In my many years of kicking it back in the boonies of the Northern Rockies, the foothills of Pocatello, and more recently, the backside of Pebble Creek, I have become quite a connoisseur of outdoor cuisine. Not just your average pinecone in a bush, but foods likely to satiate your growling stomach (which hikers often mistake as myself growling), especially when they tease the palette.
I have outreached to just a few others about my aesthetic tastes. Over the years I have corresponded with my wonderful cousin in the snowy Himalayas, and my short companion in the deserts of Mexico. They, too, like to hear of my extravagant diet of flattened squirrels sprinkled with a pinch of sagebrush, clear Scout Mountain spring water with its sweet, soft texture, and the occasional abandoned ham sandwiches left behind by some startled campers (not my fault, they ran before I could say hello).
They too, have shared their favorite dishes, (my cousin from the Himalayas enjoys lichen and wild boar soup), but recently I have had the desire to spread my contact with others regarding my outdoor preferences. I have overheard from hiking junkies that they love posting their food online. And, as I lack a camera but have honed my writing skills to a superb apex, I will instead inform you of my most tasty dishes through this blog.
The first is the sticky pine crepe avec juniper berries. It is composed of tender pine-tree sticks, succulent toadstool, and juniper berries, all drizzled in sage sap and sprinkled with the flakes of thin bug wings. It is one of my favorites, and quite frankly, I know no one else who makes a meaner sticky crepe than me. 4.3 stars.
The next dish is tough to make mainly because its ingredients must all be fresh for the most optimal oomph: Ratasouille. Never will you ever slurp on something as fine and as spiced as freshly-snipped rat tails, minced ticks and earwigs with their saucy insides, and grated moss all stirred in a thick gravy of freshly-squashed road kill. Tough, but has its unadulterated savor. There’s a reason why we sasquatches smell the way we do, but we wouldn’t give up this wallop of a dish for anything. 4.1 stars.
Lastly, I must confess I lose control when it comes to this dish. It is subtle in its zest, but once you get a clot of it, you can’t stop. It is the crayssant du eau de source—a mellow casserole of spring water crayfish meat and creamy lizard eggs. This dish is best served if you are starved and there are no nearby campers’ food bins to raid through, since it will keep you stuffed for days afterwards. 4.5 stars.
And there you have it. The most-favored dishes that an outdoor cuisine connoisseur can offer. My only advice now is the next time you are hiking Scout Mountain, Gibson Jack, or sometimes even Red Hill, if you see me on the horizon, say hello, I am more than happy to share more recipes or even cook up a meal with you.
And I promise: I won’t eat you.