Yamaha Outdoors Tips — Trail Lunch
By Bob Humphrey
Fishing guides know well the importance of a good meal. Even on the slowest of fishing days a hearty shore lunch will make their clients happy. And on a good day it’s icing on the cake. Whether fishing, hunting or just riding, a good midday meal can be far more than a quick break or a distraction. It could be the highlight of the trip. Here are a few suggestions for an off-road feast.
FIRE IT UP
Obviously, you’ll need a source of heat. Nothing says “wilderness cooking” like trout or venison and eggs cooked in a cast iron skillet over an open fire. For that, all you’ll need is matches, a grill lighter or a fire starter. Be sure you have an extinguisher or enough water to douse the fire when you’re done.
If regulations or conditions prohibit an open fire, you can always default to a portable propane stove with two or more burners (depending on cargo space and personal preference). Some models even have a griddle for frying.
You won’t need much, depending on the menu. Bring a skillet or two, perhaps a cast iron pot, maybe a Dutch oven and of course, a tin coffee pot. For utensils, a spatula or two and some flatware should get the job done. If you’re hunting or fishing you already have a knife, and probably a multi-tool with a can opener or any other needs that might arise. And don’t forget the “duct tape” of outdoor cooking, aluminum foil. And if you don’t have them anyway, bring a pair of leather gloves for handling hot utensils and cookware.
BASIC FOOD ITEMS
The sky’s the limit as far as the menu goes, but there are a few basics that go with any shore or trail lunch.
Seasoning: salt, pepper and sugar at the very least. Or, prepare mixes and store in a sealed container.
You’ll want butter or margarine, and again depending on the menu, may want some flour and/or cornmeal.
Main Course - Here’s where you can get creative. If it’s a back-country fishing trip, you may hold off on the main course (but bring a back-up in case the fishing is slow). The same goes for hunting. Odds are a little better for the bird hunters; and even big game hunters may be able to pot a partridge or two. Trail riders can bring along fish, fowl or game from a previous hunt.
Sides - The perfect complement to trout, duck, pheasant or deer is beans. Cook them in the can or in a skillet. Potatoes are another staple. Dice them ahead or bring them whole and cut on-site.
Soup or stew makes a nice complement to fresh fish or game, or a decent main course on an unsuccessful hunting or fishing trip. Cut veggies and greens ahead of time and store in a resealable bag in your cooler. And don’t forget the bacon. It can be the main meat, a side dish or provide seasoning and grease for a variety of items.
Cowboy Coffee - Fill the pot with potable water, bring to a boil. Throw in a handful of grounds and let it steep for a while.
Bon appetit’. When you’re finished, make sure you extinguish any fires, clean up your trash, and leave the area at least as clean as when you arrived.