Posted on: March 6, 2008 5:44 am
Edited on: March 6, 2008 6:02 am

By the light of the Coleman

I wonder when it happened, when the transition set in, from where I enjoyed “roughing” it, to preferring a much more sedate and “sophisticated” environment.  No, I’m not talking sex here but camping, survival in the wilderness, living like Grizzly Adams.  This isn’t the first time that I’ve wondered about this, I often do this anytime I have to dig out the Coleman lantern for a power outage.

The other day, storms came through South Carolina.  The high winds had knocked out power and when I arrived home, the house was almost dark.  Okay, so I opened up the drapes and pulled up the blinds and then went to search for the trusty Coleman.  Thankfully, the batteries were still good in it, so there was some light, beside the candle light.  Then there was the necessity to have to find food that didn’t require a can opener or a stove to be able to eat.  We came really close to ordering pizza to be delivered that night.  Let’s just say, I no longer fare well when I lose modern conveniences like the internet and electricity.

I wasn’t always like this.  As a kid, I enjoyed the outdoors and “roughing” it.  On summer nights, you’d find us in the backyard with our sleeping bags, either around a fire pit or under a sheet of plastic that we used to create a makeshift tent.  Sometimes we’d drag the sleeping bags and a bag full of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches down to our “fort” in the woods and spend the night there. 

I guess I can say it began when I was stationed in Oklahoma.  It probably started when I was on an “escape and evasion” exercise in an abandoned school yard, and sitting in a gully at night, very still, when something slithered over my hand.  I was “captured” not too long after that.  Then there was the time a rattlesnake held my shift and the oncoming shift hostage as it decided to camp out under our communication van for the night.  Of course, it was probably there all night and wasn’t bothered with us going in and out of the van, and since we didn’t realize it was there, we weren’t bothered by it.  How funny attitudes change when you actually see the snake.

The scorpions in the shower tent probably added to my disgust of the wilderness, not to mention the tarantula that found it’s way through the floor boards of the tent and was crawling up a piece of equipment.  That didn’t keep me from camping though, as long as there was a tent that had an enclosed bottom and could zip close, I was fine (just had to make sure I shook the sleeping bag out before I crawled into it). 

No, even several years later, I was game when a friend took my five year old daughter and myself camping up in Potter County in Pennsylvania.  Beautiful forest.  Okay, I was fine that there was no actual latrines or shower, but then something started to change.  It had rained most of the weekend so the ground was already saturated, but the tent floor wasn’t effected by that…yet.  So as my daughter and I snuggled into sleeping bags in the tent, I could hear the raccoons scurrying around outside.  Okay, the tent was zipped, no rabid raccoon was getting in there to bite my precious little girl.  Then it started to rain again.  Since the ground was already saturated, water started seeping into the tent.  We ended spending the night sleeping in the bed of his pickup (which happened to have had a shell on it, thankfully).  When morning came, I made sure he knew I was ready to go home to a nice warm shower and modern conveniences.

A few years later, a guy I was dating was describing how he envisioned the perfect marriage proposal.  A week long wilderness camping trip, where you canoe across several lakes, then hike inland (carrying the canoe with you) for several days.  Then, once under the stars…pop the question.  My response was…hope you find the girl who’ll enjoy that with you. 

Now my idea of roughing it is forgetting to bring along the coffeemaker and coffee, and having to make do with the small coffeepot they provide you in the hotel room.

This weeks recipe is another contribution for one of the CBS Community members, IrishSean.  It’s called Seafood Surprise and promises to feed two (or one very hungry and pregnant lady).

                                                    Seafood Surprise

4 oz. salad shrimp

4-6 prawns/tiger prawns

4 oz. Scallops (Smaller work better) or salmon

4 oz. crab/Imitation crab

1/2 teaspoond minced garlic

Olive oil

1 cup cooked rice/couscous per serving

Pkg. Knorr Newberg or Hollandaise sauce.

1)  Prepare rice or couscous via directions.

2)  Prepare your sauce via directions.

3)  Place olive oil and garlic in pan, and cook for 3-5 minutes.

4)  Add prawns, and scallops/salmon, cook until done.  Remove from heat.

5)  Add a little olive oil, and cook salad shrimp until warm, and add crab until warm.  If using imitation crab, add with #4.

6)  Put rice/cous cous onplate, add seaffod mix, cover with sauce.  Serve with sparkling apple cider.

People can go heavier or lighter on any of the seafood.................those are the ones that I found were most successful.  As for the amount of olive oil, I never measured, but it was very little.  Just enough to keep things from sticking, for the most part.

Category: General
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