We went camping this weekend, which is cool in the sense that camping is totally cool when you realize that you’re just sitting there under a Mexican yoga blanket with a min pin or two chilling because chilling is the only option that’s really available to you at the moment, which is great when you’re a busy adult who always has shit like laundry or cleaning up around the house or reading the preeminent text on the trivium as it relates to homeschooling (more on that soon) or doing squats or something else productive that you always end up doing instead of chilling, but not as cool when you realize that camping is kind of hard and three dogs are impossible to maneuver and always want to get their leashes tangled up and you totally can’t sleep while camping no matter what and you pretend you don’t care and stay up all night in the light of the inflatable solar lantern you wisely packed reading Hard-Boiled Wonderland and The End of the World on your Kindle but ugh fish-worshipping underground people who eat decaying flesh kind of creep you out when it’s just you alone awake in the pitch dark in the middle of nowhere and you wait for panic to descend on your brain but it doesn’t and then you move through the ins and outs of the next day like a zombie.
But the one thing you can do while camping, no matter what, is make really awesome food. We’ve been doing this thing with feta for as long as we’ve been camping, since I first heard about it from Oprah of all people. I’ve finally perfected it and it’s the best thing in the world to do while camping because camping requires, if nothing else, vegan marshmallows and something really delicious and special that you eat only when you’re camping.
Here’s what you do. Before you go camping (either the night before or the day of — it doesn’t matter), take a small jar. Fill that jar with freshly cut oregano from your garden if you can; otherwise use whatever fresh oregano you can find. Take some scissors and cut the oregano into little pieces. Add the following: a few very thin slices of red onion; three or four thinly sliced garlic cloves; a few sun-dried tomatoes, either sliced or whole, whatever you’re into; some pine nuts; freshly ground black pepper; red pepper flakes; and enough olive oil to just about cover everything. Close the jar and refrigerate. Transfer to your cooler along with a block of feta. When you’re at your campsite preparing dinner, place the block of feta on a largish piece of foil shaped into a bowl-like shape around the feta. Spoon the mixture, which will be slightly solidified as a result of being refrigerated, which is super great because that means oil won’t spill everywhere, over the feta. Wrap the foil around the feta and seal as best you can with the intention of keeping the oil inside. Wrap this in another largish piece of foil and seal as well as you can. Take the foil package and place it in or on your campfire for a while, maybe a little longer than you think, turning occasionally, until the feta is melty and the flavors have melded into something insanely delicious. Serve with some delicious crusty bread — it doesn’t matter what kind, really. We had this over cranberry walnut bread and it was great even though that sounds kind of weird. Put any leftover feta in the jar and allow to cool before putting it back in the cooler to save for later.
Enjoy, and remember that camping in reality is never as perfect as it is in your imagination. <3