June 13th, 2016
Coastal View, June 2016 http://www.coastalview.com/
The campfire is lit, tents are up, sleeping bags are rolled out and everyone is huddled together in a circle around the fire. With hands warming by the flames, hangers are passed out and the coils are unwrapped so each member of the group has a s’more stick ready to go. As luck would have it a few marshmallows are lost in the beginning as they melt into the raging fire. But with a little bit of finesse campers are soon roasting with ease and stuffing their crispy marshmallow in between two graham crackers holding a few squares of chocolatey goodness. Then the ghost stories begin …
Summer camping trips are the best time to relax, get adventurous in the wild outdoors and stretch your cooking abilities to serve up some tasty meals. Even though you may be an amazing cook at home, when you’re home base becomes a campsite you have to resort to different tactics to put out a good meal. Nothing beats the smell of bacon roasting over smoke from a burning oak or pine fire, add some hobo stew or campfire beans to wake your group up with stomachs growling. Here are a few tips to get you ready for a summer camping adventure your guests will remember!
1.) Grab a large cooler: Line your cooler with cardboard to keep the cold in longer. A simple lining of cardboard acts like insulation and will make sure the food you pack stays fresh. Also be sure not to skimp when loading your cooler up, pack it as full as possible. A full cooler is a cold cooler!
2.) Pack the right cooking gear: Cast iron skillets and Dutch ovens are amazing to cook in, but super heavy to carry. Be sure to bring along a few lighter stew pots or sauté pans that won’t break your back carrying over to your actual camp site. Add a few mixing bowl, stirring spoons, flame-resistant tongs and a percolator. At the start of your day or after a long afternoon hiking a hot cup of cocoa is an amazing way to warm up the cooler nights.
3.) Campfire Pack: Simple but efficient, always pack some firewood (dry hardwood), matches or a lighter to ignite and a shovel to clear debris at your site or extinguish an existing fire. The kindling you’ll need to get your fire going can be found at your campsite, make sure to search out some dried smaller branches or have some cardboard on hand to get a small fire started. Then as it grows add a larger log to produce more heat, be sure not to grow your fire too large as you’ll eventually need to get to bed and can’t leave a fire unattended as you get some shut eye.
4.) Pick your cooking method: For a delicious meal you really have one of three methods to get the job done. You may either pick up a lightweight campfire grill to set over the coals, providing a nice flat surface to heat pots, pans and a percolator. You may also cook directly over the coals with a Dutch oven resting on the incredibly hot embers, using double-wrapped foil packets for yummy vegetables like roasted potatoes. If you’d love to cook up some corn you may roast it in its protective husks right on top of the hot coals. Lastly you may grill your food on a stick, simple food like sausages or fire-roasted chilies work best.
5.) Perfectly roasted courses: Make sure to set your watch timer for 15-20 increments as a reminder to turn your food over and cook evenly. Your easiest method to know your food is done is a simple knife test. If your main course (roast, fish) is not easily pierced with a knife, you’ve got to plan on an extra turn or two to cook it through, depending upon the thickness.
Wishing you and your camping buddies an amazing summer trip – cheers to delicious food, amazing hikes and scary ghost stories! “It was a dark and stormy night, the wind was howling and a tapping could be heard at the front door …”
Cook Time: 20 minutes
· 1 lb. ground beef
· 1 can (15 ounces) mixed vegetables, drained
· 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed tomato soup, undiluted
· 1 can (10-1/2 ounces) condensed vegetable beef soup, undiluted
· 1/4 cup water
· 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
· 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
· 1/4 teaspoon salt
· 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- In a large saucepan, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until heated through. Enjoy!!