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Seattle Times food writer Nancy Leson serves up the best info and tips on Northwest food, cooking, dining and restaurants.

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April 23, 2008 12:00 PM

Summer camp: Spanish omelets and "bug juice" and Peanut Chews, oh my!

Posted by Nancy Leson

I just opened the latest e-mail newsletter from Tom Douglas, which plugs the blog of one of my favorite food-fanatics -- my NY-based bargain-bites-buddy Ed Levine, whose Serious Eats is well worth talking a look at if you haven't already. And I couldn't help noting that Top Chef's Zoi Antonitsas -- who I chatted about in a post the other day -- will be a "counselor" at Tom's "summer camp" this season. Tom's ungodly expensive summer tour de forced-feeding sounds like way too much fun, and it made me think, with much longing, of my (inexpensive, and worth thrice the price) childhood summer camp: Golden Slipper.

Each year, my sisters, brother, cousins and I would spend three weeks in the Pocono Mountains freezing our tushies off every morning swimming in the ice-cold pool and mountain-cold lake, hanging out at the Nature Lodge (camp song, sung to the Supreme's tune, "Stop, at the Naaaature Lodge. . .") and gossiping about our camp crushes (Gary Discount! Camp counselor "Uncle" Alan Braverman! Swoon!). And of course, we spent plenty of time in the dining hall eating Spanish omelets (hated those!), drinking "bug juice" and waiting to hear about the evening's entertainment (like the talent show where I once got up in front of 500 people and brought the house down with an imitation of Babs Streisand singing "Don't Rain on My Parade").

Every night at camp we'd get special treats. ("What are you waiting for?" Treats!" "I can't hear you!" "TREAAAAATS!!!!"), and on a good day, they handed out my all-time childhood favorite Goldenberg's Peanut Chews.

Philadelphia kids are still enjoying themselves at Golden Slipper, as I saw after Googling the camp and finding this YouTube video (brought tears to my eyes, swear). And I'm still eating Peanut Chews (which I occasionally find at Bartell Drugs, and which metro columnist Nicole Brodeur sometimes brings me back from her trips to the East Coast).

Well, so much for my trip down memory lane. Now I'm asking: Did you go to summer camp? Where? When? And what do you remember most about the camp grub you ate there?

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Listen to Nancy at 5:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. during Morning Edition, at 4:40 p.m. during All Things Considered and again the following Saturday at 8:30 a.m. during Weekend Edition on KPLU 88.5.

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