So what do you do when you go camping during the worst drought ever and
can't have any kind of fire, not even charcoal? You improvise.
A few days before we go camping we sit down and decide what we want to each while we are gone. Once we only took instant oatmeal for breakfast, which was fine...until the neighbor started cooking bacon and eggs. But none of us want to be cooking and cleaning up the entire time, because it's vacation. So we do a few easy meals, like sandwiches for lunch, and a few cooked meals.
Before we go camping, I make up a half batch of my pancake mix without the liquid ingredients and put it in a ziplock bag. So we have pancakes with bacon one morning . Camping is the only time I make bacon so it is a real treat. On another morning I'll make eggs and bacon taquitos. The rest of the time we have instant oatmeal or bagels with cream cheese.
For our dinners, we usually use the dutch oven but not this year. Since we couldn't take the dutch oven and Carl really wanted pot roast and gravy, I took my electric roaster oven. It worked great. We used it for pot roast with potatoes and carrots one night. For the gravy Carl took the drippings from the roast and added a can of cream of mushroom soup. It was really good. We also used the roaster oven to cook link sausage with potatoes one night. We had spaghetti one night. I cooked the spaghetti and browned the meat before we left home and froze them. Then I just boiled water and poured it over the spaghetti to heat it up. I heated the meat up in a pan with some canned sauce and it turned out pretty good.
Gabriel really wanted burgers one night and so before we left he spent time making the hamburger patties with his special secret recipe. I told him to only make one per person because I didn't want to have leftovers. I'm not exactly sure how the miscommunication happened, but apparently Gabriel thought I meant to use the entire 5 pounds of meat to make the eight patties. The burgers where huge. Unfortunately, they got left in the freezer and we had to use store bought patties. But I'm sure they'll taste just fine here at the house.
We also made some peanut butter treats to take with us, this time Christian made them and rolled them in mini chocolate chips. yum
Here's some ideas about cooking while camping:
- Cook some or all of your food ahead of time and then just heat it
- Have non cooked food for lunch and snacks
- Freeze everything that can be frozen so that you don't have to keep getting ice
- Cook and eat the food that is raw first - like our roast - and save the pre-cooked food for the end of the trip
- Freeze a couple of gallons of water for your ice chests. They will keep the food cold without getting water on everything and when the water melts you can drink it.
- Everyone either helps cook or gets to help clean up. This is key. Everyone needs to pitch in so that no one gets stuck doing all the domestic work.
- If you forget something, try to figure out a way to do without. On our honeymoon we camped and forgot to bring any kind of cooking utensils. So Carl had to whittle a stick so we could scramble eggs and flip tortillas. We still have that stick - 20 years later.
For more great recipe ideas, check out Tasty Tuesday