Let me give you a little vocabulary lesson.
If you are not from Syracuse, you probably think of “camp” as being a week or two long getaway during the summer with annoyingly enthusiastic counselors, mandatory fun activities, and excessive amounts of bug spray and sunscreen. If you are from Syracuse you understand that the word “camp” also has a secret, cooler definition that means “a house, cottage, trailer, shack etc. located on a lake owned by your family that you go in the summer to do any and all of the warm weather/water activities you desire.” You also know that if you were to invite someone out to your “lakehouse” you would be pretentious and snobby.
I unfortunately did not know going into college that the rest of the country was unaware of our vernacular, and for the first three months of school my roommate thought that a day camp for kids was our family business. It probably didn’t help that I talked about tubing and waterskiing, Scrabble, bonfires, and picking blackberries as normal daily activities that took place at said camp.
Anyway, other than the water sports and word games, one unspoken requirement of going to camp is that you eat until you want to explode. And then you put on a bathing suit and don’t even care about your food-gut because you’re among family. At our camp, we have five full meals. Breakfast, lunch, happy hour, dinner, dessert. The first camp staple I’ll share with you falls appropriately into the category of my favorite of those meals: happy hour.
Black bean salsa is one of those fantastic recipes that my mom picked up somewhere in her seven different bunco groups. It happens to be healthy, which doesn’t always fly out at camp but it’s delicious. And easy- no cooking required. Plus, the longer it sits the better it tastes, which bodes well for us because we often have way too much food and can’t bring ourselves to break out the chicken wing dip AND the bruschetta AND the bean dip all for one happy hour for only 6 people beginning at
You will be an instant hit if you bring this to any party. Or if you tell me you like it, because I would love to receive compliments from any mystery followers of this here blog.
More camp food recipes and anecdotes to come- I heavily photographed all of the food made and consumed in the past two days, much to the discomfort of my extended family. In the mean time, I’m off to a doctor’s appointment where I plan to politely ask them to not announce the number on the scale.
Black Bean Salsa
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can shoepeg corn
2 peppers (preferably different colors for aesthetic purposes) chopped
2-3 tomatoes, choppped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2-2 Tbs salt (taste as you go)
1 tsp pepper
Prepare several hours before serving and refrigerate. Serve with chips- preferably scoops. They’re the bomb.