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Marlene

Camping, Princess Style

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Firiends and I go camping twice per year on Cumberland Island National Seashore. It is supposed to be primitive camping, you take in all your stuff on your back and remove it all when you leave, but we've added a twist. The island has semi-primitive camping. It has no electric anywhere but has cold water at the shower house and grates for fires and boxes for food at the campsites, no water at the sites. Being locals, we've started having friends bring supplies for us by boat while we kayak to the island. We ship in large coolers, large propane stoves, propane heaters, pots and pans, top shelf liquor supply and other comforts like camp chairs and mountain bikes. We usually stay 3-4 nights. Night one we have a Italian meal with pasta, night two we have a low country boil, night three we have a fried turkey with all the trimmings. All our bread goods are home baked. We have gallons of home brewed wines. We drive the other campers nuts with the smells. We offer an open invitation to our camping neighbors but few take us up on it. I guess they prefer their freeze-dried backpacking meals.

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As for the oven, the problem I have is that the bottom browns much faster.  I guess because the flame is below.  The little oven says it has a broil selection, but for the life of me, I'm not seeing a top element anywhere.  I suppose, if all else fails, I could read the manual. :biggrin:

I don't know much about the gas ovens on RVs (the only time a bunch of friends and I rented a similarly-equipped RV, we just never wound up using its oven). But I did grow up with nothing but all-gas ranges in my family's house, and in those there'd be a separate broiler drawer underneath the main oven, so that it would also be underneath the oven's main heating element for top-down broiling purposes. In fact, the first few all-electric ranges I ever encountered in friends' houses confused the crap out of me, because I'd see they had a drawer under the oven too, only it was just a drawer (usually filled with my friends' excess pots and pans)--so where the heck did one broil on the danged thing? :biggrin:

That one episode of renting an RV with friends, by the way, definitely convinced me that such a beast would be a lot of fun to have. I used to go tent-camping all the time, but my days of sleeping on the ground are Over. There was a lovely couple of summers several years back in which I owned and made extensive use of a 1979 VW Westphalia camper-van--alas, not outfitted with the full-fledged kitchenette with propane stove and fridge. But a Coleman two-burner camp stove plus careful management of coolers and ice allowed me to do some pretty nice camp cookery--can't remember any highlights, it's been so long, but the doing made for some fun times.

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I spend quite a bit of time car camping in the Rockies (Alberta and BC), nice big tent, air mattress, all the necessities. Some of my campfire favourites are home made veggie soup with orzo (or if time barley) made in my campfire stock pot. Campfire din-din which uses ultra low-fat meat so as not to attract too many bears, I prefer ground buffalo, elk or ostrich mixed with black beans, onion, small amount of galic and ginger, hot pepper sauce and fresh herbs then wrapped in foil and patted firm and cooked over the fire. To go with the din-din I like to take crimini mushroom slice them thick, layer them in tin foil, then on top a few layers of baby bok choi add some soy sauce and vinegar and steam them over the fire all wrapped up tight.

A local store has cast iron dutch overs built specifically for the campfire, I'm very tempted to pick one up and experiment with stews while camping. But the long cooking times required and the thought of bears dropping by to checkout the slow cook has always prevented me from purchasing.

Of course the great camping standard that cannot be missed is a sandwich (any fillings whatsoever) with dill pickle chips stuffed in with everything else that'll fit in a bun. Ah, I wish I was leaving today.

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Tis the season to hit the open road again. I took no pictures this weekend, but the May long weekend here in Ontario marks the opening of cottages, and RV's everywhere.

Unfortunately, it was colder than mid fall this weekend. Jeesh. It did everything but snow, and I understand in the north, it did snow a bit. Nonetheless, it was time to blow out the lines and head up to Niagara to test run the rig to make sure all was in working order.

Breakfasts were bacon and eggs, lunches, bacon and tomato sandwiches and dinners were steaks and corn, or ribs and baked potatoes. Tortillas and salsa, chips and dip. Nothing fancy, but we'll gear up as we go.

This coming weekend, we'll head to a provinical park where I'll get more in gear with the cooking part and take some pics. In the meantime, cold as it was, nothing grounds me better or puts me back into the right frame of mind, than a camping trip. It's better than medicine. Trust me.

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and I understand in the north, it did snow a bit.

Heh, where do you think that you are? Sheesh.

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and I understand in the north, it did snow a bit.

Heh, where do you think that you are? Sheesh.

Not nearly as far north as you think I am. :raz: At least to other Ontarioans. It's 5 celsius this morning. Where's my spring weather? I've got a convection oven on order and I hope it will be here in time for this weekend's camping trip. Now, let's think of things to make in it!

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and I understand in the north, it did snow a bit.

Heh, where do you think that you are? Sheesh.

It's 5 celsius this morning.

5 Celcius? That's good? This celcius thing is a mystery to me and many of my fellow countrymen. If you people are going to use the metric system I really believe that you should just kind of keep it to yourselves and not refer to it in public. It causes people to talk and that's not the kind of thing that you want, I'm quite sure.

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it's mostly a mystery to me as well. :biggrin: 5 C is about 43 F more or less.

It is not weather to be eating outside in.

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Marlene, I can't believe I just found this topic!

For the record, your RV has more counter space than my kitchen. :laugh:

Can't wait to see what this summer brings...

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11:30  It's 5 celsius this morning. 

If it helps at all, after some pretty crappy weather we're expecting a high of 32 C today - which was what they were having in Alberta last week. Hopefully it will keep moving slowly towards you so that you have some great camping weather for the weekend!

Though - as a Canadian I'm sure you feel that there's nothing wrong with camping in 5 C anyway :wink:

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I've got a convection oven on order and I hope it will be here in time for this weekend's camping trip. 

Just for the record, I object to the use of the terms "camping" and "convection oven" in the same sentence. Furthermore, "RV", "Trailer", "5th Wheel" should not be used in the same sentence as "camping." "RV-ing" or "whimping out" should be used in place of "camping" in these circumstances. The use of the word "princess" does not negate this rule. :raz:

A.

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  The use of the word "princess" does not negate this rule. :raz:

A.

Sure it does. Especially if you're me. :raz: Call it whatever you like. There's something about having a coffee with baileys, grand marnier and whipped cream under the stars, in front of a campfire, with the smell of dozens of campfires lingering in the air, or the smell of an entire campground frying bacon simulaneously in the morning, that puts me in a state of peace that is hard to achieve otherwise. And believe me Arne, when you get to be my age, you'll call this camping too. :biggrin:

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oh, Marlene, good for you. I have bad memories of life in a tent, but your kind of camping is right on. But still, I will stay at the cottage.

Dianne.

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There's something about having a coffee with baileys, grand marnier and whipped cream under the stars, in front of a campfire, with the smell of dozens of campfires lingering in the air, or the smell of an entire campground frying bacon simulaneously in the morning, that puts me in a state of peace that is hard to achieve otherwise.

We do all the same things when we go camping. I guess I need to be sleeping outdoors to complete that package.

And believe me Arne, when you get to be my age, you'll call this camping too. :biggrin:

Nah. No way I'll ever be behind the wheel of one of those rigs ... especially not once gas hits $2/litre! Once I can't tent it, I figure I've earned the right to stay in hotels the rest of my life!

A.

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There's something about having a coffee with baileys, grand marnier and whipped cream under the stars, in front of a campfire, with the smell of dozens of campfires lingering in the air, or the smell of an entire campground frying bacon simulaneously in the morning, that puts me in a state of peace that is hard to achieve otherwise.

We do all the same things when we go camping. I guess I need to be sleeping outdoors to complete that package.

And believe me Arne, when you get to be my age, you'll call this camping too. :biggrin:

Nah. No way I'll ever be behind the wheel of one of those rigs ... especially not once gas hits $2/litre! Once I can't tent it, I figure I've earned the right to stay in hotels the rest of my life!

A.

You camp your way and I'll camp mine. :raz: It is rather interesting though to see all those tent campers booking electrical sites to plug their space heaters, coffee pots and toasters into though. :biggrin:

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Finally. An absolutely beautiful weekend for camping. We went to Bronte Provincial Park, which is all of about 10 minutes from our house but that holds its own advantages. Once I picked up the lad from school, we loaded up and after a 10 minute drive and a quick set up, we were good to relax the rest of the weekend. Camping so close also allows us to stay longer on Sunday and relax and enjoy the day.

Camping at a Provincial park means electrical hookups but no city water or sewer. So we run with our water tank full. Water is used only for the washroom and for doing dishes. Showers are taken at the campground facilities. It also means we use paper plates more than we normally do. Besides, Ryan likes throwing them on the fire!

Dinner Friday night was a simple one of peanut burgers and corn:

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The corn dishes are acryllic versions of the stoneware ones I have at home.

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As darkness falls, we turn the lights on and prepare for campfire:

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Sat's breakfast was bacon from St. Lawrence market, eggs and toast, courtesy of my husband:

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Saturday afternoon snack was a cheese and cracker plate that I forgot to take a picture of and then we had porterhouses and baked potatoes for dinner:

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Sunday morning, we had peameal bacon sandwiches and fried potatoes and onions from the extra baked potato I'd made the night before.:

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It was wonderful weather and relaxing. I managed to read three books in two days.

In scrutinizing our setup, I've decided against the Waring convection oven and I'm going to go for the Cusinart convection toaster oven. That way I can replace my toaster with it, since I noticed this weekend I was constantly having to make six pieces of toast at once, I can do my bries and other smaller things in it as well. It will be a couple of weeks now before we get to hit the road again, and by then I'll have the oven and will be all set for experimenting.

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You camp your way and I'll camp mine.  :raz:

Marlene, that's the point I think Arne is trying to make: YOU ARE NOT CAMPING! It would be similiar to saying that you're fine dining at Tim Horton's, ehh? Nothing against Tim Horton's, okay?

Mind you, whatever you did this weekend sounded great! Did all of you finish the porterhouses for dinner? Boy, those were huge! And, uhh, where were the vegetables, Marlene? And did you bring the portable bar?

You're inspring me, Marlene. I think I'm going to have a steak tonight.

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Hey, we had corn on Friday night! Potatoes are a vegetable aren't they? :raz: The portable bar always goes with us, although this weekend was mostly a cc and coke or beer weekend with wine for dinner. Yes, we managed to eat all of the porterhouse. Don't forget I have this weed known as a teenage boy with me. :biggrin:

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It was wonderful weather and relaxing.  I managed to read three books in two days.

Yum, those steaks look awesome!

Which books? I'm desperate for a new read; having just re-read Persuasion AND Pride and Prejudice, I'm looking for something fresh and that doesn't make me mourn for the state of romance in the modern world. :laugh:

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I just had a wild little vision.

You know how a lot of RV campers join these RVing associations and get together for jamborees? Reserve a campground all together and party for a weekend? Well, I just flashed on the concept of a bunch of eGulleteers staging such a camping jamboree. Campfire gourmandry a-go-go. Grilling and smoking and sausaging and out-door wokking till dawn. I tell ya, it could be a sensation. Or a group cardiac arrest. :smile:

Oh, I just had an even wilder vision: such an eGullet camping jamboree ... staged at Burning Man.

(Goes to lie down until the fit of evil chortling subsides ... )

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Wahhhhh!!!! :sad: I miss camping. I've got nobody to go with......boo hoo hoo. I think an eG'ers' group trip is a smashing idea, but I don't have an RV. :sad:

I do, however, have a barbecue at my disposal, so I think some baked brie is in order.

How come so many people have stated they can't handle sleeping in tents any more?? Don't you have air matresses?

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How come so many people have stated they can't handle sleeping in tents any more?? Don't you have air matresses?

Well, as far as I'm concerned, an air mattress would definitely help some with the ouchy bod issue, as long as it was one of those thick ones and not the skinny little jobbies I recall from my more able-bodied youth. But I'd also have to elevate it at least a foot off the ground, as I'm not as spry at climbing off of the floor as I used to be. So I'd need to invest in a cot-thingie too.

And then there's also the little matter of needing someplace to plug my CPAP machine into. Somehow I don't think plugging it directly into a power-drop meant for an RV would work all that well. ZZZZT POP--fried electronics! :blink: I know there are cigarette-lighter plug-ins and inverters, but then I'd have to watch I didn't drain the car battery down too far, plus manage the hazard of the electrical cord running from car to tent ... or I could buy a generator, and have to manage cord plus gasoline plus noise and fumes that my fellow campers might find objectionable ... you see how this is going? I've gone through this thought-exercise numerous times, and I always wind up getting frustrated, chucking the whole list, and dreaming about campers instead.

Mind you, I'm hoping that my current health regimen will eventually make it easier for me to clamber off a floor and do without the CPAP, which would make tent-camping much more do-able for me. But I've got a long ways to go before I reach that point.

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For my husband, who has terrible arthritis, its the dampness of being in a tent. Ryan is getting to the point now, if he wants to bring friends along, they are going to have to sleep in a tent, because none of his friends will fit on the folded down dinette. We do have a camp bed which does get you off the ground and it's pretty comfy too. For me, I like the RV not only for the comfort it provides but it allows me to bring all kinds of kitchen toys and still produce some really good and diverse meals when camping. Otherwise, we'd be doing the steak, burgers, hotdog routine all the time.

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Well, as far as I'm concerned, an air mattress would definitely help some with the ouchy bod issue, as long as it was one of those thick ones and not the skinny little jobbies I recall from my more able-bodied youth. But I'd also have to elevate it at least a foot off the ground, as I'm not as spry at climbing off of the floor as I used to be. So I'd need to invest in a cot-thingie too.

...... Mind you, I'm hoping that my current health regimen will eventually make it easier for me to clamber off a floor and do without the CPAP, which would make tent-camping much more do-able for me. But I've got a long ways to go before I reach that point.

I think maybe something like this is what you'll be looking for when you're ready. I have one that I use at home for guests....very comfy!

For my husband, who has terrible arthritis, its the dampness of being in a tent.  Ryan is getting to the point now, if he wants to bring friends along, they are going to have to sleep in a tent, because none of his friends will fit on the folded down dinette.  We do have a camp bed which does get you off the ground and it's pretty comfy too.  For me, I like the  RV not only for the comfort it provides but it allows me to bring all kinds of kitchen toys and still produce some really good and diverse meals when camping.  Otherwise, we'd be  doing the steak, burgers, hotdog routine all the time.

Oh I get it, believe me! I won't go tent camping without a big group of people because I'm so scared of bears. An RV would just make it so much more relaxing.

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An RV would just make it so much more relaxing.

and air-conditioned :wink:

makes it easier to cook of course.

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