March 12, 2009
By Kate Kerrick
Although we are on islands, far from convenient stores and large shopping centers, we still receive a great deal of fresh food and so our meals are always extremely delicious, varied, and well balanced. It is all made from scratch – no mixes, no pre-made frozen meals. Some of my favorites are the ginger and carrot soup, our fresh bread (from the wood fired oven), and the banana and chocolate chip muffins. It makes it so much more wonderful to come back from trail knowing that there is a home-cooked feast waiting for you.
Although not as sophisticated as the food in base camp, our food on trail is also delicious and nutritious. My favorite trail dinner is our noodles with Thai peanut sauce. We start by sautéing onions and garlic then add cumin, soy sauce, peanut butter and a splash of Tabasco sauce – this is then poured over fettuccini. I’ve made it at home with friends and family, always to rave reviews. Because the staff eat the food for a good part of the summer, every summer, we try to get as creative as possible with our meals. In 2007, as part of our staff training we had a cook-off to see who could make the best trail food – using, of course, the ingredients that we take with us on our trips.
In addition to dinner, our bannock lunch for the next day must be prepared each night. We usually bake it (along with other treats such as muffins, breads, cakes and pies) in our reflector ovens. Breakfasts are often a variety of hot cereals with dried fruits and toppings, lunches are some combination of breads/bannocks with spreads, soups, pasta’s, cheeses and sometimes dinner leftovers (if there are any).
While Trail food at NWL may not be quite as civilized as our Basecamp menu, it’s creative, flavourful, comforting and diverse. All the right things at the beginning, middle or end of an adventurous day in the wilderness.