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clothes free vacation, pt. 8: camp yumz

Confession: theft almost happened during this clothes free vacation. You’ll understand in just a few lines. Who doesn’t experience temptation to steal delicious food? Put your hand down. You know you’ve wanted to steal something delicious from an unsuspecting individual!

I will first say that at the Northeast Naturist Festival at Empire Haven Nudist Park, there was an option to purchase a meal package. However, I wanted to focus my resources on the camping experience, so I opted to go that route rather than purchase a meal plan. Also, I like being able to make my own foods, because I’m moody and weird, and nobody should have to put up with that (although my friend was an excellent sport; I should send him a gift or something).

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 12.10.45 AMSo, camp cooking! My friend had this magical little stove that is perfect for camping. This guy seriously knows what he is doing when it comes to all this camping stuff, and he struck gold when he got this tiny stove. If it were left up to me, it would have been a diet of raisins. This stove, folks, is the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life. It’s a Biolite CampStove and it does everything. Grill? Done. Hot water for tea? Yep. Tiny pots and skillets? Check. Charges your phone? Mmhmm! Your kid’s math homework? Um… not sure about that, but, it does all the other stuff. Seriously, I almost eloped with that tiny stove. It’s amazing. Yes, you should click that link and check it out. Incidentally, one of the NPR podcast episodes I ended up listening to on the drive back home was an interview with Biolite Co-founder Jonathan Cedar. But I digress; falling in love with a stove will do that to a person.

Anyway, my friend brought these delicious veggie burgers that grilled beautifully on the stove. I would have taken a picture of them, but I put my face in them so fast…and it’s rude to be on the phone while eating with people. And you know, no photography allowed on the grounds anyway. We got down to the last 3 patties one day, and I was all, “Heyyy… so yeah how many of these did you want?” He was a complete gentleman, “Oh have as many as you li…” I snatched 2 of the 3 before his response was complete. Bless his heart. And his hungry belly.

 Don’t look at me like that! I had my contributions as well! Of course, this being my first camping experience, I had no idea what to do. He told me about Yummly, which was a great resource. I like both the full site as well as the mobile app. The app in particular was great, because I found a lot of easy recipes while running frantically around the grocery store. Two things I made for the first time: a spicy hummus and a spinach artichoke dip. I play vegan, so I did such variations of both. I had attempted hummus once before, and I am not sure what I was doing at the time, but it was a definite fail. (You know what it was? I wasn’t cooking clothes free back then. Yep, that’s what it was!) This time, however, I was a madly creative and confident clothes free chef in the kitchen, and wow did that ever work out! I started with the base recipe for the Spicy Hummus and increased the spicy by a factor of crazy. But see how yummy?

 I loved the spinach artichoke dip the most. I actually started with the Yummly base recipe for a vegan Spinach Dip, and then realized that I really missed artichoke and that I absolutely had to have it (see? fussy). So, artichoke happened. I can’t remember exactly how much, as I felt it out while running my tiny food processor. It turned out so well, and I was very proud of myself. There’s just something about cooking clothes free that makes me feel super confident. I allow myself to experiment and make mistakes, knowing that in the end everything will be just fine. That’s a whole new kind of attitude for me to have, that confidence that everything will be fine, and that “fine” has nothing to do with perfection.

The great thing about those two recipes is that I could simply toss everything into my little food processor and whip it all together in just a few minutes. I love easy, simple recipes, because they are sustainable and affordable for me. Extravagant things, especially when trying to work vegan, become terribly expensive. Both dips traveled well in a cooling bag that I’d bought, and they lasted well for the whole trip.

We did get a little fancy in the final days of the experience. I made a spinach kale & avocado salad with couscous and mushrooms one night. The couscous was wonderfully easy to make in the tiny pot on the tiny stove. The water came to a boil quickly, and once that happened, all I had to do was toss in the couscous, take the pot off the fire, and let it stand 5 minutes. Easy! The mushroom recipe from Campfire Vegan was fantastic, and wrapping them in foil after marinating them in a little coconut butter spread with spices over that tiny stove’s fire made for a delicious addition to the dish.

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 12.24.35 AMThe next day, my friend threw down on the tiny stove. He made these delicious marinated grilled peppers on skewers with potatoes and grilled corn for one meal, and then delicious vegan tacos for another. (This guy isn’t even vegan, and he’s a better vegan than me. Show off!) Oh my goodness, y’all. Those vegetables worked out well on that tiny stove. And the corn. THE CORN, folks. His grilled corn made my stomach dance it was so good. I know, I should have brought some back to share with you all, but… you know, face in food.

We also had simple things like trail mixes, pistachios, peanut butter, rice cakes, bananas, apples, plums, and so forth. All those things were great go-to snack items that kept my tummy quite happy.

So, who wants to eat? I’m hungry.

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