“Remember that spicy, peanuty sesame noodle thing you make? We want that again!” requested Sue this past spring. Sue had allowed me to stay in her house in Yosemite West for no less than 37 weeks over the course of a decade, and although it had been a few years since I had cooked for her, she still remembered this divine dish. It’s been my secret weapon as a fulltime climber/couch surfer for as long as I can remember. I’ve made it for foreign boyfriend’s families, a party of 30 in Camp Four and for a friend’s Midwest wedding.
Even if you aren’t a guest in someone’s home, this recipe is totally worth the effort for the following reasons:
- If you don’t put meat in it, it can last in your ice-less cooler for at least a couple of days.
- Impress PBJ/Powerbar underachievers by showing up at the crag with the leftovers for lunch. Bonus style points if you eat it with chopsticks.
- Dudes dig chicks that can cook (ask my husband or any of my ex-boyfriends, who are now starving and lonely).
- Chicks dig dudes that can cook.
- You can take a picture of your creation and post it on Facebook.
When our dirtbag, van-dwelling, super-youth friend Hayden Kennedy recently stayed in our driveway for a week, I knew he needed my help. Now Hayden can crush the 5.14s and blaze up El Cap in an afternoon, but he’s a youngster with zero skills with the ladies. He needed a go-to, sure-fire date-clinching meal—and not just a lame pot of pasta and red sauce… he needed to know how to cook my secret-weapon meal. He knows little to nothing about cooking, but he eagerly strapped on an apron and believe-it-or-not was able to serve admirably as my sous chef. So ladies, if you see the super youth cruising the Valley floor or milling about in El Chalten, do yourself a favor and sweetly ask him to cook you this meal, but be sure you kiss him goodnight (at a minimum… huma-da-huma-da-huma-da-meeeeow!).
[Hayden Kennedy: Ladies wanted, inquire within. All photos: Brittany Griffith]