|Our humble abode|
So I’ll admit it. I had my first experience camping. Sure I went when I was younger once with the girl scouts, but as an adult–never. We went up to Woodlands Valley Park in New York with some friends and rented a camper. You know those old VW campers that had the engine in the back and you could pop up the top and sleep in it? Yeah, we got a new version of those…with the engine in the front and significantly less risk of explosion. We actually rented it through a cool car sharing website, Relay Rides.
Basically people put their cars up on the website to be rented out, you contact the person if you like their car, they rent it out for a price per day or per hour, and Relay Rides takes a cut and covers the insurance, road side assistance, and billing for the person renting the car. It’s basically like zipcar, although with a greater selection of cars, and allows the renter to make some money on a car that would be otherwise devaluing in their garage, pretty neat, no?
Anyways, if you’re nervous about camping, or new to camping, or just don’t feel like sleeping on the ground but want to be outside-ish [pseudo-camping if you will], consider the VW Camper–it’s got a propane stove, can sleep 4 and seat 6, a place where you can charge things, storage space, and a fridge. Pretty cool for our first outing, although next time I’ll think we’re going to go au natural and do it tent-style.
The Woodlands Valley Campsite where we went was great as well. The rangers were helpful, it had toilets and showers, a dip-able river, challenging hikes, and allowed dogs! My only real negative about it was that all the campsites were pretty close together so you couldn’t actually feel super alone. But the hikes were awesome–we took the Yellow Trail all the way up to Giant Ledge…a 7.6 mile hike roundtrip with a whole lot of it going up. The puppy was a beast during the hikes: DJ Krinks…as he was dubbed during the trip…climbed up 3.8 miles with us–all 6 lbs of his man-dog. On the way down though, we ended up fashioning a little sarong for him out of our shirts to carry him, the Puppy-Pouch.
|First Night Dinner|
|First night, our pop up bed!|
|Near the river, Day 2|
|Our Fire Master’s Fire|
|Our hike and Puppy-Pouch v. 1|
|The view from Giant Ledge|
|Another view, post lunch on Giant Ledge!|
Since I already pre-ambled a lot about our trip and Relay Rides, etc. So I’ll just right into the soup. I’ve had my eye on this soup for about 3 solid months, and I finally decided I wanted to make it. Hands down one of the easiest “exotic” dinners I’ve ever made. It doesn’t involve a lot of spices or time. But it tastes amazingly different. You’d think that the full-fat coconut milk might be overwhelming, but it’s really not, and it compliments the vegetables really well. I took a chance camping, and took a chance on this soup, and both were great. Hope you make it and enjoy it!
adapted from 101cookbooks.com
2 inch knob of ginger, peeled and minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2, 14-oz cans of full-fat coconut milk
1, 14-oz can of water
1 tsp. of salt and then more to taste. I added about 1 tbsp. in the end
1 packet of udon noodles
Whatever veggies you like. I added:
Hand full of crimini mushrooms
Sugar Snap Peas
Lime — this is actually important, it really brings out the coconut flavor in a savory way.
Put a pot of water on to boil for the noodles. While that is getting hot, in a large soup pan mix the coconut milk, water, ginger, garlic, and salt together over medium heat. Let it heat for about 5-10 minutes until simmering.
Cook the noodles, strain them, and rinse them under water when you’re done. The rinsing washes off the extra gluten that can make it stick together.
When the soup is simmering, add in your veggies and cook until they’re as tender as you like them.
Serve with the juice of half a lime, cilantro and basil. Enjoy!