Two things that go together so well are camping and food. It seems like our appetites are at their all time high because of the exercise and fresh air. If kids or young adults are going along, pack plenty!
After years of camping in the great Northwest, we have found several recipes and food stuffs that are a must for or outings and I thought I’d share then with you – who knows, one of them may become one of your favorites as in our family and friends.
We always take a large cooler and fill it according to the crowd size. If friends arrive, they have also done the same – the more variation in food, the merrier. We also had a riverfront property that we owned and were able to keep a propane stove with a flat top and BBQ there so we did not have to pack them back and forth.
Usually, we would just have hot dogs and mild to spicy sausages that we roaster over the campfire. This was a lot easier than traveling after work and having to create a large meal.
We serve breakfast every morning – seems like those young’uns are always super hungry after their night of hibernation. We usually serve eggs, sausage, bacon (we make plenty for hamburgers later in the day), and potatoes. One of our favorites was made by a friends who combined tater tots, cheese, crumbled bacon, and green onions in a casserole dish and baked it. We don’t know why it tasted so good other than it was not a breakfast we had to make, or the flavors melded just perfectly. The best cheese is a Mexican blend of cheese readily available at the store. For and extra kick, just use peppered bacon and pepper jack cheese.
Lunches varied widely. Everyone’s favorite was what became known as the “River Burger”. We usually warmed up the bacon on the flat top. Using the bacon grease, we sautéed mushrooms and onions (kind of like what you’d get at the county fair). We then fried the patties on the flat top and, after turning them over, put slice(s) of cheese on them and let it melt. The burgers were messy, but excellent after piling all this on a bun.
Other lunches ran the gamut of sliced cheeses and deli meats for sandwiches, to BBQ ribs and potato salad or beans, to left over prime rib sandwiches from the evening before.
Dinner – more recipes here than I can list. Our Labor Day meal was always prime rib done on the BBQ and slow cooked over charcoal and apple wood, until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees. We would then take it off the BBQ and tent it with foil for ½ hour.
Another favorite was a shrimp boil with pearl onions, small red potatoes, and pieces of fresh corn still on the ear. This was very easy to cook. Fill a large stock pot about half full with water and use an Old Bay Seasoning pack (or more if you like spicy food), and cayenne pepper to you choice of heat. Just dump it into the water. Start cooking the potatoes first. When they are about half done, throw in the ears of corn, then the pearl onions. When almost done add your shrimp and cook until the shrimp are pink.
The most fun was coating the top of a table with newspaper and pouring the whole works out on the table in a big mound. That way everyone just sat around a table and helped themselves. The corn on the cob is great and the spices seem to settle in around each kernel of corn.
Another favorite was whatever choices of ribs we wanted to use. I marinated them in a mixture of soy sauce, honey, rice wine vinegar, minced garlic, chili oil, and sesame oil. The marinade should be a salty and sweet taste at the same time. Dump the ribs into the marinade, put them in the fridge for 4 – 7 days. They are then ready for the BBQ and a simply the best ribs you’ll ever have. You can also boil up some of the marinade for dipping sauce. This marinade also works excellent for flank or skirt steak (you only have to marinade them for a few hours – then BBQ).
These are some of our favorites when camping. Try them and they may become some of your favorites, too. Nevertheless, there are so many choices, and so little time.