Although the odd evening where my mattress has deflated and I wake up with stiff hips on hard ground has made me reconsider my decision several times!
I find the prospect of cooking on a campsite fun yet challenging in the sense that I have to think through exactly what I want to eat with what and then bring it. And I NEVER like eating boring food even when camping. What we do is really car camping and I bow to my friends like Joanne, and Chris and Elsie who whip up bannock in a pan out of nothing and purify their drinking water from puddles. That kind of camping is just not for me although the boys really want to go extreme camping (as they call it) in Algonquin Park next year and I know I will have lots of fun figuring out how to dehydrate stuff for them to take.
When I decide on salads, I try to make ones that use less than 5 ingredients and ones where ingredients can be repeated in different forms from one dish to another. Fennel Lemon Salad or Caprese Salad are both great examples of dishes with 2 or 3 key components. Tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce never go wrong and there is nothing wrong with a good bottled dressing in your cooler.
Couscous also works better as a side or as the base for a salad than rice, as it only takes time to boil the water, then sitting for 5 minutes. Throw in a combo of stock and orange juice instead, add some Asian spices, open a can of mandarin oranges and stir in. Sprinkle with mint and voilà - creative but easy side dish.
We also generally camp with our long-time friends Ann, James and their son Shane (the BFF of our favourite Junior Chef). We just pool resources for lunch and then take turns making dinner at each other's sites so it reduces the planning in half and the cooking in half.
I also find this is the time where I will use helpers to make dishes come together quickly. When I say helpers I mean buying products I can turn into something else, or buying good quality prepared products. So I might pick up 10 chicken kabobs from Bano's at the Market and vac seal them, or buy pre-formed lamb burgers from Whitehouse meats. If you ask them, they'll even vac seal them for you on sight in whatever quantity you want.
Corn Relish and Red Relish for burgers.
Glen made pulled pork last weekend - his first attempt in his smoker - and we vac sealed and froze it. We'll make some BBQ sauce - we did an amazing Carolina-style vinegar and mustard one last weekend.
And I am bringing Falafel which I made last week for something different for lunch. We shall see how it turns out but the plan is to just crisp the Falafel balls in a non-stick frying pan. I also have some pickled turnips I bought from a vendor at a Farmer`s Market and an Eggplant dip from Scheffler`s at the Market that I`ll add some Tahini to make a quick sauce. Otherwise, it is wraps and sandwhiches. Those little cans of flavoured tuna are great or the foil packed Thai Tuna would be a good sandwich.
So here`s what we have planned for dinner....you know I will let you know how it all turns out. And I might even teach you all how to make Spider Weenies!!!
Day 1: Whitehouse Meats Lamb Burgers with Shropshire Blue Cheese
Caesar Salad with Crispy Bacon, Sour Dough Croutons and Parmesan
Day 2: Glen`s Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Carolina BBQ Sauce
and Tangy Coleslaw
Day 3: Marinated Chicken with Lentil Salad (more details once I have them)
Grilled vegetables would go nicely here.... (hint hint Ann)
Day 4: Chili with Fresh Bread
Green Salad with Herbs, Tomatoes , Cucumbers and Cheese
Jiffy Pop (late night snack 2)
Day 5: Home...recipes and photos to come!