Thursday, August 19, 2010

Camp food or I have no words

I'm up early today as usual. I made my coffee and started looking through my Facebook and email. One of my friends is going to some type of family camp out with other people in a group to which she belongs. She pleaded for ideas for meals to bring. One woman actually said to bring canned chicken, tortillas, ranch dressing, and cheese for chicken wraps.

My response: I have no words.

I didn't want to insult a woman whom I have never met. I reserve that only for those whom I truly love.

However, I might barf if someone tried to serve that to me.

I love to camp, although I don't do it anymore. My dear husband finds that as he has gotten older he no longer enjoys sleeping on the ground. Astounding to me, since he spent his youth wandering aimlessly around the country sleeping wherever he could.

I suppose I should go with Priscilla, but her brand of camping is a bit extreme for me. I require access to plumbing and ice. She dehydrates food and poops in the woods. No thanks. In fact, she was packing this week for her annual backwoods canoe psycho white water expedition.

Spotted on her staging area:
Balsamic glaze
Dijon mustard
Olive oil

In other words, just because she has to bring food that requires no refrigeration, doesn't mean she is going to eat crap.
I am not a camping food expert. I do not know how to dehydrate Dinosaur BBQ beans. I do, however, know how to cook over an open fire. And you can make some tasty things.

Key tips:
Make sure your perishables have plenty of ice. Keep dinner items in a seperate cooler that is not used to store drinks and frequently needed items. Double bag everything to minimize cross contamination.
Pre-prep as much as possible so that you just have to put dishes together rather than start from scratch, i.e. chop onion, garlic, and herbs and store in individual bags. Pre-portion or measure ingredients for each meal.
Here is a great, easy recipe for camping. Why eat bad food just because you are out in nature?

Shrimp Scampi
Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet. Add 2 T chopped garlic. Add 1 lb cleaned and deveined shrimp and cook until pink and opaque. Add 2 T capers and 2T chopped parsley. Squeeze a lemon over the whole thing and eat with crusty bread. You can try to cook pasta over the open fire to have with it, but that is hard to do unless you have a great, super hot fire.

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