Monday, September 24, 2012

The Primus Njord and his many friends

While on a backpacking/mountaineering trip to the Sawtooths in Idaho, I was tasked with cooking for 13 people. No easy feat with having to consider 35 pounds of food and what stoves and cookware we can pack on our backs.

Primus Njord 2 Burner Backpacking stove
Primus ETA Power
Primus EAT Solo
Primus Power Gas, 3- 450 gram canisters
1 GSI Medium Bugaboo Base Camper
GSI Pivot tools
GSI Kitchen 23

The ETA solo provides the quick heated water for coffee or tea and hot cocoa. The ETA Power EF is a good extra burner with 2.1 liter of cooking space.

Allow me to introduce the Prince making his debut to the majestic Idaho Mountains. My first time using the stove on a trip like this

The Primus Njord, 4 lbs of pure glory for a backcountry cook! The first night I threw on a couple of 3 liter pots and cooked up some Salmon Pesto Linguini.

In the AM put a griddle on the Njord and fried up some trout from the previous nights catch at Hell Roaring Lake. Oh my, nothing like fresh fish in the morning

After a tough day climbing up to the Finger of Fate, we return tired and hungry taste buds anxious for Sausage Penne Pasta. The Njord once again impresses us with its power and efficiency @ 7400 ft above sea level.

It’s a different type of task to cook for this many people at any level of remoteness. I can see many applications for this stove for my cooking future.

Climb High and Rock On!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Wild Journey

In The Wild Chef Book Launch Party - September 8th 2012 @ Sierra Trading Post Meridian Idaho.

I am grateful for my family, my friends and the acquaintances in my life that came to help me celebrate the launch of my cookbook. A 3 year journey in which along the way I was fortunate to be introduced to Steven Siler, publisher of Smoke Alarm Media, a Rock Star Publisher, Chef, Firefighter, a Southern Gentleman.

The learning curve to be a cookbook author is hard, fast and furious, and that is just the warm up. Of course there is nothing to prepare you for this process, you just have to jump in and hold on. It’s like taking a really fast ride in a jeep down a mountain road, moments of exhilaration and smashing your head against the dash and ceiling.

Minutes before the launch party the "rumor" is my book still might arrive. The night before, we learned that my books would not arrive until Monday (2 days late). Steven had made "sample books" and offered a gift card to the people that showed up expecting to buy a book and have me sign it.

The emotional rollercoaster peaked when several characters from Idaho's Mountain Climbing Community arrived. (I named recipes after several of them and others when it was appropriate to do so) "Wow! this is really happening!" I really have great family and friends. These are my peeps, my network. They are not outwardly disappointed that the book wasn’t there , they had came to celebrate this journey with me.

All who arrived received our In The Wild Chef t-shirt. It was exciting to witness a sea of Pistachio Green t-shirts with "Get a Little Wild in the Woods" logos flying around Sierra Trading Post.

I have a phrase, one I say frequently to my immediate family, "Nobody loves you more than me".
I would like to leave you with a slightly modified version of that~

Nobody loves and appreciates your support of my cookbook journey more than me!

Thank you to all!

Rock On

Monday, September 3, 2012

. . .  Extreme 11” Wok
Premium wok for the camping gourmet
I was excited to try out my new “Extreme Wok” from GSI Outdoors. I cook for groups of people outdoors both at the Trailhead and the Trail so on this day, I wanted to change things up a bit.

The first meal I cooked with my new toy was Sweet and Sour Chicken. I doused the wok with peanut oil and fired up the backpacking stove. Around the camp nobody has any interest in what I am doing until I hit the heated oil with garlic and chicken and then “…Whoa, what do you have going on there, Chef?”

I cooked the raw chicken for about 2 minutes and then pushed the chicken up on the walls of the wok. Now time for the veggie to take a jump into the bottom of the pool.  Lovin’ the sizzlin’. A crowd was forming around my kitchen domain and these people looked hungry! The veggies took just a minute to perfection. I then poured Sweet and Sour sauce (that I had made at home) over all the goodies and cooked it for one minute.

Now, I was a Toughguy Soldier in a former life, but I felt afraid for my person as the camp participants looked like they are going to mug me. Kind of like the meat handler at the Big Cat enclosure.I served up rice (previously cooked…a lifesaver when camping) on my GSI Medium Base Camper onto the plates and spooned the Sweet and Sour Chicken over everything. Yup, it WAS like watching feeding time at the Big Cat enclosure! The gang devoured it!

Seriously, I am really looking forward to using my Extreme Wok on future outings. Stir-fried veggies and meats are fun when you are cooking in the backcountry. And woks are probably one of the most versatile cooking pans. This is a wonderful tool and will be used frequently by me.
Rock on!