DIRTY GOURMET

Food For Your Out­door Ad­ven­tures

Foreword Reviews - - Foresight -

Aimee Trudeau, Emily Niel­son, Mai-yan Kwan, Skip­stone (APRIL) Soft­cover $24.95 (256pp), 978-1-68051-129-1

Aimee Trudeau, Mai-yan Kwan, and Emily Niel­son share their pas­sion for the out­doors, the stun­ning South­ern Cal­i­for­nia land­scape, and fine food in their new cook­book, Dirty Gourmet. It high­lights their phi­los­o­phy that food is not just fuel for out­door ad­ven­tures but “a sig­nif­i­cant part of a jour­ney’s mem­ory.”

The book is di­vided into three sec­tions: “On the Trail,” “Car Camp­ing,” and “Back­coun­try Camp­ing.” Each con­tains use­ful ad­vice for meal plan­ning, cook­ing tips, a list of es­sen­tial gear, and recipes. The authors’ ex­pe­ri­ence and ex­u­ber­ance res­onate through­out. There is clear in­struc­tion and mo­ti­va­tion for en­joy­ing the out­doors, whether one is con­sid­er­ing a sim­ple day hike with young kids and a back­pack filled with fun pic­nic foods or launch­ing a restora­tive week­long back­woods get­away with friends, capped with end-of-trail cock­tails and desserts.

The em­pha­sis is on healthy, en­ergy-rich, mostly ve­gan and veg­e­tar­ian meals (cus­tom­iz­a­ble for om­ni­vores), though there are help­ings of awe­some eats for car­ni­vores and sweets fans (Bar­be­cue Pie Bombs or Pecan Pra­line Fon­due, any­one?). While most meals in­volve sim­ple prep and cook­ing tech­niques, there are de­tailed ex­pla­na­tions of camp­fire cook­ing meth­ods and lots of hearty break­fast ideas to jump-start phys­i­cally ac­tive days.

There are some sur­pris­ing and in­ven­tive recipes, too, such as English Muffins from scratch with home­made skil­let jam, ele­gant Baked Brie with Candied Pecans, Camp­fire Bibim­bap, and Ecuado­rian Canelazo, a hot drink con­cocted of spiced rum and or­ange juice.

Chatty recipe in­tro­duc­tions ex­hibit a lot of hu­mor and per­son­al­ity, and there are many re­minders to demon­strate re­spect for the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment by pack­ing ev­ery­thing out, prop­erly dous­ing camp­fires, and crit­ter­proof­ing camp­sites.

The trio have a deep love of back­coun­try camp­ing, not­ing that “the far­ther into the wilder­ness we get, the hap­pier we seem to be­come.” Hope­fully, this book will inspire more folks to get out­side and get cook­ing.

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