Trail Cuisine: Gorp, Glop & Glue Stew

One visit to a used bookstore and I scored big – Gorp, Glop & Glue Stew: Favorite Foods from 165 Outdoor Experts, by Yvonne Prater & Ruth Dyar Mendenhall. If this book were a car, it would be a classic. Although not an automobile, it is a humorous blast to the past of trail cuisine. 

What's on your outdoor bookshelf?

The book lists recipes such as homemade backpack foods – perfect for skiers and hikers. Just imagine filling your pack with lead bread, Monkey Bread and Donner Summit – no jokes, now – Bran Bread.

There’s even a recipe for jerky, pemmican and toast. Imagine, if you will, the artery-clogging potential of two toasted slices of bread, liberally slathered with butter and topped with 3-4 slices of bacon. Apparently “it keeps well for days.”

Gorp, Glop & Glue Stew includes camp-cooked meals – from one-pot glops, hooshes, stews and soups to frying-pan foods. So what’s a hoosh? 

According to the recipe for Mountain Hoosh, it’s butter, meat, soup mix, dried veggies, bouillon cubes, spices, instant rice or potatoes and cheese.

Other interesting recipe concoctions include Rainier Spotted Dog , Alpine Umpski , Dishwasher’s Delight  and Sawtooth Dips – think rye crackers, cream cheese, can chicken with strawberry jam for dipping, yum.

Wild Food Feasting is also there – from stinging nettles to mouse soup, squirrel fricassee to fish head chowder – there’s plenty to keep you moving on down the trail. 

The final section is the reality check: Better Food, Less Work.  What they – the experts who’ve climbed those mountain passes and explored those river valleys – are really saying is “… there are many ways of eating adequately without wasting time on cooking.” 

Packed with humour, historical anecdotes, and a couple decent recipes – Gorp, Glop & Glue Stew is worth a read.

What’s your favorite classic mountain-related read? Is it a cookbook, a biography, an adventure…?

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