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cooking at -190

November 23, 2010
This past week we enjoyed 3 nights of camping in Death Valley!  Yes, that’s right… that scary dry scorching hot wasteland of a desert is actually a perfect Fall retreat.  Mild temps in the 60’s & 70’s during the day combined with lows barely brushing 50 made for an absolutely amazing long weekend get-away.  Lucky us too, because from what I’ve heard the weather we enjoyed was much nicer than if we’d stayed home in SoCal.
I think Hashi & I are both going to do a couple of posts on this trip. There are just  too many pictures for a single write up! I’ll start things off with a focus on the food, because it’s really my favorite part of the camping experiece and what an experience it was!
Our previous outdoor cookfest happened in Big Bear, where we cooked everything over the open fire or on our little charcoal BBQ.  This worked, but building a fire for both breakfast & dinner ate away way too much of our free time.  Since our trip to Death Valley meant shorter sunlit days (sunset at 4:30pm) we thought it was a good idea to invest in modern technology… a camping stove!
After weeks of pondering our options… one burner or two, propane or gas, we settled on a duel fuel coleman & a coordinating gas powered lantern.  On Thursday afternoon after a 5+ hour drive we arrived in Death Valley and set up camp.  Step #1, figure out how to use the brand new gas stove we didn’t test out before leaving.  I probably don’t have to tell you that Step #2 was repeat #1!  Yeah, the stove didn’t work.  Not even our super experienced campground neigbors could figure out why.  Everyone agreed that Coleman had shipped us a dud.  Lucky for us we brought along wood & charcoal for cooking old-school style, and even luckier that our neigbors were willing to donate their stove to help us out.  Friday morning we rushed to cook everything over an open fire, again, but by Friday evening our luck turned around!  After a little fight with our gas lantern Hashi figured out the trick to fixing the stove and we had a gas fire!  Oh, and because I’m sure you’re wondering, yes a part on the stove was wrong… it was NOT just user error!
So, I think it’s safe to say cooking 190 feet below sea level was an adventure!  Despite the little stove setback we still managed to pull together four days of excellent menus, including… cinnamon sugar french toast with eggs & sausage for breakfast, grilled salmon w/ zuchini and baked potatoes, BBQ chicken w/ corn on the cob, and baked potatoes topped w/ chili & hotdogs.  Oh, and dessert was smores, of course, but this time I brought homemade marshmallows, so they were extra gooey!
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2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 23, 2010 6:51 am

    everything looks so delicious! geez louise, i can’t believe you made all of that food! 🙂

  2. November 23, 2010 2:16 pm

    When my boys are older and want to go camping…I’m shipping them off with you, or taking you with us!!!

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