Camp Cooking - The Black Feather Guide to Eating Well in the Wild
I haven't done any serious camping since buying a cottage over twenty years ago, but I remember, with nostalgia, my days of backpacking and camping across Europe as a teenager and young adult; followed by the years of weekends and summer holidays with a young family camping across Canada. At that age camping was all we could afford and it was great fun. When we camped we ate things like hotdogs – or pots of fresh mussels in the Maritimes – and hotdogs for the kids. Breakfast was coffee and bacon and eggs over a wood fire - and those little boxes of cereal for the kids.
Well, camping and camp cooking have come a long way since then. Gone are the days of the hundred pound canvas tent and hot dogs. Today's campers have all the gear and now they have a cookbook too.
Camp Cooking - The Black Feather Guide to Eating Well in the Wild by Wendy Grater, owner and director of Black Feather Wilderness Adventures, is a spectacular book.
Full of gorgeous photographs of the stunningly beautiful places where Wendy and her guides have camped, and the most mouth-watering meals you can imagine. In fact, I could not have even imagined meals like these. It was enough to make me rush right out and book a Black Feather trip just so I can eat some of these meals.
As the introduction in this book states, "Wendy Grater has been guiding and feeding people for over 25 years. She's pioneered sea kayaking routes in Greenland, hiked remote Arctic wilderness and paddled almost every river Black Feather has run. Easygoing, yet committed to excellence, Wendy's energy and enthusiasm for sharing her love of the wild is contagious." That enthusiasm and energy is obvious in this book - every page expresses Wendy's adventurous spirit and love of the outdoors.
Camp Cooking is so much more than a cookbook - there is information about equipment, about food safety, and about planning for all sorts of trips.
This is a book for beginners and the most experienced campers, whether hiking, canoeing or kayaking. It is a sort of wilderness Joy of Cooking with all of the basics, from how to fillet a fish, to how to manage waste - all with concern for the environment. We are encouraged to enjoy the wilderness and leave not a footprint behind.
And like any good cookbook the pictures are so delicious that you could just enjoy looking at the pictures and never leave the house. But, leave the house I am sure you will, and you will eat outdoor meals like you have never known before.
Wendy will be at Parry Sound Books at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8, cooking up some of her favourite recipes and offering us a taste - and signing copies of her book, which you know will be the perfect gift for so many of your friends and family members this Christmas. Bon appétit!