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The Food Party!

By Laura Stec

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About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and en...  (More)

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Camp Glamp

Uploaded: Aug 29, 2014

Just back from Camp Glamp - the annual gathering of my gal pals at an outdoor California paradise. This year we survived the road to Lake Pillsbury, a surprisingly full, really big and beautiful lake one hour east of Ukiah. Takes about 3.5 hours to get there from the Bay Area, but it's the last 10 miles (which takes about one hour) that'll get cha'.

The older we get, the more fooph we seem to bring; full size air mattresses instead of Therm-a-Rests, real bedding instead of sleeping bags, lie-down loungers rather than camp chairs. We've definitely moved into the glamping stage.

Food is an area you can really glamp-it-out. I've always enjoyed cooking outdoors and with relatively little effort, you can whip up some memorable meals. On Friday, Cynthia sautéed cherry tomatoes, onions, spinach and shrimp into organic whole wheat penne for a delicious dinner (Kale Almond Salad on the side). The next night, I chopped up Ukiah Farmers Market produce into a quick Asian Lettuce Wrap with Cashew Peanut Sauce and Dang Coconut Chips (recipe is kid approved I might add). It's very glampy to stop at the local farmers market on your way in, so check online for market dates in towns near your next camp.

A meal we all look forward to is breakfast with Elaine because she makes her famous Crunchy Pancakes. Personally, pancakes are the biggest waste of calories around, but these satisfy more than just a blood sugar rush. With protein-rich, glampy ingredients premixed at home, just milk and eggs need to be whisked in at camp. Topped with a little Straus organic yoghurt and seasonal fruit, you'll feel like you are eating at the Post Ranch Inn. Add fresh brew from glamp side trip to local coffee company, here Melissa suggested Ukiah's Black Oak, and you are California traveling in style. Sunset Magazine - watch out!

It's the extra touches that can turn any camp into a glamp. One of my favorites involves the ultimate food tool, reused. Next time you get a new toothbrush, put the old one in your gear. There's nothing better than taking a quarter shower with an old toothbrush. Brighten up those toes ladies! A few scrubs and that nasty ol' pedicure looks like brand new! I'm just talking Camp Glamp.

If you are lucky enough to be in California these next two months, I encourage you to take outdoor advantage of some of the best weather we have all year.

Summer's not over yet.

I went to the woods, to suck the marrow out of the bone of life, so that when I died, they could not say, I did not live.
- Thoreau (oh, and Robin Williams)

Elaine's Crunchy Pancakes (serves 3)
- recipe by Charlene Prickett

3/4 c whole wheat flour (substitute gluten free all purpose)
2 T rolled oats
2 T shelled sunflower seeds
2 T sesame seeds
2 T wheat bran
1 T wheat germ
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1 c buttermilk
1 egg, beaten

Toast sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and wheat germ. Allow to cool.
Combine all dry ingredients. (This dry mixture can be bagged and kept for weeks.)

In a separate bowl, beat the egg and mix it with the other wet ingredients.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and cook until both sides of pancakes are light brown.

Note: Since buttermilk may not be readily available, substitute milk or water.

Want more info? sources glamorous camping options the world over. has great photos and lists user experiences.

What is it worth to you?


Posted by Glampa, a resident of Blossom Valley,
on Aug 30, 2014 at 6:33 am

I'd define this more as car camping. that's what we used to call it...pack every single creature comfort you can pack into the car. A glorious thing after several sparsely supplied back-pack trips

I've felt the "Glamping" experience is for people uneasy about spending more than 4 hours away from a fully dressed bed and a flush toilet.
Basically, hotel complexes with hotel style furniture set up in floored tents as seen in the link provided. I like luxury hotels and I like camping. True glamping, as shown on the website, reminds me of a hermaphrodite of sorts: it has both parts, but doesn't do the job of either one particularly well.

Posted by Laura Stec, a Almanac Online blogger,
on Aug 31, 2014 at 8:24 am

Laura Stec is a registered user.

Glampa, Thanks for the comment. Glamping is relative of course, especially if you used to arrive at many a campsite by bike, like I did in my younger years, where comforters and air mattresses did not fit well in the panniers.

Posted by Laura Stec, a Almanac Online blogger,
on Aug 31, 2014 at 8:25 am

Laura Stec is a registered user.

Extra points to the person who knows when Robin Williams quoted Thoreau.

Posted by fwiw, a resident of Woodside: other,
on Aug 31, 2014 at 12:49 pm

> Extra points to the person who knows when Robin Williams quoted Thoreau.

Has to be Dead Poet's Society.

Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Aug 31, 2014 at 5:10 pm

That is my kind of camping. Throw in a hot shower every morning, and I can "rough" it for a week.

Posted by Laura Stec, a Almanac Online blogger,
on Sep 1, 2014 at 8:03 am

Laura Stec is a registered user.

You got it fwiw. Williams shortens the actual quote in the movie, and watching Dead Poets was the first time I had ever heard it. I remember rewinding and rewinding until I copied down the words. Love it!

Posted by Ruffin_It, a resident of Cuesta Park,
on Sep 2, 2014 at 5:24 pm

Sounds wonderful, except that enamel cookware you are using is leaking all kinds of toxic stuff you won't want on your food. :)

Posted by Laura Stec, a Almanac Online blogger,
on Sep 2, 2014 at 6:24 pm

Laura Stec is a registered user.

ooo, Ruffin_it. I haven't heard - do tell.

Posted by fwiw, a resident of Woodside: other,
on Sep 3, 2014 at 10:05 am

Woo Hoo! I get extra points! :-)

Thanks for the idea of Lake Pillsbury. Looks great. I'll put that on the list as a place to check out with the kayaks and kids.

Recommended campground?

And thanks for your blog! Always enjoy the perspective.

Posted by fwiw, a resident of Woodside: other,
on Sep 3, 2014 at 10:22 am

> enamel cookware you are using is leaking all kinds of toxic stuff

Remain calm and take a deep breath. That's porcelain enamel which is basically inert. Porcelain has such a high firing temperature that would preclude lead. In the 1970's health concerns about cadmium were raised where it was used in the outside glazing for some cookware to get the red color. Credible manufacturers such as La Crueset stopped using it even though it wasn't part of the food contact surface.

If it's less than a couple of decades old, your enamel cooking pans are likely considered amongst the healthiest choices available.

Posted by fwiw, a resident of Woodside: other,
on Sep 3, 2014 at 10:31 am

> La Crueset

Of course that's Le Crueset for those Francophiles.

Posted by Laura Stec, a Almanac Online blogger,
on Sep 3, 2014 at 1:54 pm

Laura Stec is a registered user.

Uh oh - we have controversy brewing but with only s few days left for this blog. Extra points gets you closer to wonderful prizes of course! This year we will give away a couple tickets to the Winter Fancy Food Show - Jan 11 - 13 at Moscone in SF so stay tuned. Now that's a Food Party!

Posted by Laura Stec, a Almanac Online blogger,
on Sep 3, 2014 at 1:57 pm

Laura Stec is a registered user.

FWIW - I got carried away. We were in campsite #39, in the area called Lazy Acres. One night we were the only ones there! (a Monday late in the season).

There are other US Forest Service sites on the north end of the lake. M visited all three and they "were all nice, more wooded." But less glampy - pit toilets for example.

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