Every year we go camping in the fall. It's a tradition that's lasted for more than twenty years. Some years we've skipped but our hardcore camper friends Ed, Rick and Terry never do. The camping site is not far from LA. We go either to Pt. Mugu (Sycamore Canyon) or Leo Carrillo Beach. They are both north of Malibu, just an hour drive from Santa Monica so we don't even need to spend the night if we don't want to, and can still call it camping. Love it. Last year was Leo Carrillo (here is the l link last's year's camping experience). This year we chose Pt. Mugu. You have to book about six months in advance to get a camping spot. They are that popular with campers.
I don't like sleeping in tents. I've suffered through enough sleepless nights so after my son Sakae left for college, I became a once-a-year day camper. But I am sure in this modern age, camping has improved, as far as comfort is concerned. Maybe no more stiff backs when you get up in the morning. Near our campsite, we saw a restored vintage tear drop camper. It was bright as a lemon. beautiful design. Terry was talking about getting one. I would spend the night in something cool like that.
The moon was still nearly full. There were a couple of sweet news - Rick and Terry's daughter Alexis got engaged to a young man from Lompoc. Ed's daughter Kimberly had a healthy baby son.
It was a lovely night with old friends!
This year Ed said we are doing fish. Annie and I protested because we have always done tri-tip (Check out our tri tip from last's year camping trip - here is the link). But Ed kept saying not this year. So we gave up and went lean. Annie brought her famous enchiladas (the picture came out blurry so it didn't make the blog but it was delicious!). Terri made guacamole and stir fried snow peas. Rick made his special chocolate chip cookies. Ed asked me to bring a salad and dessert but he ended up bringing a big fruit tart too, so we duplicated our effort. Still, we had no trouble finishing the desserts. I made a tart tatin but have no pictures to show you. I used the recipe in Zester Daily. It was not too sweet nor heavy. The granny smith apples fell apart but they still tasted good .The crust was perfect.
I am not a big fan of soba salad but I decided that I should give it another chance. Many soba salads use soy sesame based dressings, which is fine if you are using dried soba noodles. But if you make them fresh, like I do, sesame seed oil overwhelms and masks the flavor and aroma of the soba. I find that a light extra virgin olive oil or canola oil works better. I made a citrus salad dressing, using Yuzu juice. The soba salad needed more salt... but noone brought salt to the campsite. Can you believe it? Ed thought he had picked up some when he stopped by at McDonald's earlier. McDonalds! Any salt would have done the job but we did fine without it.
Red radishes for the salad
Soba Noodle Salad with Vegetables
1 lbs soba noodles, fresh or dried, cooked and shocked in cold water
2 Persian cucumbers, julienned
1 carrot, peeled and julienned
1 yellow pepper, julienned
1 box assorted cherry tomatoes
1 cup sweet peas, deveined and blanched
Chopped herbs such as dil, chives, cilantro
1 yuzu, lemon or lime
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 tsp ginger juice
1 tbls miso paste
1 tsp sugar or honey
1/3 cup canola oil or light olive oil
1 tsp light sesame oil (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper
Ground cracked red pepper (optional)
Salt to taste
Make the salad dressing. Squeeze the lemon or limes ot make juice. Combine all the ingredients to make the dressing. Adjust taste to your liking.
Prepare the vegetables.
Cook the soba noodles in a large pot of boiling water, until al dente. Drain and shock in cold ice water.
In a large bowl, gently toss the soba noodles with the vegetables and 1/ 4 cup of the dressing. Add the remaining dressing. Garnish with herbs.
Didn't have time to take a picture of the soba salad except