Saturday, May 7, 2011

Tents & Tahini

 I love camping.




 That being said, I do realize there's a lot of you folks out there who disagree with me to say the least. I empathize with all the reasons you could have. I do. It is a lot of work. It's not the most comfortable night's sleep. The whole process of showering (more for the ladies) isn't the best, and you can't control the weather.

 All that aside, I just love it. I was going through pictures today and came across some from our trip last summer with friends. We camped at Elora Gorge Conservation Area in Elora Ontario, Canada.



 It was the first time I had gone camping since I went with my Dad as a little girl. I loved going with my Dad. I was so excited to be going again.

 I found myself enjoying the preparation. Googling camping lists and loading up rubbermaid bins. Bringing way to much stuff as I always have on trips. But this trip was different, this time I got to bring everything! Cooking, living, sleeping, first aid, entertainment, personal care, clothes, everything! The thought that I could get to our destination and get through the weekend and have every single thing we could need camping and never say, "I forgot the _____" or, "I wish I had _____" was the best challenge ever. For an example of how far I took this challenge: Izzy's rechargeable night light. As much as I get frantic and anal and probably annoying I really do love the planning and packing and order of it all.

 I ended up not even able to fit it all in my Ford Focus Hatchback, and borrowed my Mom's brand new Jeep at the last minute. Thanks Mom! I even had meal plans and portions figured out and all the food with us. I have heard people go shopping once they get there but this thought didn't appeal to me. As much as camping isn't exactly "relaxation central" in the first place, I felt it necessary to at least have everything we needed with us and no need to do any more work than was already ahead of us.

 We didn't get to camp until nightfall. We used our headlights to set up camp. I rearranged my carefully laid out meal plans and decided on sandwiches, to which I had roasted turkey and buns and good cheese only to have the kids want peanut butter and jelly, (which I had! ;) ) and realized within the first hour that  I was probably going home with a lot of food.... and I did.

 We had campfires, s'mores, guitars, singing, laughing, hiking, sightseeing, antiquing (in town), rain, tarps, wine, scrapes and bruises, early mornings, late nights, french pressed coffee, dirty... everything, smiles and tears. We had FUN.

These are the looks I get already!

 My outstanding friend Joel managed to salvage our whole campsite while we all ran off to the showers before the rain got any worse, not even realizing that by doing that the rain would in fact, get worse and soak everything. By the time we got back he had put everything in the tents and cars that could be damaged, put a tarp over the picnic table all on this own and was teaching Leigh how to play backgammon. We felt horrible to say the least. Joel had saved the day.

So there the 7 of us sat at the little picnic table, under the tarp in the pouring rain with our little lantern and candle (brought that too).

........... and you know what? 

It was the best night of the whole trip. 

 I'm sitting here trying to think what to tell you "it" is about camping that makes it so great. I think that the work and the scrapes and bruises and rainy huddled up nights under a tarp make you leave with more than you would going to a five star resort of your choice. It brings you closer and the memories are stronger and that's what I love about camping.



Now onto the tahini. I really wanted to name this blog, 'Tahini Treat' but I didn't want to differ from the "____ & ____" that I've been going with thus far.

 So I'm trying this whole healthy thang and so I decided on making my own dressing for the first time. You know what? It's the easiest thing I've ever made in the kitchen. You know what else? I know exactly what's in it!

 I got my recipe from Alicia Silverstone's 'The Kind Diet' but I'm sure the recipe is similar anywhere you get it.

This recipe is to be taken very loosely. I did what it said and then added more garlic, lemon juice, and almost double the water to get it to a "drizzleable" consistency. I found a little jar I wasn't using and just shook it all up in there after blending. It only lasts a few days so put it on lots! Salads, vegetables, over rice, noodles, on sandwiches, whatever.



Enjoy!

Makes a little over a cup.

Tahini

Just combine 1/2 cup tahini (raw or roasted), juice from 1 1/4 lemons, 1 - 2 teaspoons shoyu (or tamari), 1/4 clove of garlic (I used a whole clove since I like garlic), dash cayenne (optional), 1 teaspoon umeboshi vinegar (optional, I used rice wine vinigar) and 1/2 cup water in a blender and puree until very well combined. That's it!



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