Camping Menu

Discussion in 'I Smell Something Cooking!' started by HappyTraveler, May 3, 2019.

  1. JLE

    JLE Member

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    Wow, this is a long thread! Great yummy topic, obviously.

    We prepare a bit of food at home (two of us empty nesters) but mainly the prep work like cleaning fruit/veggies and packaging things well. We do the chopping on site so things stay fresher. We stopped worry about the 'white' addition to the meals a few years ago...so dont fuss much with pasta, rice, potatoes, bread...ya, I know. All the tasty stuff!! When we do have pasta, it's a treat. This makes for very easy meals to just decide on a main meat or veg and add a salad. I treat ourselves using pre-cleaned store-bought $ salads, adding avocado, red peppers, cherry tomatoes and favourite dressing.

    We use an outside stove but also use our BBQ ... often as an oven using the gauge to regulate the temp. (Ive debated bringing the Instapot on long trips, but trying to keep the gear to a minimum we decided to make ribs and similar foods at home first.) For the meat, we recently tried buying frozen raw fish fillets, I think it was cod but not the breaded kind. That worked great to saute in frying pan or bake in BBQ on foil, with lemon, veg and salad; and I was surprised it stayed well in the original sealed packaging as it defrosted in the fridge overnight. It kept for another day until we got around to trying it. Of course any fresh raw fish from market makes for a nice dinner per above (better yet, catch your own!). The other meats are typically steak, burgers, ribs, pork tenderloin roasted in BBQ or stir-fried. One of our chicken dishes from home cooks well on the BBQ and that is taking chicken thighs, shake them with pancake mix (if you dont travel with flour), lots of spices to taste...put in re-usable foil tray lined with foil paper (for easy cleaning) on melted butter and oil, and bake in BBQ around 425 degrees for 20-30mins, turning after crisp on each side. They store well once cooked for leftovers.

    Breakfast...always pre-bake bacon at home (400 for 15 mins on foil line tray) and freeze in ziplock so just pull out what we need each time. It last a long time when pre-cooked and saves the messy grease cleanup if using pork. We also like to use turkey bacon which is less messy and healthier. The [CK] makes great blueberry pancakes at least every third morning, with bacon and if in season, rhubarb compote from home. We bring frozen crumpets and usually just toast them on frying pan with butter, and have almond butter/ peanut butter and jam...or make a McMuffin. Otherwise we just bring home-made granola and/or make oatmeal with yoghurt/blueberries or banana. We bring regular eggs and also a tetra-pak of egg whites. You can add egg whites to the oatmeal for more protein...just stir it in when the water is first boiling to prevent the cooked whites from showing. Also add ground almonds. With this for breakfast, I rarely need much by lunchtime.

    Lunches...we started using multi-grain wraps for our hotdogs last year, which saves trying to keep buns fresh, and yes it's healthier. The wraps last in the cooler the whole trip and can be used for so many other dishes. We just heat the wraps for a few secs on BBQ when dogs are ready then add mustard/ketchup and wrap. We treat ourselves to nice quality hot dogs and have them a couple times a week. Otherwise lunches are mostly similar to kitphantom with humous, fruit/veg, cheese, crackers...soup on cool days...maybe a scrambled egg burrito with sausage.

    I notice on long trips we always have to first restock on maple syrup (we Canadians are fussy here on quality [:)O]) and butter, so I bring extra now from home. Must be all those pancake mornings.

    That's our story....enjoy your camping meals.
     
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  2. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    I am getting the impression we need to set up a GTG for campers and cooks!
     
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  3. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    To a certain extent I agree on the white bread is not a great crust replacement for everything. It fits some places, bombs in others.

    It takes some practice, and I am quite out of practice by now, but I do recall using actual premade pie shells in the pie irons.

    My pie irons are the square ones sized to fit white bread almost perfectly. I like to use them with ham and cheese buttered up real good to make a weird kind of grilled ham and cheese sandwich in camp...

    To make actual pies use the pre made pie crust, or DIY your pie crust in camp if you want, cut to size and shape going a bit oversize, stuff, put the other side on, close, tear off the extra and cook..

    I know not the way most folks do it, but it works for me.

    We tend to shop at Aldi these days as their house brands are dirt cheap and every bit as good as the national brands, most of the time.... Some flops but not what I am talking about here...

    We use the Aldi house branded pre made pie shells that come in a box and are branded "Bake House" if they are available. Just lay them out on your cutting board / cutting sheet and cut to size like I mentioned.

    For anything mexican / southwestern, say you wan to do pie iron fajita quesadillas, we use flour tortillas we buy from our local HEB grocery. We prefer more authentic tortillas and the ones that Aldi carries would cater to more northern tastes...

    One thing we make SURE of when using a pie iron, we butter both sides of the bread / crust with softened / melted butter. Helps it cook better, and tastes better. Not to mention it helps them not stick to the pie irons...
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
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  4. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I can definitely do grilled cheese, etc., in a pie iron and be happy. And quesadillas, etc., are fine. With the pies, I also am really picky about the ratio of crust to filling (same with donuts), so that's another ding for the pie iron for me.
     
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  5. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    This whole conversation that spun off to pie irons that me thinking. Pre prepped or even leftover eggs ham and cheese could potentially be reheated sealed in bread as a hot breakfast sandwich with pie irons I would think.
     
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  6. Shaman1

    Shaman1 Well-Known Member

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    Left over (or new) eggs, ham, sausage, cheese and tortillas make great, quick breakfast burritos.
     
  7. 8lugnutz

    8lugnutz Member

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    Our meals pretty much fall into one category: minimal clean up. We have a foodsaver sealer that we use to vacuum seal any leftovers the day they are made. They go into the deep freeze with the label “CAMPING”. If we know we are going on a trip, the last few meals we have at home get a tad bit bigger so we can freeze the leftovers. Spaghetti, Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo, Etc. We just pull them from the freezer and into the pre-chilled cooler with our salt water ice blocks (See here for our reasoning), and then we boil them in the bag. Zero cleanup. Paper bowls/plates, and disposable utensils.

    We also only do things for breakfast that only require hot water: instant oats, cream of wheat, (and pour over coffee!) or if I get really adventurous, I buy a dozen or so biscuits from Cracker Barrel before we go (only $5.38/dz!) and we add bacon/egg/cheese and then use the food saver to vacuum seal, but stop it and seal before the biscuits are hockey pucks. Boil in bag. Works great! No cleanup!

    This is not to say that we never cook in camp, like others here, we do that too, but our main purpose for camping is to get into the great outdoors: hiking, biking, etc, not cleaning up after every big meal. With me and four kids under 10, I once spent an entire morning making bacon, eggs, pancakes, etc, then spent the next hour or so splitting time between bottle washer and referee. We love Dutch oven recipes, pies, cakes, muffins, and everything else, but we usually reserve those for a special night.

    We do use canned biscuits, but not like you would expect....we normally roll those into a snake like form, then wrap around a stick to hold over the fire. When they are done, butter, and then sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon...yum. I remember doing biscuits on a stick when I was young, I’m passing it down to my kids!

    Lunch? Most always a PBJ or a ham sandwich!
     
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  8. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    I understand the appeal of convenience, and we too use the FoodSaver vacuum sealer. I would however suggest you consider the health risks of heating foods in plastics.

    https://oureverydaylife.com/what-are-the-dangers-of-boiling-food-in-plastic-bags-5054662.html

    https://www.everydayhealth.com/colu...icrowaving-food-plastic-may-hurt-your-health/

    Obviously you are free to do as you will, it's your health, but just a bit to consider, we have lost relatives to cancer of the past few years that the doctors say is likely traced to the practice of heating food in plastic containers. My wife and I switched over exclusively to glass containers for hot foods years ago. We cool off everything before storing in plastics...
     
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  9. 8lugnutz

    8lugnutz Member

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    I know that this is an important topic to some and I don't want to start a holy war on this topic on this thread or ruffle anyone's feathers, but to be frank.. this doesn't bother me in the least.

    The first link above really only lists one "health" concern, chemical leaching. Not really concerned about that, food saver bags are BPA free. The other two points refer to melting bags and risk of burns, and again, not a concern as I am a grown adult (and a camper in the woods with bears, therefore a natural risk taker [:)C] ).

    The second link is more pointed, and mentions specific plastics (wrap and processed food containers) and then makes the assumption that all plastics fall in this category: "When heated, harmful chemicals in plastic can leach into your food..." rather than "in these type of plastics". The rest of the article builds it's case on that assumption. Sloppy journalism, but again, doesn't raise concern in my camp (see what I did there?).

    On a serious note, my 4 kids are adopted and each tested positive for two or more drugs after birth and the effects of that during their lifetime is more of a concern to me than what the risk of boiling food in plastic represents. Also, although the doctors can't seem to pinpoint it's exact location yet, they seem to think my wife has cancer and more tests are planned this week. At this point, I'm more scared of getting in my car and driving to the store than I am any of the points in either of those links, but I digress. If I die in the woods from a bear or even because I ate food boiled in plastic, at least I'll die happy and nobody will have to wash dishes...
     
  10. Shaman1

    Shaman1 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to hear about your wife. I hope it works out. We do all take the risks we think are acceptable. Not all of us camp alike. I've taught my grandkids to make cinnamon rolls on a stick. Nothing better than eating good in the woods.
     
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  11. 8lugnutz

    8lugnutz Member

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    We do biscuits on a stick too. Wonderful stuff.
     
  12. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    1st off I'm sorry to hear about what your wife is going through.

    And secondly I'm totally understanding of see risk versus reward on each decision we all make. I only bring it up so that you are aware of the risk as you are already quite aware of the reward. If you are good with the level of risk go for it

    We wake to cooking camp is there are certain things that just in it's hard to explain why but they just taste better while camping.
     
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  13. HappyTraveler

    HappyTraveler Active Member

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    Sorry your family is dealing with the health issues.
    Here's hoping the doctors can figure out what's going on and fight it with a vengeance.
     
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  14. neighbormike

    neighbormike Well-Known Member

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    ^^ x 2! Wishing you and your family good health and happy camping!
     
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  15. 8lugnutz

    8lugnutz Member

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    Thanks everyone. I really appreciate the comments. We have been dealing with it for a while, it just makes us appreciate being together all the more. We typically have one big planned meal during our trips that are more than just a couple days in length. The point of my post wasn’t to solicit empathy/sympathy, but rather to relay that we desire to spent time with our kids rather than washing dishes and cleaning up!
     
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  16. bheff

    bheff Well-Known Member

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    We do cold cereal, or donuts for breakfast and occasionally bacon and pancakes. For lunch we usually just have sandwiches or some other easy lunch. We always eat out for dinner. We "destination " camp and go out and eat the local fair that we cant get at home.
     
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