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Friday Quiz: Where Is This?   (July 7, 2006)

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Like the two young sojourners in my little "road" novel I-State Lines, I prefer to camp when I drive across this amazing country. And one of the joys--or hardships--of camping is food. Everything tastes better over a campfire, especially if it's the end of the day or breakfast on a fresh new morning.

This gives me an excuse to reprint a recipe for lighter-than-air pancakes which multi-talented reader Chris H. sent in response to my Gunnison National Park (Colorado) pancake story awhile back.
Pancakes for Four:

separate 4 organic eggs from their whites
beat the hell out of the whites till stiff
mix briefly to the yolks... a little salt, some sugar, a drab of vanilla, a cup of flour
mix this briefly into the eggwhites till uniformly yellow
ladle onto hot skillet (use olive oil).. just below smoking temp,
flip when bubbles all across surface

use real Maple Syrup.
Sounds yummy, doesn't it? I guarantee these pancakes will taste better in camp than at home.

I read somewhere that offering recipes is an excellent way to promote one's book--even if it isn't a cookbook--so in that spirit of formidable marketing prowess, I now offer you the recipe for the worst devil's ham sandwich ever made. This is from Chapter 20 of I-State Lines; the guys are running on fumes, out of gasoline and food, and they just got a job unloading drywall (sheetrock).
Alex stares at the big stacks of sheetrock and says, "Brah, we can't work if we got nothing in the tank. Go get the grinds."

So I run back to the Lancer and collect the remains of our food supply, which is pretty pathetic: a package of smashed Pop Tarts, a can of chocolate pudding, a couple slices of molding bread, a can of deviled meat and the rocky bottom inch of a jar of chunky peanut butter. I'm relieved there's something other than the deviled meat, which looks like it comes out of the Fancy Fiesta cat food factory, while Alex never eats sugar-blitz junk like Pop Tarts.

I bring this back to Alex and he tears off the moldy parts of the bread, pops open the meat tin, digs the stinky glop out with my Swiss Army knife and wolfs down one of the worst deviled ham sandwiches ever made. I tear open the Pop Tart packages and pour the crumbs in my mouth, and we split the chocolate pudding.

Alex takes a minute to do some stretching exercises, and he tells me, "You too, Bruddah. I don't want you all jammed up so you can't help me." I roll my eyes and then follow his example, just like when we had to push the Falcon up that hill in Iowa.
So if there is a road trip in your plans this summer, why not order my little novel for something to read on the way, either in your motel room after a long day on the road or in your tent, after a hearty camp dinner. You can get the book pronto from my favorite online independent bookstore, The Kaleidoscope: Our Focus Is You (Shipping is free on all orders).

Or if you have an open order at amazon.com, you can of course add I-State Lines to it for $13 (orders over $25 ship free), which is less than one lousy junk-food meal. And I-State Lines contains no trans-fats! Furthermore, it is excellent for holding down maps on the carseat when you have the window rolled down.

Be the first to identify this specific park/reserve, and I'll send you a collector's copy of my book I-State Lines. So email me! (Hint: this gorgeous flower is the state flower of which state?)

NOTE: as I will be away from my desk, there will be no entry on July 8.

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copyright © 2006 Charles Hugh Smith. All rights reserved in all media.

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