Savory dishes for the shoulder-season.
I grew up in a family that embraced the convenience of freeze-dried meals and deviled ham when it came to camping trips. It wasn’t until a college spring break trip to Baja’s Bahia Concepción that I discovered it’s possible to actually, you know, cook while camping. We’d procured some scallops from the bay. My friend Caroline, an avid cook, sautéed them with garlic and chili flakes, adding a splash of her beer and a squeeze of lime to finish. I was gobsmacked—left to my own devices, I’d been subsisting on canned frijoles refritos and tortillas. That pivotal moment not only inspired me to go to culinary school, it redefined what I thought of as camping fare. Today, there are certain ingredients that are staples in my home and backcountry kitchen….
Motes of ochre and gold cover our shoes. Grains of sand, millennia-old and shaped by wind and water, feel as insubstantial as flour or dust. Yet all around us, we see towers and walls hundreds of feet tall, sculpted into wondrous forms from these same grains. A thousand kilometers to the north the Pyrenees are locked deep into winter mode, ski tourers and mountaineers playing on frozen faces and in deep powder. Here in Andalusia, we’re bathed in bright light, desert heat and cricket chirps. The smells of a desert environment are totally different, judging by Whip the dog’s intense sniffing and tail thumping. He’s static, nose in the air, nostrils flaring as he takes in the scent of wild animals, dust and a million other molecules that we can’t…
No dehydrator needed—a regular oven will do just fine.
Story And Photos By Laurel Miller It’s a well-documented fact amongst my family and friend that I’ll eat anything, as long as it makes for a good story or I’m getting paid (aka “working”). I’ve eaten everything from dog to witchetty grubs in the name of travel and research, and frankly, I don’t understand why people make such a big deal about the Donner Party’s diet. I draw the line, however, at freeze-dried backpacker meals. I was a seriously picky eater as a kid, and the two lingering scars are the aforementioned- what I like to refer to as “crap in a bag-” and airline food. I know people who actually think both are tasty; as someone who’s eaten man’s best friend, I’m certainly not in a position to judge….