|A Brief Review of
Another Fork in the Trail:
Vegetarian and Vegan
Recipes for the Backcountry.
By Laurie Ann March
Paperback: Wilderness Press, 2011.
[ Amazon – Paperback ] [ Amazon -Kindle ]
Reviewed by: Sara Sterley
Some of my earliest memories are weekend family camping trips: riding my dad’s shoulders on hikes, my mom’s amazing campfire breakfasts, and hiding out in our small tent together during a downpour. Those family camping trips were never too adventurous. The car was always right outside the tent full of coolers of carefully packed food and drinks. Although we camped often, I didn’t know what true trail food was until I ventured out on several backpacking trips in high school and college. Before reading Another Fork in the Trail, Laurie Ann March’s new vegetarian and vegan backcountry cookbook, I figured that trail food’s only redeeming value was the sustenance it provided. Most of the stuff I’ve eaten out on the trail, I wouldn’t think twice about eating in my own kitchen, and I certainly wouldn’t serve it to guests.
March’s Another Fork in the Trail offers many recipes that I would not only devour in the backcountry, but I would be happy to serve guests (with some minor modifications for home use) in my own home. Because my husband’s family’s idea of camping was the Embassy Suites with the indoor pool, he isn’t as enthusiastic about family camping trips as I would like, so I couldn’t test out these recipes in true backcountry conditions. Based on the finished product of the recipes I tested, however, I think I might just have a camping trip in my future – so long as I pack the menu full of Another Fork in the Trail recipes.
March obviously has extensive experience in the backcountry, and she thoroughly explains her tips regarding packing light, camp equipment, food storage and more. Her recipes are centered around whole foods, and she uses unique flavor combinations and ingredients that would broaden any cook’s horizons, let alone a cook working in middle of the backcountry. In addition, she systematically categorizes each recipe to let the reader know whether it is vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free and/or gluten-free, something I’m sure few, if any, other trail cookbooks provide.
While obviously geared toward the more hard core camping and kayaking audience, Another Fork is still useful for those of us more likely to utilize the cookbook in our kitchens instead of around a campfire. The cookbook has come in especially handy for a few recent long road trips we’ve taken, as well. I think the Creamy Brown Rice Farina and Harvest Apple Granola have already become staples at our house!
C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com
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