Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Monday, March 28, 2005

Camping Recipes: Nordic Stew

Ok, this barely qualifies as stew, and hails from nowhere near ScandiHoovania. So, why the moniker of 'Nordic Stew'? Like so many things, grasshopper, ya had to be there.

Back in the late '80s, I was hanging out with Little Bee Boy and a crew of Hanszen-ites from Rice U. I was in the School Of Hard Knocks, due to a miserable 1st year in college and subsequent ejection, and Little Bee Boy was attending Cougar High. We hooked up with the dipsomaniacal brainiacs from Rice through a mutual friend from high school attending Rice, though he was at Brown College.

Mass consumption of intoxicants was the standing order of the day, every day. After I'd get off of work, and they'd get out of class, we'd meet up somewhere in the city, and continue in our foolish endeavours. Every so often, we'd blow town and head out to a campground to drink our beer and smoke the marijohoonie out amongst the trees.

Prior to one trip out into the underbrush, we were already half-baked on Heineken and a fat minnow of ditchweed, and attempted to buy the provisions for the weekend at the local Fiesta Supermercado. After loading up on 12-packs and Twinkies, we couldn't agree on what to cook for the Saturday evening meal. We knew it had to be easy to prepare, as we would more than likely be hammered, and also compatible with various hallucinatory compounds that were likely to be coursing through our brains.

We finally decided to head our separate ways, and each come back to the cart with a unique ingredient. We vowed that whatever food items returned would all be put in the same pot, and all consumed for the meal. Therefore, choose your comestibles wisely, lest ye be eating Jellybean Primavera!

The shoppers dispersed, and returned in 10 minutes bearing some odd choices. From one person came a loaf of crusty bread and a bottle of Lea & Perrins White Wine Worcestershire sauce. From another came a 2 lb. brick of Monterey Jack cheese. A package of jumbo hot dogs joined the pile. Finally, the pièce de résistance, a can of fava beans. See, at the time we didn't know they were fava beans, or for that matter, what the hell fava beans were. These were off the "international food" aisles of Fiesta, and all the writing was in Arabic, except for two words. "Foul Mudammas".

OK, we were pretty toasted, but we still couldn't stop giggling about a can of something 'Foul'. We had no clue as to the contents, but it was in the cart, it was edible, and by damn, it was going into the stew!

Fast forward to the evening meal: The Coleman Stove gets fired up. The hot dogs were sliced and put into the pot to sear, along with a little of the white wine worcestershire sauce. The can of "Foul Mudammas" (actually a mix of fava beans, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, & olive oil) gets cracked open, and we ooh and ahh at the huge beans in the thick liquid. Into the pot it goes. We start throwing in chunks of the cheese, and I'm pretty sure a bit of beer got splashed in. More worcestershire sauce to taste, and after a while, it melted down into a thick gooey mess.

It looked like the contents of a cirrhotic liver patient's bedpan, but it smelled wonderful. OK, were were stoned, and probably would have gnawed on a tree root to cure the munchies, but it really did smell good.

The bread was torn up and used to dipper out the gooey ooze, and the contrast between the meaty lumps and the beany lumps was quite unique. Every so often, someone would turn and spit out a bean hull (think of the skin on a lima bean, only much thicker). That pot got emptied in short order, and there was very little left for the raccoons to lick up that night.

Due to the chilly weather, it got dubbed 'Nordic Stew'. I've since made it two or three times in a non-brainfried state, and it's an interesting alternative to fondue. I can't recommend it to everybody, but if you want something out of left field, give it a try!

Nordic Stew

1/4 bottle white wine worcestershire sauce
1 lb jumbo all-beef hot dogs
2 lbs Monterey jack cheese
1 large can Foul Mudammas (fava beans, also spelled Fuul moudammas)
Splashes of beer and salt & pepper to taste
Large loaf of crusty bread

Directions: Dump it all in a large pot. Cook until melted through and creamy. Use chunks of bread to scoop out the goo & eat. Groove on the experience.

Serves 3-4 stoners or 5-6 law-abiding citizens.