A Classic Adirondack Hiker’s Cookbook Returns

With lakes still locked in ice—30 inches on some bodies of water in the heart of the Adirondacks—and rivers running dangerously frigid and fast, early April presents challenges for getting outdoors. Trout season opened on April Fool’s Day, a cosmic joke. Mud is inexorably creeping across the backcountry trails that had excellent cover for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Even if your bike went into hibernation in tip-top tune last fall, road shoulders are thick with slippery sand and debris. It’s frustrating if you’re itching to get moving.

This is the ideal time to get out the guidebooks like Spencer Morrissey’s The Other 54 or mull a trek on the 132-mile Northville–Placid Trail, celebrating its 90th anniversary this June. It’s a good time to consider paddling new destinations such as the Essex Chain Lakes.

And because the time is ripe for planning adventures, take a look at the recently reissued Hungry Hiker’s Book of Good Cooking by Gretchen McHugh. Originally published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1982, Hungry Hiker went through 13 printings and sold 50,000 copies until it was dropped from Knopf’s backlist in 2007. McHugh and her husband, John Sullivan, began work on a new edition, but she was diagnosed with a rare form of dementia, and entered a nursing home in 2012.

Sullivan, who lives in Chestertown, told me, “I wasn’t up to doing extensive revisions and realized they weren’t needed: the 130-odd recipes still work, stoves and other equipment are much the same and the process of planning and organizing are unchanged. I did fix a few things and fiddled with lists of suppliers.”

For an overview of the new Hungry Hiker visit, full of timeless advice for eating well in the wilds. You’ll find that many delicious dried ingredients for soup and stew mixes to pack at home are readily available in the supermarket, and you’ll learn how a food dehydrator is a great backpacking tool. There’s an array of tasty bars and cakes along with delicious oatmeal cookie recipes, and you don’t need to have an expedition in the works to bake these chewy coconut/raisin treats.

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