Klamath Nat’l Forest: “Cowboy Cuisine”

Center map

And it’s not just soup!

Although I do love soup, it’s fairly easy to cook up some real meals that stick to your ribs (mmmm ribs!).

Okay, no ribs but, if you buy a disposable, self-contained grill—with charcoal, all ready to go—at the 99 Cent store, ribs would be a snap, with zero cleanup! Do what rib shacks in Dallas do: boil them first and then smoke ’em up on the grill!

Rice is key.

No, I’m talking about meals that start out as one thing but, wind up as something incredible with little effort and only one saucepan.

It typically starts with some rice—I suppose some taters would do just fine if you’re not a rice eater—and it’s simple to start up.

Once done (boil a cup of water, add a cup of rice and wait for a few minutes), the rice is dumped into a cowboy cookware bowl, temporarily.

Garlic, always.

I carry a small bottle of extra virgin olive oil. It gets drizzled into the saucepan and some garlic flakes get revitalized—if you don’t have some freshly sliced garlic.

Sizzle until light brown and do not drain!

The flavor.

At this point, anything that would be considered sauce actually goes into the sauce pan! I’ve used soy sauce, numerous marinades and coconut milk—or cream—especially when making up my sure-fire bear repellent, yellow curry!

The vegetables.

If you aren’t adverse to having one kind of food touching another (some people are pretty picky about this, you know!), this is the time to add some crunchy veggies to the mixture.

Soups too!

This is also a good time to add a soup of your choice—if you are not going to go the sauce route. All of these flavors are melded together—and it’s now time to stir in your rice or potatoes.


It is then that a meat or fish item is folded into this mélange. And, seconds later, you have a healthy, filling and delicious dinner before you—kindness of the amazing little Coleman stove—that will please even the most unsavory bunch of bronco busters you can muster up, pardner!

A small caveat.

If the protein isn’t pre-cooked, it gets grilled in the saucepan after the garlic and before the sauce—and set aside.

An anomaly!

It could be a bad can of gas or the drop in temperature to the mid-teens but, my normally comforting pure blue Coleman flame erupted into a bright orange furnace this morning!

I was a little stunned but, after disengaging the fuel, I warmed the stove in the front seat and everything went back to normal!


One pan to wash.

But, you might not, per se, want to wash it if you have some kind of bread, cornbread or a similar pan-wiping-flavor-absorbing-made-from-flour product nearby!

Your diet be dammed!

Dollar store delectables!

Last night I opened a can of surprisingly good lobster bisque and made it with whole milk—and a whole package fake crab—which I sliced into bite-sized pieces. Oh my God, it was delicious!

Lobster. At the Dollar store!

In the past—you know, when I lived inside—I found tuna fish-sized cans of real lobster meat at a Dollar Tree. Oh, they were gone by the time I returned specifically to clean them out of the rest of that lobster!

Surprise surprise!

This time around, I bought several cans of lobster bisque! And there are always little surprises you can find in those stores. Believe it when you find something like that—and buy all of them! There’s someone else, right behind you, that has the exact same idea!

Say cheese!

Don’t be afraid of keeping a bottle of parmesan cheese handy. Just about any dish—or soup—can handle being enhanced by a little (or a lot!) of grated cheese.

Clean your pallet.

There’s no reason to not have a little sophistication in the forest! Have a little, plastic Del Monte cup-o-fruit for dessert and you’ve got a tasty—and healthy—cowboy dinner that beats pork and beans hands down!

And you thought I’ve been eating nothing but Chef Boyardee spaghetti!?

Au contraire mon ami. Not with “The Minivan Explorer’s One Pan Method™” of fine forest dining available under my bed frame!

Happy trails my friend!

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