to avoid giving pointers on how to make safe, edible and delicious jerky. However, I do three words of advice – New York City. Well maybe not the Isle of Manhattan itself but try a nice little jaunt to a more urban setting for your first trip together. Finding sushi and picking show you both want to see in a strange city can be stressful but it is easier than pitching a tent in the rain or digging your own latrine, nothing says like romantic get away like digging your own latrine.
A friend, who is the outdoor kind recommends this title as a decent camping cookbook but cautions he doesn’t hike inland for two days for the food. That is just something I don’t understand.
Next week Saucyman returns with a week of words & foods including a brand new feature – Word from the Kitchen.