Culinary Marvels in the Back Country

It seems as though Kananaskis was the must visit destination of this summer. I made it there a few times; Chris went backpacking over August long, we spent Logan‘s Stag at Pocaterra and even my sister; the self described “city slicker” went backpacking. Now for those who know my sister she’s somewhat of a foodie. She even runs a blog dedicated to sandwiches and sandwiches alone, so when I heard she was headed to one of my favorite provincial parks I knew she would be throwing caution to the wind(see article) and stirring things up on the old one burner.

 

In the same way I’ve never understood why hiking clothes look so dorky, so too I’ve never understood why camping food has to be uninspiring and dehydrated. On a recent trip to Upper Kananaskis Lake’s Point campground I was determined to prove that city slickers like myself can do the backcountry in style. This meant hiking in a halter dress and decadent menu planning for fresh veggies and herbs, smoked salmon, baked scones and hot chocolate from France. Bizarre according to some campers, but so worth it!

 

First we hiked in about 5 kilometers. Essential culinary things to bring were a one-burner element and fuel, a pot with lid that turns into a frying pan, water filtration system and two water bottles, two table settings and of course, ingredients for all of our fantastic meals!

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Maple soba noodles with veggies, basil and cashews

Soba is a Japanese noodle made of buckwheat. They’re easy to cook, in the same way you would cook pasta, but pack an extra punch with more protein and nutrients than regular pasta – great for hiking! The flavour of the noodles is subtly nutty and pairs well with other Asian seasonings like ginger, basil and soy sauce.

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Backcountry Hike-Day Breakfast

To get ready for our hike, we started with some fresh fruit and coffee before getting serious about breakfast. Smoked salmon sounds fancy, but it’s one of the easiest things to pack because it comes in tidy little packages or cans. We also hard-boiled four eggs ahead of time, but take caution to keep these in a cooler during the drive in and eat them all on the first day or they’ll spoil. The potatoes were then par-boiled and fried in butter. All practicalities aside, check out the pictures of this fantastic breakfast, complete with fresh herbs and a packet of ketchup.

 

Later on our hike I realized that the same hanky I was using as a table cloth, wash cloth and scarf to keep the hot afternoon sun off my neck smelled like the smoked salmon we had for breakfast and was perfect bear-bait. Smooth move, city slicker!

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White cheddar and herb buttermilk scones

The highlight of the trip was a batch of fresh “baked” white cheddar and herb buttermilk scones, complete with morning sunshine over the mountains and Kicking Horse coffee. The scone recipe was adapted from a backcountry cookbook and fried in the same little pan we cooked everything else in. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side and get ready for a gorgeous morning.

 

-Anthea Black

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