Monday, August 11, 2008
About 14 years ago, my ex-husband was active duty Air Force. Every three day weekend, a group of us would head up to Yosemite National Park to hike and camp. Because I was a new SAHM, I was the one responsible for making the dinner for the first night. I always made a big delicious vegetarian stew.
That trip, we were all excited. It was October, snow had fallen to 9000ft. and we were going to make camp at 7000ft. It was perfect weather for stew and we were all looking forward to eating it.
Thursday, the night before we were to leave, I began the soup. I chopped all the vegetables, pressure cooked the beans, made the broth, measured out the spices, and started assembling the stew. Everything was going along so smoothly. The smells were so intoxicating that I could hardly wait to eat a bowl of it. But, I resisted.
Finally, Friday morning. I am checking everything twice: tent, stew, baby back pack, baby, cold weather gear, hiking boots, stew. Oh, the stew. We are all anticipating the stew.
We drive the 4 hours up to the campsite. We hiked in a little ways and set up our camp. Since, we made good time, we all decided that we would do a small day hike and eat the stew later.
Finally, STEW TIME! We heat it up on the fire, spoon it out for everyone, and sit down to eat.
The first spoonful enters my mouth and YUCK! Something is terribly wrong with the stew. Maybe it is just me! But NO! Everyone is sitting around the fire with a mouthful of yucky stew in their mouth and starring at me!
In unison they exclaim, "Michelle, something is wrong with the soup!"
Well, it ends up that I had put in 6 TBS of cayenne pepper instead of chili powder.
It was inedible. It was horrible! We all spit it out and poured out the entire batch! It was so bad that I don't think the bears would have eaten it.
Now, we are starving.
We had to hike back to our cars and drive down into the valley and hope that the market was still open. Nope, no such luck. So we had to leave Yosemite Park and drive to the nearest town. We finally found a pizzeria. It was $20 for a large cheese pizza, but we were hungry.
I was teased about the stew for many years after that. For Christmas that year, some of them gave me jars of chili powder!
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