read the outdoors

Janet Joy loves to share great books!

In 2015 she became the resident Book Lover on...

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DID YOU KNOW that for lovers of Canada’s national parks , Parks Canada is celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday a little earlier – if you’re purchasing your park pass now in 2016 – it won’t expire until 2018!   It’s part of an initiative that will make park access free for all users in 2017 to celebrate Canada 150 !!

Therefore I’m suggesting this book so that when you’re in the great outdoors you’re still enjoying great food alongside a standard like Kraft Dinner & Hot Dogs!

The philosophy of Campfire Cuisine is LIVE TO EAT so why not at a campsite? I know how hungry I am after a day of canoeing or hiking and to eat great food makes the entire experience even better!

Let me paint the picture:

For breakfast upon waking to the songs of the birds, have a decadent Bananas Foster French Toast.

Go for a hike, swim, paint a scenery a la Group of Seven and then unpack your premade Curried Chicken Sandwiches & / or a  Grilled Veg salad with Goat Cheese.

For the afternoon go canoeing. Exploring. Look under a fallen branch. Do a little yoga in the woods  and under a starry sky savour Grilled Steak Tacos paired with a pinot noir.

This outdoor dining experience can be yours!! Food can be pre-made and then just warmed up at your campsite. 

Tips for storing, packing, choosing the right camp stove, making ahead & much more are in this travel worthy cookbook. All recipes here take mere minutes of prep„ use minimal ingredients & delicious enough that you’ll want to serve at home because there are tips for adaptation.

Don’t wait for me, get yourself a Parks Canada Pass & get outdoors!

 While you’re in your backyard, a neighbourhood park or at a friend’s cottage or on a campsite …inspiration can be abundant … I am influenced by my surroundings and nature is transformative for me.

Natalie Goldberg wrote the iconic writer’s book called Writing Down The Bones in 1986!  In her groundbreaking first book, she brought together Zen meditation and writing in a new way. Writing practice, as she calls it, is no different from other forms of Zen practices.With insight, humor, and practicality, Natalie Goldberg inspires writers and would-be writers to take the leap into writing skillfully and creatively. She offers suggestions, encouragement, and solid advice on many aspects of the writer’s craft: on writing from “first thoughts” (keep your hand moving, don’t cross out, just get it on paper), on listening (writing is ninety percent listening; the deeper you listen, the better you write), on using verbs (verbs provide the energy of the sentence), on overcoming doubts (doubt is torture; don’t listen to it)—even on choosing a restaurant in which to write.  Goldberg sees writing as a practice that helps writers comprehend the value of their lives. The advice in her book, provided in short, easy-to-read chapters with titles that reflect the author’s witty approach (“Writing Is Not a McDonald’s Hamburger,” “Man Eats Car,” “Be an Animal”).  

In Goldberg’s newest book The Great SpringWriting, Zen, and this ZigZag Life.  This is a treasury of personal stories reflecting a life filled with journeys – inner & outer – zigzagging around the world and back again.

From New Mexico desert to Japan to France – she remained grounded and informed by two constants: writing & zen.

The message is No matter how hard the situation or desolate you may feel, spring will come again .  I encourage you to zigzag to this book with a paper & pen nearby.

After camping, cooking, eating and writing I now give you a book to read called Before the Wind by Jim Lynch.  

According to Michael Crummey – he says it’s a “a barn burner of a book. A perfectly weighted narrative … to make your head spin with wonder.”

When I started this novel, I kept checking to make sure it wasn’t a memoir. It is ‘fiction’ but heavily influenced by Lynch’s personal experience.  It’s about the complexity of family, competition against wind & waves and the power of friendship in an irresistible fierce world.

Alan Doyle says  this novel “brings me back to those shores as his song of a novel sing of both the ease and magic of the perfect sailing day and the near impossibility of surviving the worse one.”

I hope that this trio of books provides you with a multitude of reasons to read the outdoors.

Campfire Cuisine
Gourmet Recipes for the Great Outdoors
Written by Robin Donovan;
The Great Spring
Writing, Zen, and This Zigzag Life
Written by Natalie Goldberg;
Before the Wind
Written by Jim Lynch;