Eat like kings while camping
Luck was on our side for our weekend beach camping trip!
Glorious sunshine throughout, not too buggy, a beautiful breeze, fantastic tasty food, all the kids were in their element and getting along famously, to top it an overwhelmingly eager group of intrepid souls to boot.
It really is like a well oiled machine - if everyone gets stuck in and pulls their weight, you are golden. And what can be sexier than watching the men crouched over a washbasin doing the dishes... come on!
So that being said, a whole load of planning goes into the trip before you even set foot out of the door. Check-lists are a must: l would recommend looking online for a general list to print out. You will be amazed at what might go unthought of - for instance something as simple as a makeshift washing line to hang dish towels/swimming costumes/beach towels... and any clothes that may need to be refreshed after the clean supply is no longer.
The biggest obstacle is keeping the food cool and fresh. So wherever you plan to pitch a tent, be sure to check ahead of time that you can purchase ice close by to keep refreshing the icebox.
Night 1 - The first night we had chicken kebabs with mushrooms and peppers. l had marinated the chicken ahead of time in lemon juice, garlic, dijon mustard, oil and salt (popped it in a ziplock bag and into the freezer overnight before our trip). This way it would stay fresh and also keep the icebox cold, thawed in time to eat when we got to our destination. So - kebabs, pita bread, hummus, baby carrots, cucumber, rice pilaf, chopped parsley and some crunchy iceburg lettuce (which travels well). with a homemade dressing to drizzle. Everything was chopped up ahead of time and ready to go. The kids made up the kebabs with the chicken and peppers, set the table, rustle up the grill and bingo. A yummy, super easy, fast and fresh supper.
Night 2 - l had marinated pork in its spices to make a Vindaloo. Again popped it in a large ziplock bag and into the freezer, therefore keeping it cool on its trip to the site. The day before, l rustled up two chutneys - mango and coconut, cooked some basmati rice and left it to cool before packing it up, (l figured the Vindaloo, when cooked, would warm through the rice on the plate). A huge bag of chopped cilantro and a small container of salt for the table. All that was left to do was cook the vindaloo for 15 minutes on the camp stove and tuck in!
My list of must-have food staples.
For the icebox - milk for morning cereals/tea/coffee
Ham and cheese for lunchtime sandwiches
Bacon and eggs for a morning treat
O.J. or cranberry juice
Not forgetting a wee couple bottles of wine or beer to top the night off.
Other than that, l packed loads of dry staples - snack bars, bags of apples and oranges, crackers, chips, bread, coffee for the stove top espresso pot, tea, choc bars and marshmallows for s'mores, dried fruit and nuts, some sweet treats to pep up our glucose levels.
That about does it! Sure, it takes an extra effort, and granted, l cannot eat wheat or dairy which does make for some extra prep on my part. But at the end of the day, l see no reason to settle for the mainstream eats when camping. After all, there is no reason why you all can't eat like kings while camping.