Thursday, May 24, 2012

Friday Inspiration: Camping Food!

What would summer be without camping? Or at least a day-long picnic? Now is the time to mark a few days off on your calendar and reserve a site for your overnight stay, wherever that may be. And when we camp, it seems everyone gets a bit hungrier. So whether you camp in a tent, a camper, or a cabin, planning the food is a big event for the trip!

Get Campie has a Recipe Box of ideas (along with great photos and leads on campers - my dream camper is a vintage canned ham!).

This idea from Truly Simple was totally new to me... Orange Cinnamon Rolls, in oranges no less! Okay, so I don't do rolls in a tube, but perhaps an easy monkey bread recipe could be adapted for this? And use the orange pulp to make the icing? May have to try this one. Hey, I've camped with a sour dough starter. How hard could it be to do monkey bread?

Sure enough, someone is way ahead of me. Donna Kelley who is a contributor for "Mom Click" of the Daily Hearld came up with a blueberry muffin in an orange. Check it out!

Here's a link for 64 camping recipes from Better Recipes, including the traditional Banana Boats. The recipes are rated on this site, so it will give you a good idea of things that worked well for camping. I'm not promising these are healthy recipes, but the list will get your brain thinking so you can maybe adapt them to fit your eating habits.

Last year I found this list of recipes on Quiet Journey's site. It's quite extensive and has a little something for everyone. Most of the recipes on this site are from scratch, but easy to prepare, which is really nice since most camping recipes focus so much on cutting corners that they opt for ingredients I prefer not to use. (I'm fine with it for once in a while, but a whole trip on processed food will make us all come home needing a vacation from our vacation, if you know what I mean!)

Along the lines of healthy camping food, Katie Kimball has two ebooks you might want to consider. The first, Kitchen Stewardship in the Big Woods, features recipes for real food camping. The other book, Healthy Snacks To Go, has over 45 portable food items you can make for the hungry crowd.

I saw this Ina Garten Baked Fontina Dipped recipe on Pinterest and thought it should work for camping if you use a lid with coals on top. Going gourmet sure makes for some fine eating while in the woods! Get creative and think outside the box!

I like to try and gather some local food from the area where we're camping and make something. Last year, we camped at the beach and picked up some fresh clams. I planned this in advance and brought along everything I would need to make clam chowder (which was perfect on a cold foggy night at the beach!). Be sure you research farmers markets as well as recipes you might need.

If you'll be cooking in a dutch oven for the first time, you'll find Backwoods Home Magazines post on the Seven Secrets of Dutch Oven Cooking a must read as well as Scouting Magazine's guide for controlling the temperature!

Don't forget, if you're using a dutch oven over the open flames, a Grandpa Jake's Campfire Cooker would be a worthy investment! It allows you to cook items at various temperatures while having a few shelves for setting things on - always a need when camping! I have mine ready to go!

Finally, don't forget the snacks. I don't need to give you a list of junk food... all you have to do is walk down a grocery isle and you can fill your cart fast. But for those who want to take some healthy snacks along the way, consider making some homemade granola bars or trail mix to take along with you. Here's a list from Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans to get you started...

If you're going to have food, you'll probably have yellow jackets (wasps) as well. They are also called meat bees for a reason! (They're not bees at all! Bees are our friend, yellow jackets... not so much.) Last year, as we were wrapping up a fantastic camping adventure on a river in the mountains, I got stung several of us got stung and it was miserable! We could hardly eat our food on the last night because they were so thick! From now on, I'll take along my Rescue Disposable Yellow Jacket Traps to hang in the trees. I've used them in our outdoor dining area at home, but it didn't occur to me to take a couple camping. I can assure you, I won't forget again! (And they don't trap the bees, just the wasps.)

So, where will you be camping this summer? Please share your best camping food tip!


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