After a fast-paced breakfast and determined lunch, supper is hyacinths for the soul. At last there's time to stretch out before a crackling fire and savor a tasty meal and a second cup of coffee without concern for self imposed time or the ambitions of your friends. And later there's corn to pop, brownies or cakes to bake, and flavored teas or hot spiced liquor to drink.
The mealtime gathering embodies all that's right and good about being in a place that's wild and free.
A grand (which need not mean lavish) supper encapsulates the mood of the day and sets a favorable tone for the morrow. A slovenly, tasteless meal evokes the opposite. Fortunately, quality suppers are easy if you adapt these guidelines and proven tricks.
As stated in the previous chapter, recipes should not be taken literally. Seldom do you need every item, in the amounts indicated. Cakes, for example, usually call for eggs-something you can omit on the trail and not miss at all. White sugar can be substituted for brown; or use honey, Karo, or maple syrup. In a pinch, try flavored, sweetened drink crystals. Need to stretch a meat, rice, or pasta dish? Just add some instant soup, potato buds, or Bisquick dumplings to the mix. And don't be afraid to mix flavors, say chicken-vegetable soup and beef stew. Imagination, and a willingness to experiment is the key to successful trail meals.
Pita Pizza for Four
This is, by far, everyone's favorite meal.
I N G R E D I E N T S
- One or two pieces of pita bread per person Y4 C
- 1/2 cup dried tomato powder
- 1/3 pound fresh mozzarella cheese (hard, fresh cheese keeps nearly a month if it's vacuum sealed)
- garlic powder
- cayenne pepper
Suggested toppings: pepperoni, summer sausage, hard salami, Canadian bacon, fresh onion, green pepper, black olives, canned mushrooms, anchovies, smoked oysters, etc.
1. Slice and fry the meat and drain off the grease on paper toweling. Thickly dice the vegetables and mushrooms, fry them a in light oil, then drain off the grease and set them aside.
2. To make the pizza sauce, pour 1/2 cup of tomato powder into a bowl and add water to make a thick paste. Sprinkle on oregano, garlic, basil, salt, and cayenne.
3. Fry an unsliced pita at low heat in a well-oiled, covered skillet. When the bottom of the pita is brown (about 20 seconds), flip it over and thickly spread on tomato sauce, cheese, cooked meat, and toppings to taste. Immediately add a dash of water (to steam-melt the cheese) and cover the pan. Allow the pizza to cook at very low heat for 30 seconds or until the cheese has melted. The result is beyond terrific!
Excerpted from Basic Essentials™ Cooking in the Outdoors by Cliff Jacobson with permission from Falcon Publishing. www.cliffcanoe.com