Monday, March 23, 2015

How to do Glamping Part II

If camping ain't easy, I don't want to camp.  So I spend my off-weekends, planning how to make each successive camp-out that much easier. It starts with planning, planning and more planning.Take a page from my years of experience to make your next camp-out a breeze.

This is my second post on how to make glamping easy.  Click here for other tips and tasty recipes from the post, How to do Glamping.

The easiest way to make your camp-out easy, if you ask this mom, is to make the meals and snacks as low-pressure as possible. When the food is easy, you can spend lots more time doing the fun stuff.

First, plan what you're going to eat for each meal. I have a meeting with my fellow moms and together we decide what we are going to eat and when.  We usually plan to eat as a group a couple times during the camp-out, typically we'll each make one dinner and one breakfast for everyone.  Then on the days we aren't sharing food, we still make similar things, like hot dogs, chips and fruit on the day we get there, because, really, who wants to cook after you've just set up camp.

Tin foil dinners are always a classic if you've got a spare night. Pre-pack each pouch before you leave with the meat, rice, veggies and seasoning, freeze them and store in a zip-lock bag to avoid cross-contamination.

My number one rule about cooking while camping is to prep as much food as I can while in the comfort of my home kitchen, then pack it away in ready to go pouches.  There are a number of reasons for this rule.

1-I don't want to clean while I'm camping.  This includes (especially) washing a bunch of prep dishes.  Ugggh.
2-Cooking is much more difficult in the wild outdoors.  Cook where it's easy.  I have camped with only a very small table before.  Can you imagine trying to chop onions and peppers and make meatballs with no prep space as most of the very small table was already being used by a water jug and a myriad other things. I learned a lot after that camping trip.
3-I'd rather be having fun, than cooking.

Dinner

You can take anything camping.  Imaging how easy it would be to take tacos.  Cook your meat, cool it and stow it in a plastic zip-lock bag, then freeze it to help with spoilage.  Then when you get to your campsite, you only have to thaw it and warm it up. Pre-shred your cheese. Chop some lettuce. Pour salsa in a zip-lock bag. A baggy of jalepenos, some sour cream and tortillas. Or, even easier, make a Dorito Pie.  Buy individual bags of Doritos, toss all your taco fixings in and devour, no tortillas needed.

An easy, dutch-oven dinner is giant meatballs and veggies.  Take some ground beef, bread cubes and salt and pepper and wrap meat around a Laughing Cow cheese.  Freeze them on a cookie sheet individually and once they are solid, throw them all in a zip-lock bag.

easy camping meals
Bunch of vegetables: I like potatoes, carrots and onions, a little pre-chopped garlic and already diced green onions for garnish.  Par-boil your potatoes and carrots.  Saute your onions in advance also.  Pack everything into a well-labeled zip-lock bag, everything in one giant bag, individually bagged inside the bag. I keep everything separated in their own individual bags to keep flavors from melding.

Time to eat: Make sure you have plenty of hot charcoal on the bottom of your dutch oven and plenty to go on top. Throw some oil into your dutch oven, once the oil gets hot, toss in your garlic, saute it for a minute and then throw in your meatballs.  Brown the meatballs, throw in your veggies and sauteed onions, add a can or two of cream of mushroom soup, let cook until the meatballs are cooked through and you have a nice, satisfying meal.

Rice Salad is always nice to take with because none of the ingredients will get soggy between when they are packed and when you want to eat. Pre-cook everything, the rice, the bacon, chop the pepper and olives all in advance, bag everything individually and then pack all the ingredients into a large bag. Click here for my rice salad recipe!  This is a great side dish for hot dogs or if you're just having sandwiches. And when you want to assemble the salad, everything is right there ready to go, and all that is needed is a large bowl and spoon for mixing.

Lunch

My go to lunch.  Because I want things low-fuss and I have a personal issue regarding soggy deli meat, I love the ease of peanut butter and honey tortilla roll-ups.  It means I don't have a loaf of bread to get squished and my kids and husband alike will eat these happily.

Chips. These make a good side-dish as well as an easy snack.

Breakfast

I always cook breakfast when we camp.  Do I always cook breakfast at home?  Hell, no!  Camping though, is special.

An easy way to store eggs is to crack as many as you'll need into a large-ish container with a lid. I've used a kefir bottle and it worked beautifully. It's kind of an adventure watching the egg yolks get sucked down into the bottle, you cross your fingers and hope there isn't any over-flow. Note I have labeled this bottle of kefir, eggs. 

Frozen, pre-cooked sausages. They are easy to throw on a griddle and I like having protein at breakfast.

Pre-assembled biscuit mix.  As you can see the proportions here are enough for two batches of biscuits, and yes, I bake them in one of my dutch ovens.

I drink a lot of kefir, obviously, but this kefir bottle has regular milk for my coffee and the water bottle with the initials, BM, ummmm, is butter milk for my biscuits. I could have bought a quart of milk, but I had the kefir bottle empty and felt I could polish off the gallon of milk I already had.

Ham steak.  This is so I can fry it up and serve it with my biscuits for breakfast biscuits.  Fresh biscuit with a slice of salty, smoky ham on it with a side of eggs.  Yes please!

I also always have pre-made pancake batter, butter and syrup as my kids and husband are always happy to eat pancakes while camping.

If you drink coffee or tea for breakfast bring it. I like instant coffee packets for their ease of use and cleanliness.  Don't forget the sugar and creamer if you take it. You'll also need a tea pot to boil your water.

Snacks

Whatever your kids like to eat.

Whatever your husband likes to eat.

Whatever you like to eat.  Learning lesson, the un-wrapped Reece's minis melted and became a giant mass of chocolate and peanut butter.  The M & M's and taffy worked much better as camping treats.  Bring more snacks than you think you'll need.  You're always hungry while camping.

Individually packaged cheese slices.  Genius.

Dessert

S'mores.  Every night.  These s'mores were made by sandwiching the marshmallow between an Oreo.  Yummy!

 You may be asking yourself, is all this work worth it?

Oh yeah.
Happy glamping!




3 comments:

  1. You almost make camping sound fun! I've never been a camper. At least not a happy one. I like those campgrounds that have lovely restaurants attached to a building with lots of rooms that have soft, comfy beds and indoor plumbing. And heat. And air conditioning. But all things considered, I would definitely camp with you!!

    xoxo
    -andi

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think I'm going to use your idea to froze individual portions for those days when I have late meetings at school.

    ReplyDelete
  3. you take camping to a whole you new level. The (few) times I went, we had pb sandwiches...I think for every meal :)

    ReplyDelete

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