One can camp in luxury or rough it and it's still called camping. We looked through some campers at an RV show this week and it was amazing what they can put on wheels! But I was disappointed for the most part. My idea of camping isn't a lavish motor home, as nice as they are. Instead, I'd love to sleep in a vintage camper, say 1960's or so. Kind of like a mini cabin on wheels with a toilet. Now there will no doubt be some who see THIS as over-the-top and not real camping. And that's fine. I'm not in competition to see who can "rough it" the most. I've done the tent thing, used a campground hole in the ground which was the potty, and not showered for days, but I'd kind of like to ENJOY my vacation and so each person needs to do what he or she likes the most.
My point is this... consider camping at SOME level below the decked out RV on wheels and get a reality check as to where your family needs to make some adjustments. You may even want to try several different camping scenarios so you can test yourselves even further. And have FUN! Leave the electronics at home and enjoy nature and each other!
Lisa's podcast is divided into segments where she hosts more than one guest. One that I hadn't planned on listening to but enjoyed immensely was Linda Dixon who wrote a cookbook called Just Dutch It. Honestly, while I had been looking into solar ovens, I hadn't even considered a dutch oven. Silly me! After hearing her talk about all it's uses, I was chomping at the bit to get to the big city to purchase one. Since we keep plenty of firewood for our woodstove, we could always make a fire pit out back and cook there in an emergency.
Obviously, dutch oven cooking has been around for hundreds of years. According to either Lisa or Linda, even Lewis and Clark packed a dutch oven with them while exploring the western portion of the United States. Somehow I don't think their recipes called for boxed cake mix and commercially canned fruit, but those items are certainly easy to throw together for a cobbler. Most dutch oven cookbooks require ingredients that I might not use on a regular basis, but what makes Linda's cookbook so unique is that her 60 + recipes are all from food storage! I have not seen the book myself, but seems like she has included some quality ingredients as her recipe featured on her website uses things like whole wheat flour and honey.
Once you get the hang of using a dutch oven, I think you can cook most anything you would normally cook in it. But it's those tricks that make the difference, and Linda passes them on in her book. For example, I never realized I could use the dutch oven like I would my own oven, cooking things on another pan inside the dutch oven. While my mom had a dutch oven and used it, these skills were not passed on to me. Learn how to use one and pass on the knowledge to your children!
Update (7/23/11): I forgot to mention my own preparedness - I got an apple tree and two blackberry bushes for my garden. I hope to add about one fruit tree every month or two.
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