Week 15 – Camping With Matt

#101 Starting Our Garden

10 April 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

I know next to nothing about growing plants. I love the outdoors and I love food, so you’d think it would be a pretty natural intersection but the most gardening I’ve ever done was that second grade project where I used food coloring to turn celery blue.

To me gardening seems like strategically burying tiny things and hoping for the best. So that’s what I did this weekend.

As a sign I have no idea what I’m doing, it felt weird using only a very small portion of the basil seeds in the pack so I did everything I could to get more egg cartons to start them in. Deanna tells me I way overdid it and that if I’m successful, I’ll have a basil forest on my hands. I don’t see a problem with that. Forests of basil create swamplands of pesto.

#102 Sriracha BBQ Sauce

11 April 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

Yesterday I got to whip up some homemade barbecue sauce as the next item of this year’s 52 culinary missions.

More specifically, I got to whip up a Tennessee whiskey and molasses sriracha barbecue sauce. Smoky with just the right amount of heat.

And since barbecue sauce alone does not a full dinner make, (trust me, I tried) I also grilled up some brisket and made it into sliders.

Like most recipes, this one lives on my blog.

#103 Bangus Tacos

12 April 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

Bangus (said like bung-OOS) is a popular milkfish in the Philippines usually served fried, grilled, or broiled and with vinegar, soy sauce, or other acidic flavors.

It also presented me with a good challenge to figure out how to incorporate it into my series of Filipino food inspired tacos. The texture doesn’t exactly lend itself well to classic fish tacos, yet this is one of the most important fishes to the cuisine and the series wouldn’t be complete without some seafood.

So I broiled some bangus with a vinegar and olive oil wash. I then shredded most of the meat with a fork and caramelized onions. A crispy shell seemed to best compliment the meat so I folded tacos and deep fried, and finished with a side of lime juice and drizzle of my sriracha BBQ sauce.

#104 Amazon/Rexius

13 April 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

The half marathon day is getting closer and closer.

We’ve officially entered the last week of full-training. Today I ran around nine miles. I’ll peak at eleven before I call it a recovery week until the race.

Like I keep saying, I’m still surprised that I enjoy running as much as I do. This does not compute with my past experiences.

#105 Sriracha Bloody Mary

14 April 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

With so many overlapping ingredients, I figured why not spend Thirsty Thursday by some bloody mary using a lot of the same things I used to put together a barbecue sauce this week.

Deanna and I are pretty big fans of bloody marys. Ever since we started traveling together, she’s gotten me into the habit of requesting for bloody mary mix as my beverage of choice while on an airplane. The strong spicy and salty flavors are appreciated at an altitude.

Also, Crater Lake’s pepper vodka is exceptionally smooth. I’m not the biggest fan of most vodkas and most flavored vodkas strike me as tacky, but this is a great exception. Smooth without such a pungent bite and it has a good chipotle-like taste.

#106 Papa’s Chicken & Waffles

15 April 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

You know you’re a great place to eat when I deem the hour long wait for a table to be worth it.

Papa’s Soul Food, you’re that kind of place and it’s been far too long. Easily my favorite place to eat in Eugene.

And, happy to see chicken and waffles pop up as a special. Probably the most American item to foodspot.

#107 Camp Tumalo

16 April 2016 // Tumalo, Oregon

A party without cake is just a meeting.

– Julia Child

A party without cake or s’mores is just a meeting.

– Julia Child, Philippe Remix

So happy to have gone out for our first camping weekend of the season. It feels so good to be back in tents and roasting marshmallows and oyster mushrooms. May many more follow this summer.