One of the groans for Mom when the family says, “Let’s go Camping!” has to be the cooking. Everyone’s appetite seems vastly increased by all the outdoor activity.
Any thought of campfires and our minds immediately go to pictures of hotdogs or marshmallows roasting over the flames on the end of a well-chosen stick. Mmm . . .s’mores! That doesn’t have to define campfire cooking though, and even the most devoted fan will grow weary of a processed meat and marshmallow diet after a couple of days. So, we’ve come up with some tips and ideas to make life a whole lot easier on the cook, without lowering your dietary standards.
At Jellystone Park™ we believe that the essence of campfire cooking is simplicity: limit the number of ingredients in a dish; cut down on the implements you use to prepare the dish; use foil where you can to replace pots and pans.
Cooking for Breakfast
Breakfasts can be modest affairs. Pancakes from a ready-mix (just-add-water), are great. More hearty options include French toast or bacon and eggs (in an omelet form). If you are feeling adventurous you can add onions, tomatoes or mushrooms. Really don’t want to get up early to make a cooked breakfast? There are always the standbys of cereal, yogurt, breakfast bars and muffins.
Snacks for Hikes
If you are hiking and won’t be able to cook for lunch time, pack something that will fit easily into everyone’s rucksack: jerky – beef or turkey, fruit, trail mix, raw vegetables or energy bars are great. They also don’t need to remain cold. Whatever you do, don’t forget to take water!
Make Some Sandwiches
If you are at the campsite, this is the time for sandwiches. You could toast them on the grill (or in a pie tin over the fire). Otherwise, cook up some hamburgers and let everyone create their own signature burger. Leftovers could be easily used by wrapping them up in a tortilla topped with some guacamole, cheese and salsa.
Easy Prep Dinners
By supper time, your family is sure to be ravenous. This is the time for stoking up the fire. On the grill you could cook steak, chicken or some pork chops. Add corn on the cob or roasted vegetables and a large salad and you have a meal fit for a king. Another preferred camping standby is a pot of spaghetti topped with your favorite sauce and served with crust bread.
The most important thing to remember is that you are on vacation. If the meal is a little later than usual or some unexpected ‘friends’ from across the way pop in to join you, just smile. Add another tin of beans to the mix and cut up some more bread before calling them all to eat. Then relax and look up at the stars. Remember, you’re at a Jellystone Park. What a wonderful life!