This Passover, in honor of Moses who wandered for forty years in the desert, we went camping in the forbidden landscape of the Dead Sea area, overlooking Jordan where Mount Nebo is located. From this mountain, Moses had a view of the Promised Land which he would never set foot in, including Wadi Og in the Northern Judean desert where we took our family hiking.
We invited several of our friends to accompany us but nearly all of them looked at us askance and shook their heads with a vengeance sometimes with laughter erupting from the corners of their mouths at the mere ridiculousness of it. This included the Prais family whose idea of a pleasurable outing is the deep blue sea and gentle waves not sleeping on pebbles and eating sand.
They have a point but they will never have a chance to see the sunrise over the Dead Sea, while drinking diluted tea, something I would never miss. On this particular trip we also had forgotten to buy food because we were out sailing and packed barely enough to keep us from starving, rice matza, popcorn and potatoes all cooked over the campfire and the cast iron poyke pot like real wilderness people. The Shains, a brave and adventurous family who agreed to join us brought the most important item- marshmallows!
Rice overlooking the Dead Sea
2 cups of basmati rice
3 cups of water
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
Build a campfire overlooking the Dead Sea (although not too close because you don’t want to fall into a sink hole) using wood gathered from other areas of the country. Keep an eye out for campers who might steal your wood which you worked so hard to gather.
Combine all the ingredients in a cast iron pot. When only glowing coals remain place the pot over them, bunching the coals beneath the pot. Wait for twenty minutes and check doneness. If the rice is almost done, remove the pot from the coals and keep covered for another 10 minutes. The rice will continue cooking in the residual heat of the pot. Come ‘n get it.