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Veggie Burgers in Paradise

December 13, 2007


This picture barely begins to represent the natural wilderness and beauty on Cayo Costa Island.   Midwinter beach excursions are the perfect remedy for a buildup of overwhelmed stress during holiday time.  First of all, if you blow all your money in the beginning of the month, you don’t have much left for the barrage of consumerism to follow and are therefore forced into creative frugality.  Plus, you feel like a movie star, you know, the ones caught on camera surfing in Hawaii while the rest of us freeze to death on our way to and from work.    Point being, I highly recommend a random, twelve hour drive to the ends of the Earth for the sake of irresponsibility and beach lounging. 

When one must carry one’s food on land, car, and boat, food quality often suffers.  Unless, in my case, you have spent the previous week obsessing about the perfect culinary choices for camping.  For breakfast, I had yogurt with banana maple walnut granola, bananas, and lemonade spritzers.  For lunch it was organic cheesy poofs, pitas slathered with spinach-artichoke dip (or hummus or pimento cheese), sprouts, cucumbers, tomatoes, spinach, and carrot shavings.  Then a Lunabar. 

When camping, supper becomes the focal event of the day.  Our first night on the island, we cooked a mixed seafood grill on the barbie.  This entailed a number of personal “firsts,” including first time I ever started a charcoal grill all by myself, first time I ever skewered swordfish, first time teaching someone to peel and devein shrimp, and first time I’ve ever ingested so many flesh-eating bugs in the process. 

The seafood mixed grill was nothing but Old Bay seasoning, butter, and lime juice, spread across fat scallops, pink shrimp, and a fabulous cut of swordfish.  Too lazy to chop the potatoes we had lugged over, this decadent meal we paired with a heaping portion of more cheesy poofs.  Endless, cheesy, poofs. 

The next night Queen Kirstifa heated up her homemade chili.  From what I can remember, (the rest of the night is fuzzy) this recipe featured zucchini, fake ground beef, onion, a myriad of crisp dried beans, and cheese on top.  We had a giant wheel of Ammish herbed cheese to last us the weekend.  Our tenuous new friend Ranger Mark brought us some of his homemade cranberry bread as the perfect side to our meal. 

I can’t end this post without mentioning the numerous and creative cocktails we created on our wilderness beach retreat.  Someone picked up Knudson’s pineapple-coconut juice at Greenlife, and we mixed that with OJ and rum.  The pina-colada juice was thin and not substantial enough to hold it’s own against the rum, and had to be added after the OJ to keep the tropical flavors along with the acid.   Vodka tonics followed, then some accidental rum tonics, and the squat jugs of table wine found in the center of Greenlife’s wine  section did the trick just fine.  I think we drank some water somewhere in there as well. 

I still am in search of The Perfect Camping Food.  Any suggestions??

2 Comments leave one →
  1. queen kirstifa permalink
    December 21, 2007 8:23 pm

    there were sweet potatoes and corn in the chili. no zuccini, actually. hp had made a homemade garam masala and used a mirapoux to give it a robust flavor. or something. sorry the beans were still a bit al dente.

  2. Shelley permalink
    January 24, 2008 11:47 am

    Long time! Revisiting your blog today, I read the question about camping food. Check out my friend Christina’s blog at One of her entries is about a great camp food experience. Just building some cross-blog communication.

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