Saturday, May 20, 2006

Schoolhouse Campdish

A beautiful sunny Saturday, an open pool, and nine children here all day--no surprise then that at dinner time I had a weary, hungry family. I served them a dish that is a big favorite with the kids, and is easy for me too since it relies on pantry staples and is cooked all in one pot. No matter how much of this I make, they will eat it *all*.

I invented it several years ago on a camping trip notable for both the beautiful hike through autumn woods to a cave containing a waterfall, and also the freezing, freezing nighttime temperatures. The name has stuck.

*Schoolhouse Campdish*

In a large pot, brown:

1 1/2 to 2 lb. ground round.
1 diced onion (optional)

Drain off grease if necessary.


28 oz. can crushed or diced tomatoes
the empty can filled again with water
1 1/2 pounds elbow macaroni
1 t. salt
lots of pepper
big slug of Worcestershire sauce
garlic powder

Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Stir frequently and don't walk away, as it wants to stick to the bottom. Campdish is done when pasta is tender and most liquid is absorbed. If pasta needs more liquid, add a little water until it's done cooking. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

I like to serve with something fresh but also salty--maybe some stirfried asparagus, cabbage, green beans, or Bok choy, sauteed in olive oil, then doused with a little tamari sauce. And, of course, a big salad. Eat, hang around for a while, then hit the sack!

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