One of the pleasures of camping, for me anyway, is the meal preparation and planning. I love making lists of meals we have enjoyed, those we sort of tolerated and those that we would never again attempt.
I love the shopping lists, the lists of things we already have on hand……..and the lists of lists so I can find them again once made!
Whenever I think of meals for camping I remember a trip George and I took when the children were small. We met up with my sister and her husband in west Texas at a desert lake resort (yes, I KNOW…but it’s TEXAS!) that had campsites available. I brought enough food for two adults and twenty small kids (I had two) and Anne? Well she brought along two packages of hot dogs and three boxes of pop tarts. Yea. I have a horror of being in a similar situation, thus my lists.
Honestly, the trick to eating well while in a camp site is to do just a few things.
- take along a camp stove. You can not regulate the heat of a campfire…I know as I have tried.
- Only cook the amount you will actually need. Leftover foods either go to the dogs or the trash. DO NOT eat leftover foods in the boonies..YOU WILL get sick.
- Clean your pans and dishes completely and then sterilize them.
No, don’t take a dishwasher with you…take a small container of chlorine bleach (like clorox).
Have a three part wash system.
Three small plastic bins can easily become a washing station. One for hot water and soap to scrub off the used dishes, one with clean rinse water (change frequently) and one with clean water and a tablespoon of bleach. Dip the items in, shake off and air dry. The clorox kills any germs left behind, and neutralizes the possibility of any growing before you need to use the item again. You will never get camper’s tummy if you wash dishes this way.
Now I sort of indicated I’d share some recipes. Really just about any recipe can be modified for camp cooking. You can even bake over a propane stove. I’ve made cakes, pies, biscuits, and even pizza over a camp stove. It’s super simple in an old fashioned dutch oven…but if you are like me you no longer own one…so……get a large deep fry pan. find a cheap tinfoil pie plate that will cover the pan. Fill pan with water, place pie plate over top of it. put your pizza, biscuits, cake whatever on the pie plate. Cover and turn down the heat on the stove. it takes about 20 minutes for all of them to bake. And no, that wasn’t the recipe.
Here ya go…”Queen Suze Chicken” (most know this as king ranch chicken)
1 can lo-salt cream of chicken soup
1 small container (6 oz) sour cream
1 pound cooked chicken (I use thighs and legs as the meat is richer)
1 6-oz can Rotel tomatoes with onions and chili
1/2 pound grated cheese (I used colby-jack and cheddar)
1 small bag corn chips or 5 corn tortillas torn into small pieces
place chicken, Rotel, grated cheese, and soup into large deep fry pan. heat until cheese melts, stirring constantly. add sour cream and corn chips/tortillas and stir to mix. SERVE. Will feed six adults, or four adults and four dogs….