Girls Gone Camping

I recently got a valuable lesson reinforced to me: girls can do anything! Ok, well, I suppose I knew that already, but when it came to camping in the woods, I wasn’t convinced until a friend said she wanted to forgo the traditional bachelorette party in favor of a girl’s camping weekend. I love camping, and go whenever I get the opportunity, but could us girls do it on our own? Would we want to?

I campaigned to the girls, citing the best part of camping was having the guys do everything for us, set up the tents, make the fire, scare away bears, etc. But our bachelorette was not moved, and in the end, I ended up being glad for it.

Cars loaded to the max, ten of us girls headed up to the Dorabelle campground at Shaver Lake (as seen on Getting scientific about s’mores) on a Saturday afternoon. We set up tents and our camp kitchen at the picnic table. A few of the girls had already coordinated the dinner and breakfast meals, so what was left to the rest of us was beer, wine, liquor, and snacks. I designated the bar on the opposite side of the stove – for good reason. We were stocked for a week of camping, not one night.

Our livers were thankful that much of this returned home with us

Next, we made the fire effortlessly, thanks to the Duraflame log placed at the bottom of our stack of very dry fire wood. It was what we’d be doing for the rest of the weekend: using brains instead of brawn.

Dinner was veggie burgers and cheeseburgers made of beef purchased from the Vineyard Farmer’s Market. We had French fries, a fruity spinach salad (great addition of pears and dried cranberries!), and fruit on the side (see picture at the top of this post). We talked about how amazing food tastes when camping–that interesting phenomenon that the same meal that’s cooked at home tastes infinitely better when camping. And now, cooked by us girls, it tasted even better, with a sense of accomplishment mixed in there as well.

After dinner, the fire was just right for s’mores

For dessert we got to sample a cake made from the chocolate wedding cake recipe posed by Orangette author Molly Wizenberg. Intensely chocolatey, all the girls were happy. And then I was thrilled to be able to demonstrate my s’mores-making lesson to a friend who’d never tried the delicious melty treat. (And by thrilled, I mean way too excited—I really don’t understand why I have so much fun making s’mores.) Thankfully the girls humored me and made them right alongside me.

In the morning, breakfast burritos were made with eggs, hash browns, cheese, and the leftover pieces of hamburgers we couldn’t finish the night before. On the side, mixed berries and whipped cream, along with coffee made in a French press.

As the fire died down and we cleaned up camp, it was time to return to civilization. Granted, we hadn’t been that far away, as our bachelorette even managed to post pictures to Facebook fireside, but still, we did it. There was one moment when we heard a bunch of howling coyotes from across the lake when maybe we questioned things a bit, but the good times and good food quickly erased that from our minds.

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