"Not all those who wander are lost"

Dirtbag Dining

There is no love sincerer than the love of food.

-George Bernard Shaw

 

Food.  We all love it.  Well, I suppose not everyone loves food, but I sure do and that’s what counts. This is the first in a new category of posts I plan doing.  Instead of blabbing about the tasty food I make or find in regular posts I’ve decided to make them separate.  And now, may I present: Dirtbag Dining!

 

Many of you would be surprised to know that the sprawling metropolis of Ten Sleep, Wyoming (population 260, but this might include cows) has very little vegan or even vegetarian food.  The local cuisine tends to favour carnivores over even the omnivores.  Basically if it doesn’t come from a cow, then you can’t get it.  Needless to say, I didn’t go out to eat much.

Instead I did my stuck to my usual dirtbag diet of rice and veggies, pasta, and burritos.  As with everything, this got old.  Soon I found myself experimenting to make the same old rice and pasta more interesting.  I made various curries and stir fries, which are absurdly easy even while camping.  The one that I found the easiest and best though was a simple stir fry with a peanut sauce.

It’s about as easy as you can get.  Step one, cook rice.  Step too, stir fry any veggies you want.  Step 3, mix peanut butter (sans sugar is much better for this), soy sauce, and siracha sauce with a little water to make the desired consistency.  You can also add any spices you want to the sauce, try experimenting.  Simple and delicious.

My real revelation was baking in my cast iron pan.  I’ve always liked baking, but it’s hard to do when all you have is a two burner Colman stove, or so I thought.  In reality, it’s just a bit different.  You can’t expect the perfect even cooking you get from a stove, but it can sure make some great food.

I started by making cornbread using a recipe I got from my mom.  It’s not a vegan recipe but I just ignored the eggs and used rice milk to make it vegan.  Cooking it was the real challenge.  In order to keep it hot without burning the bottom I put the burner on as low as it could go, occasionally moved the pan around to cook the sides more, and turned the burner off here and there.  In order to keep heat in I used various lids I could borrow from friends or my plate if no lids were available.  The real problem here was that all the moisture that would normally bake off in an oven was held in.  I would take the lid off periodically and shake water drops off it, but the top of the corn bread still ended up very moist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the end the cornbread was slightly crispy on the bottom and very soft and moist on the top.  The middle was cooked nicely.  Personally, I thought it tasted great and might even prefer it cooked like this.  Success!

Thus began a baking rampage highlighted by cinnamon rolls, hot fudge sundae cake, and more cornbread.  It was all quite tasty.  Hope some people out there experiment with baking in cast iron and if you do drop me a line and let me know how it went.

2 Responses

  1. ErikaE

    I can personally attest that the fudge cake was awesome. Hope 2013 is great Dylan! 😀

    -E

    January 4, 2013 at 4:03 am

    • admin

      Thanks for the comment Erika! I’m glad you liked it. Don’t forget to ‘Like’ Climb the Globe on Facebook. Hope to see you around Wyoming again this summer!

      May 27, 2013 at 10:56 pm

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