Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Camping: Ful on the run

I have to say I haven't enjoyed a summer as much as this year. It's been beautifully hot, READ: heatwave, which has kept me outside enjoying all things a warm city has to offer. This doesn't mean I've slacked off on my cooking. On the contrary actually, but none of it has been fit for this blog....until my kayak trip.

I took a mini three day kayak trip up at Georgian Bay, around Phillip Edward Island.

Apart from the nasty suck-your-soul day of rain, the rest of the time was beautiful. Apart from all the rugged beauty, there was also food.

I didn't grow up camping. For two years, starting at the age of eight, on the recommendation of my grade 3 teacher Mrs. G, I was sent away to a french camp in eastern Quebec. While it may have been pictureseque, my lack of French at the time, left me spending the first few days of each year negotiating with the counselors to call my father to take me back home. Needless to say, I vowed never to go back until I spoke perfect french. Ten years later, I decided it was a little late to go back, but I sort of missed out on that happy-annoying camp life that many of my friends seemed to have experienced.

Fast forward to about three years ago, and I'm on my first canoe trip. I had heard horrors about camp food. To my surprise, it wasn't so bad, but why skimp out on taste for practicality? So last year, with the help of a few others, we put together a gourmet canoe-trip menu. While it lived up to a high level of quality, we were stupid enough to overlook what a headache it is to lug all that food around. This year I vowed to mesh the two together: flavour and practicality. And I have to say it worked.

Breakfast number one was basturm b'il bayd. A cinch to make, and very light to carry around. The best part: basturma was created for long voyages, so there was never any risk of it going bad. You can see that recipe again here:

Breakfast number two was ful madammas. It actually tasted better made on an open flame. The foolish downside: hauling around a can of beans. The lesson: bring dry beans next time and soak the night before at the campsite. Easy!!!

So today's post will be my ode, again, to ful. I loved you throughout my graduate studies, and I love you again when camping. It has been touted as a food for centuries that keeps you feeling full so you can get on with your day. And what better place to test that theory than during a camping trip.

Here is a link to the recipe for the ful:

For the camping trip, I brought the following:


1 nearly-ripe tomato (so it wouldn't rot along the way)
1 can of fava beans
1 small bag/container of cumin powder/salt/pepper
1 egg (optional)
Some cooking oil
1 lemon or lime


1. On a medium flame, add all ingredients and cook

2. Spoon out, eat with bread (if you brought any) and savour the tasty breakfast while you take in the beauty around you.

And that's my 'summer special' entry. My theory did prove correct: some ful in the morning and I wasn't hungry until well into the day!