Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Camp Cooking, Forest Service Style

Camp Cooking by the National Museum of Forest Service History, Gibbs 2004

I spent the first half hour just looking at the old pictures of rangers, Forest Service cabins and historical monuments. There are old poems, recipes scrawled on lined paper and one fantastic diagram of a hillside BBQ oven. It was fascinating! Each recipe is from a forest service employee.

I then set out examining the actual recipes in categories of basics, breakfast, bread, veggies, sides, main dishes and desserts. I was intrigued by Champagne Stuffed Mushrooms and was brought back to a camping trip when I was young with Beer Battered Trout. My mouth watered at the Pina Colada Cake and the 20 step canned cake.

There are little known dutch oven facts like dutch ovens can be stacked to use heat effectively and that they can crack! There is a large section on sourdough from starter to greet recipes. There are methods for cooking different items as well.

I found this little spiral masterpiece more than a cookbook. It is a historical look back at a time when camping didn't involve self inflating air mattresses and solar ipod charging mechanisms. The romance of the forest service shines through the recipes actual members cooked. Grab this book for your next camping trip to cook with and then to read by the campfire (not headlamp) as the stars twinkle overhead.

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