anna brones

writer + artist + producer

If You Can Cook Camp Food, You Have All the Skills You Need for Quarantine Cooking (Here are a Few Recipes)

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What do quarantine and camping have in common? “Not much” you say, as you stare at your living room wall for the 572nd time today, dreaming of outdoor trips. No, at the outset there aren’t a lot of parallels. But if you do spend time outside, there’s one thing that you just might be well trained to do in this moment: make food.

In the outdoor kitchen, you’re limited by ingredients, just like right at this moment you’re wondering how to turn yet another can of cans into dinner. Yes, quarantine cooking and camp cooking require some of the exact same creative skills.

A few years ago, my friend Brendan Leonard and I wrote a book called Best Served Wild, devoted to the outdoor kitchen. And yes, a few of those recipes were inventions of necessity, born out of needing to use things up (hello, banana fritters).

Turns out, that’s exactly how we are cooking in our kitchens right now. Go to the back of the pantry, find a can of beans, maybe a half dried out carrot in the fridge and figure out what the fuck to make for dinner.

We wanted to help you out, so we pulled together five different camp cooking recipes that felt right for this moment. And just like in the outdoors, don’t forget your spice kit or the hot sauce.

One last thing. Because there’s only so much excitement you can get from quarantine cooking. Take some tips from the outdoors.

Camp meals taste good, because usually there was some physical effort involved in making them happen. Don’t let quarantine stop you. If an expedition team can do the equivalent climb to Everest base camp at home, the least the rest of us can do is some lunges while the chili cooks. 

And if all else fails, pretend like you’re camping on a rainy night. Sit on the floor and take shelter under your kitchen table. We promise that hummus just got a little more tolerable.

Lead photo: a fun couscous recipe you could also try.

Written by Anna Brones

April 29, 2020 at 12:55

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