When we went camping with a group of friends we brought the typical foods you eat, or at least we thought you eat. We packed up hotdogs and buns with chips and condiments. We also brought along quick cooking noodles from one of those instant bags for lunch. We boiled them and served them out of a plastic cup and ate the gooey goop with a plastic spoon. . We brought fruit for snacks and some crackers and cheese.
That’s camp food right?
After this delicious meal I wandered along to my friend’s campsite. There were about 35 of us including children. My friends have lots of children. One family has 9 while the other has 6 and the other 5 and then they go down in numbers to your typical 3 or 2 kids or even 1. We personally brought 4.
As I followed my nose to my friend’s site I stared for a moment as I watched her preparing her meal. Was I seeing things? Was I really still at Eisenhower State Park Camping ground? She was preparing all kinds of cut of vegetables and wrapping them in foil with butter. Next to this was at least a dozen buttered, fire roasted potatoes carefully wrapped in foil. Further down the table was a Dutch oven with layers of butter and then layers of peaches and then a cake mix carefully tossed on top. This Peach Cobbler would be cooked over an open fire for at least an hour for a delicious, mouth watering desert. The main meal was a big pot full of different basted meats that were rich in taste and smell and slowly grilling over an open fire.
As I wandered down the road I stopped at my other friend’s site. They had a big pot of homemade stew over the fire with big delicious rolls.
Finally I found a site that was simply grilling up burgers but they also had a pot of freshly chopped vegetables sautéed richly in onions, garlic and butter.
These friends are campers. They have learned to live out thier camping experience. They have gone through many tents only to find the perfect one for their family. They have the big cover for their dining experience and all the cooking camping equipment you can ask for. They have fold up rocking chairs and portable lounge chairs with a place for their cups. Coffee is brewed and not instant. Cream is white chocolate with drizzles. While they do ‘rough it’ they eat well and can laugh around the campsite with full bellies while those of us just beginning the camping experience hold our little cups of instant, gooey noodles and a plastic spoon.
Next time we will prepare differently. We will have a Dutch oven and other wonderful cooking tools to cook our cobbler over the fire. I’ll have a comfortable lounge camping chair and delightful foods to cook. I have found a recipe I think will be fun to make. It’s called a Campers Hobo Dinner and while it still leans towards true camping food rather than grilled steaks and such, it fits my personality and I like it:
- 4 – 6 potatoes, you can peel them or leave the peel on if you like, slice thin.
- 1/2 cut up onion. If you like the onion taste, do the whole thing.
- 1 lb ground beef or Turkey if you want
- 1/4 cup water
- salt and pepper
- aluminum foil, in 8 inch lengths
Add water to ground beef and mix well. Add potatoes, onion and seasoning. Mix well. Separate into 3-4 servings. Wrap in double-thickness aluminum foil. Place seam side up on medium hot grill for 40 minutes, rotating periodically.
Have fun Camping! Eat well! Make memories!