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So, it’s a hundred degrees or so, and you don’t want to break out the stove. Or, you want to go hiking and have a hot meal when you get back. Or, you still have 400 miles to drive before you reach camp for the night.

Time to do some dashboard cooking.

Dashboard cooking works best if you’re not going to be in the car. The greenhouse effect that happens when the sun beats down and gets trapped (the same reason you shouldn’t leave dogs and kids in the car) heats up food much more efficiently if you don’t have the A/C on inside. That said, as long as your food isn’t on a vent, you can still warm things up fairly well. It just takes longer — figure about twice the time.

Before we went hiking in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, I made up some dashboard burritos with ingredients we’d picked up at the Whole Foods in Austin. (Note, if you picked up food in Austin and drove it to GMNP, I really hope you also invested in a cooler and some ice. They’re in the same state, but not exactly “close.”)

What you’ll need:

  • Foil
  • A spoon (Picked up a biodegradable one from a coffee shop. Reused it.)
  • Burrito wraps or sandwich wraps (bread works too for other sorts of sandwiches)
  • Beans (I used a pouch of pre-cooked pinto beans)
  • Spices (The Austin WF had cheap little packs of spice, so I used the “taco seasoning.” Cumin and chili powder are the main ingredients if you’d rather mix it up yourself.)
  • Salsa
  • Cheese (Again with the Daiya cheddar)
  • A rubber band or binder clip for the cheese bag

Lay out out a piece of foil on the hood or trunk of the car or a picnic table and put a burrito wrap on it. Spoon out some beans, sprinkle some spices on them, spoon on some salsa (no so much it’s too wet), and a bit of cheese. Roll up the burrito. Roll up the foil around it.

burritos

If you’re worried about a mess, stick your burritos in a plastic bag or on some napkins before placing them on the dashboard.

Then, off you go. Drive, hike, swim, drink beer around camp, lie supine next to the lake… You get the idea.

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2013-07-04_12-24-44_1402013-07-04_12-31-46_784When you get back, it’s picnic time! 2013-07-04_13-11-08_11

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