The Fourth of July certainly has a way of capturing feelings of joy, independence, and camaraderie each year as friends + family come together to celebrate all things American.
I love this holiday and all of the wonderful things that come with it like people, ice cold beer, barbecue (i.e., eating your weight in hot dogs), and sheer bliss. This year was a special year for me with new friends, in a new place, camping with hundreds of people brought together in a remote place surrounded by the desert in Nevada. It truly was a magical weekend.
I spent the weekend in Yerington, Nevada with my roommates, friends, and friends of friends from all over the place. I even met someone from Massachusetts! We all came together for Burning Girl: a tamed down spinoff of Burning Man with music, food, and art shared between everyone who drove down the 9-mile dirt road at less than 20 mph to have an unforgettable holiday weekend. (Thank goodness no flat tires ensued - it was a serious concern.)
A lazy river surrounded the property - home to a ranch, massage cabana, wine bar, saloon, and several campgrounds. We spent our days in the river floating down on tubes, BBQing in the wood stove, playing games, and sharing everything and anything with everyone. ("Cocksicles anyone?" - Camp Catnip's contribution, heavily boozed up popsicles)
Each night bands took stage to play all their songs and favorite hits while people danced for hours by the river under the stars. It really was such a blast and amazing time.
Standing in the wilderness with a spectacular view of the Milky Way I thought about how small we are in comparison to the world and all of the simultaneous experiences being had and shared under the same millions and millions of stars.
I can't even begin to talk about all of the food that was consumed during this trip. From the essential road trip In N' Out to the hot dogs on the fire pit, s'mores to an immoderate amount of salt and vinegar chips... ya know, just all the camping essentials.
On our last night at the ranch we had a family style dinner with all the friends of Camp Catnip. We cooked sausages and mini hot dogs, made a huge vat of guacamole, a gigantic salad, and I whipped up a big batch of my favorite chickpea salad. I know, I have been all about the chickpeas lately. They are just so good.
A chickpea salad is the perfect addition to campfire hot dogs. The ingredients do not need to be iced, are easy to store, and just delicious together.
Camping Chickpea Salad
2 - 16 oz. cans of chickpeas or garbanzo beans, drained
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
juice of 2-3 limes freshly squeezed
generous amount of salt + pepper
scant 1 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
dash of hot sauce (optional)
In a medium sized bowl or container combine all ingredients and stir. Enjoy!