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Camping and cooking

 
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Judy



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 1196
Location: buried under a pile of books somewhere in Adelaide, South Australia

PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 1:03 am    Post subject: Camping and cooking Reply with quote

I think we had a similar topic a couple of years ago, but instead of revisiting old threads, let's start a new one.

We have just spend a few days camping beside a creek a few hours drive north east of Adelaide. Just the 2 of us, no hungry kids to feed, so we didn't have to haul tons of food with us.

I usually just cook one-pot meals - pasta, risotto, stews. But this time we had char-grilled steak with fried potatoes as well. I have a favourite cast-iron cooking pot that we use for everything - porridge, the above-mentioned pastas and risottos, bread. Just about everything except boiling water for coffee.

I'm holding it in the photo, picking bugs out of our morning porridge. We discovered that our oats had a bug infestation and as we were a loooong way from any shops, we just had to make do with what we had. I soaked the oats overnight to get rid of most of the bugs and in the process discovered that it is much quicker to cook soaked oats. So that was a happy accident. And I don't think we ate too many bugs for breakfast.


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georgia



Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 456
Location: california

PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not bugs Shocked , Judy. Protein. Protein.
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Judy



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 1196
Location: buried under a pile of books somewhere in Adelaide, South Australia

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL - thanks Georgia!
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Knifethrower



Joined: 29 Oct 2006
Posts: 218
Location: Heaven, actually.

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 4:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Judy,

I dunno if you were looking for what others do for camp food, and I hope not to overrun your thread with offering my own outback food...

On our last camping trip, we maximized usage of our new vacuum food saver and brought paella, curried sweet potato hash, marinated buffalo steaks, tikka chicken with turmeric and chili spiced basmati rice, and the usual fixins for S'mores- something Brian had never had before. I cooked most of it beforehand, froze it and used it as icepack for the cooler (I was actually off work all last summer and had nothing to do but pack for adventures every weekend.).

Nothing beat hot oatmeal porridge in the morning, though!

Precooking helps me to keep the dishes to a low roar- boiling the food in the bags, then washing up in the leftover hot water.

But never, ever, do we go anywhere without the 750 ml. espresso pots!!

Judy, I am so tickled you had a camping trip, and time to enjoy with your honey. Thanks for sharing the picture and the ideas for one-pot dinners. I should indulge my inner pastahound more!!!
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Judy



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 1196
Location: buried under a pile of books somewhere in Adelaide, South Australia

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Knifethrower, I love reading about what other people eat and cook when they camp, so thanks for sharing some of your meals.

My mother-in-law precooks a lot of their meals when they come camping with us, but I don't - not enough time in the lead-up to a big trip. We travel with a big fridge that runs off 12 volt power. We use it as a freezer, then we have an extension that fits to the top and it doesn't get quite as cold, so we use that for refrigerating things that need to keep cold.

Here's a great tip I learnt just a couple of days ago, which is handy for camp fridges and also ice-boxes, cooler bags or whatever else you use to keep picnic or camping food cold...

Use scrunched-up newspaper to fill the empty space in the fridge/cooler. This decreases circulating air and helps keep things cold for longer.

Sorry, Jen, but I just can't appreciate S'mores. Too sweet.

And hot water for washing up? Luxury! We think we're doing well if we can use water out of a river or creek rather than our precious drinking water.
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gingerpale



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1324

PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Knifethrower, I figured you might chime in on this thread because I know from your blog you're quite a camper and hiker. (And foodie, obviously!)
My SO Rich is happiest outdoors, I provide him with homemade oatmeal cookies when he goes, it's our tradition. His camping food is usual-- chili, packaged mac and cheese, potatoes and eggs, V-8 (vegetable juice). His friend Xavier drains the liquid from a can of corn, replaces liquid with butter, fries that for dinner! His friend Johnny eats a steak every night of the trip. From the very few times I've gone camping, I know how great everything tastes simply because of the setting.
I think the Lahey no-knead bread would be SO perfect for camping--amaze your friends!
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Judy



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 1196
Location: buried under a pile of books somewhere in Adelaide, South Australia

PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gingerpale, I bake bread when we camp - our freezer can only hold so many loaves of bread, and it's easier to carry packets of breadmix, AND I love baking bread using hot coals.

I really like kneading bread, and love having time to actually do it when we're camping. It gets baked in that good old cast iron pot, with foil just under the lid so we don't end up with coals and ash over the top of our loaf when we take the lid off.

Everything tastes better on a camping trip, doesn't it? I think it's the combination of the setting, a good appetite thanks to the great outdoors, and lack of alternative menu options.
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msue



Joined: 18 Dec 2005
Posts: 368

PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A hundred years ago (summer of 1975) I camped my way across 14 states with a rag-tag collection of fellow students (6 hours of college credit!). We camped for 6 weeks with only 4 glorious nights in a cheap motel room (hot shower). Each day we shopped for provisions. Camp chores were divided into 3 duties: cook, dishwasher, and roustabout (who did everything else). Our first job each evening was to scavenge for firewood and build a roaring fire. Then that day's cooks would set to the task of preparing a meal. Some cooks were wonderful.

The most memorable meal was prepared by a fellow student who had never cooked in his life. He sauteed chicken pieces (with bones) until they were browned on all sides. The chicken was added to a pot with a lot of vegetables, covered with water, and simmered until the chicken completed cooking and the veggies were softened. All of that was dumped over rice. It seems funny now, but we were amazed by the mushrooms that he added. (This was in a day when fresh mushrooms were a rarity in the US).

It has been over 30 years since that meal, and those of us who were on the trip still talk about it.

Funny to think about this now, but the primo job was being dishwasher - warm soapy water = clean hands!
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Acadiana



Joined: 20 Apr 2006
Posts: 41
Location: Washington DC

PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2007 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The last time I went camping, my friends bought a battery-operated blender. That is not real camping! Ha ha.
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kitchensqueen



Joined: 20 Aug 2007
Posts: 34
Location: Chicago, IL USA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 1:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My husband and I love to be outdoors. We're of the backpacker set, so everything we eat we have to carry in our packs. So most of our stuff is pretty run-of-the-mill:

Elbow macaroni with powdered sauce and chicken
Tuna casserole
Just-add-water soups
Oatmeal with dried fruit and nuts
Meat jerkies
Granola bars
Fruit leather
Rice noodles
Pancakes (just-add-water mix)
Dehydrated beans with tortillas
Chicken with just-add-water gravy
Couscous
Scrambled egg whites (from dehydrated egg whites)
Pre-packaged noodle and rice dinners
Farina with brown sugar
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