Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Marlene

Camping, Princess Style

Recommended Posts

I just had a wild little vision.

. . . 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. 

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 ... )

Oh, what a dangerous thread, combining cooking and RV "camping". I have a 22 ft. Lazy Daze Class C. (Lazy Daze is a cult.) I loooovve to cook in the motorhome kitchen-so efficient. Every time we hit the road I'm amazed how well we can eat with such a small refrigerator, and small scale appliances.

A gourmet RV rally. Perfect. An eGullet pot-luck by the campfire? Ooohhh. I'd love to take my rig to Burning Man, but my SO won't go, phooey. I'm in the Bay Area. Anyone else around here cook/"camp"?

Kathy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The oven is a challenge.  I've never used a gas oven to start with and it's small.  I'm going to be spending the summer up in this campground and one of my challenges will be to see what I can do with this oven.

Well, they are funky little ovens. Not impossible, though. A couple of ideas:

Get a small pizza stone, and leave it permanently installed on the oven floor. That'll help the excessive bottom browning, believe it or not. It evens out the heat. Preheat thoroughly at a lower temp for best results.

Try "flat bacon." Lay out bacon strips in a small rimmed baking sheet (the night before, refrigerate) then cook in a slow oven. Get back under the covers while the interior of the motorhome warms up. You can even start with a cold oven. Drain as per usual. This method cuts down on bacon grease all over the tiny space, and makes great bacon, practically unattended.

On another group, fellow RVers are raving about silicone bakeware for the small RV ovens. Easy to store, too. Haven't tried it myself, though, but it sounds reasonable. Try baking the brie in a silicone cake pan set on an airbake sheet. Make gingerbread in the same cake pan (not at the same time). Seems to me a wet cake batter like gingerbread would work well in a small oven with heat distribution issues.

Kathy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I just had a wild little vision... Oh, I just had an even wilder vision: such an eGullet camping jamboree ... staged at Burning Man.

My family & friends actually do something like this every year at the festivals we attend at <a href="http://www.4qf.org">Four Quarters Farm</a>. Several of us set up our campsites together and have our meals together, which we work out in advance. To be honest, I do most of the heavy-duty cooking, but that's because the whole thing evolved around my beef jerky chili (with cheddar cheese & sour cream, cornbread, and peach cobbler) cooked over the campfires, the aromas of which drew more and more people every year and began to be a communal event. Now everyone divvies up bringing the ingredients, and I have the fun of teaching some of the younger folks how to make some things over campfire and campstove that they might not otherwise think to try and make even in their home kitchens.. and I have to say I really do dig that. :)

Some of the other dishes I make regularly using, for the most part, cast iron cookware over the fires, include: eggs benedict (a no-brainer; I did use the propane campstove to make the hollandaise, but the English muffins were homemade, just like I make 'em at home,) sausage gravy & biscuits (we're from the American deep south, what can I say,) and shrimp & grits for breafasts. Lunch favorites include crab cakes, shrimp remoulade, philly cheesteak sandwiches (I made the buns & brought them from home; smaller yeast breads seem easy enough to make on the go, but not having a real, evenly heating oven made my attempts at loaves & such less than up to my standards,) and stuffed grape leaves and kibbeh balls. So we aren't stuck eating pre-made snack foods exclusively on days we have, for example, too large a breakfast and/or dinner planned to make a full lunch, we enjoy things like seafood-stuffed mushroom caps, conch fritters, Asian-style garlic noodles, and pizza (with homemade crust, made ahead and kept chilled until time to use it. We also usually have breakfast pizza at least one morning.)

With the exception of the jerky chili, I try to mix up the dinners every year, although I got some disappointed whines last year when I skipped lasagna (in the cast iron Dutch oven,) jalapeno chicken chimichangas, and jambalaya. (Nobody exactly complained about the replacements, however, which were crab-stuffed flounder with champagne cream sauce, honey-gingered chicken tenderloins with fried rice, and gumbo. I haven't decided on this year's menus (we go to 4QF twice each summer, for a week each time,) except for a few of the desserts.

Marlene, I have to say that while we enjoy the more primitive camping, I definitely understand the attraction of an RV or a 5th wheel. Some of our friends who moved to PA recently came back for a visit and "camped" here on our land in their humongous 5th that looked to be equipped very much like yours -- it was amazing! There are several things I'd be able to do in one of those that I have been unsuccessful with so far over a campfire and without a real kitchen; although I've had a blast with the challenge of making "things that make people go yum," there are some things that just didn't go well out there. For example, I don't recommend making homemade pasta dough & using a pasta machine to make ravioli outdoors, next to a fire, under a bunch of pine trees, unless you like pasta that has ash, dirt, and pine needles for seasonings. :)

Hope you have a great season camping!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

EGullet at Burning Man.... oh yeah, baybee!

Dont gotta worry 'bout bears there... the homonym, perhaps.

What wine best compliments alkali dust? :laugh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
EGullet at Burning Man.... oh yeah, baybee!

Dont gotta worry 'bout bears there... the homonym, perhaps.

What wine best compliments alkali dust? :laugh:

A really acidic one, to neutralize the alkali? :wacko::laugh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't know how many of you "Campers" (or otherwise) are still 'Cigarette Smokers', but until I stopped 25 years ago, I always brought an ASHTRAY (Silver or Crystal) to any campsite. (and often wore a Tie) :biggrin::laugh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, camping. I have never camped in an RV, though I did live in one for a couple of weeks in between apartment leases. This is the home-away-from-home we got last year:

34863757_7c935bee34.jpg

Cooking on the provided campfire grate makes me wish I had a stove; as you can see, the angle causes strange things to happen to fried eggs:

34863629_81b4c8b3b7.jpg

And the dining room table/prep station, featuring toothpaste AND soap!

34863442_8e40c6d188.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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:

This brought back a very amusing moment from my early college days. I only semi-remember it but I think one of the housemates (I would NEVER have done anything so foolish :wink:) actually ended up calling the landlord trying to sort-out how the "broiler" worked or how to light it or some equally silly question. :laugh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am all about an eGullet convention at Burning Man. Imagine the looks on the uberHippies faces when we bust out the foie! :laugh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I enjoy seeing what I can do out in the middle of no-where. I've always thought that just because you happen to be 100 miles from the nearest road, let alone small town, that doesn't mean you can not eat well. Since I live in Utah where the weather can get quite hot, ice and/or dry ice play a major role in allowing me to eat well on the trail.

As an example, a little over a year ago, I went 4 wheeling on the "Hole in the Rock" trail. This is a trail through the Utah desert near Lake Powell. You 4-wheel 30 miles in over some incredibly rough terrain and camp since you can not make it back that same day. Desolate would be perhaps about as descriptive a term as you can make for this trail. Here are a couple links that I found on the web for some other group's trip on the trail : http://www.4x4now.com/hole.htm http://www.off-road.com/4x4web/travels/hole.html Temperatures are routinely over 100F.

What I did on this trail was before I left, I made a big stack of crepes and orange butter and candied orange peel. I packed it all up in my cooler along with dry ice. That night my friend who I was taveling with made chicken and dumplings from scratch. Needless to say, it was incredible since his culinary skills are top-notch. The next morning I cranked out the cast iron skillet and cooked up a batch of crepe suzette. Needless to say, the other people in our group who were having pancakes or eggs were a bit amazed when they saw what we did for dinner. They were totally floored when they saw the crepes suzette the next morning.

Just because you are out in the middle of no-where, doesn't mean you can't eat well. In fact, it can be more fun since it is definitely more challenging than making a nice dish at home. Finally, in the end, not only do you have a nice dish to eat, you end up with a great story to tell which makes it more fun after the event is over.

-Art

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another weekend in the RV and a couple of dinners/breakfasts.

Porterhouse steaks with roasted small potatoes:

gallery_6080_1479_50358.jpg

gallery_6080_1479_10762.jpg

Breakfast the next morning was the usual bacon and eggs, with the leftover roasted potatoes fried up. The lighting is a little red, as these pictures were taken inside the dining tent (which has a red roof) that we put up for the first time this year. I'll have to figure out how to compensate for that.

gallery_6080_1479_14457.jpg

Saturday afternoon brought the opportunity to try the Cuisinart Convection toaster oven that I bought. I did a baked brie in it. I spread red pepper jelly on top before encasing in the puff pastry:

gallery_6080_1479_883.jpg

gallery_6080_1479_3867.jpg

gallery_6080_1479_6562.jpg

What would Saturday afternoon at the campsite be without a Manhattan? (yes, I know there's ice in it. Sue me. :raz: )

gallery_6080_1479_8728.jpg

Saturday's dinner was pork chops, baked potatoes and corn on the cob. I chopped up the leftover bacon from breakfast for bacon bits. The chops were rubbed with a ginger/soy sauce type of rub, and to tell the truth, I wasn't all that impressed.

gallery_6080_1479_8528.jpg

The Cuisinart is big enough to do a roast chicken or possibly a smaller boneless prime rib. This weekend when we go back, I'll have Ry with me, so I'm probably going to try some muffins for breakfast one morning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very impressive meal as always, marlene. I love you method of camping. Many, many years ago I slept in tents. Now I find the very thought of it horrific.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This weekend turned out to be just the lad and I camping. We've experienced a fair amount of sadness over the last few weeks and he was feeling a little shaky, so I pulled him from school early on Friday and we headed over to the rig.

Friday evening's dinner was beef kebabs that I marinated using torakris' teriyake marinade and I added garlic and ginger to it, roasted asparagus with balsamic and shaved parmesan and butter-parsley rice.

(I still haven't got all the red out of the pictures, but these are a little better )

I roasted the asparagus in the convection toaster oven and I brought my rice cooker along as well.

gallery_6080_1479_67230.jpg

gallery_6080_1479_44712.jpg

gallery_6080_1479_61649.jpg

gallery_6080_1479_54311.jpg

gallery_6080_1479_32183.jpg

After campfire, it was time for a rousing game of Yatzee, so I figured I needed a special coffee.

Because I set my regular coffeemaker up at night, (so I don't flail around and wake everyone else up in the morning) when I want coffee at night I use my French press:

gallery_6080_1479_53287.jpg

gallery_6080_1479_32959.jpg

The next night's dinner was to include lamb chops which I wanted to marinate in rosemary, dijon, garlic and some olive oil. About this time, Ryan decided he want to help me, so for the first time ever, I put a chef's knife into his hand, showed him how to hold it and stood back. I did my best not to cover my eyes!

On the left is his first pass at mincing the garlic, and he's taken the rosemary leaves from the stems. (by the time he was done with the garlic, it was damn near pureed!

gallery_6080_1479_33332.jpg

I used my mortar and pestle to mix up the garlic and rosemary (doesn't everyone take a mortar and pestle camping with them? :blink: )

Then transferred everything to a bowl to make a thick paste, and then coated the chops:

gallery_6080_1479_40243.jpg

gallery_6080_1479_59375.jpg

gallery_6080_1479_61241.jpg

In the morning, I made oatmeal muffins which were supposed to have blueberries in them as well, except I completely forgot to add them.

gallery_6080_1479_52105.jpg

gallery_6080_1479_10611.jpg

After making myself a Manhattan and relaxing for a while, it was time to grill the chops. These were served with carrots that had been tossed in butter, honey and fresh mint and parisianne potatoes. The carrots and potatoes were foiled and done on the top rack of the grill.

pardon the shadows!

gallery_6080_1479_55930.jpg

gallery_6080_1479_51694.jpg

Ryan who had never had lamb before, ate three of them and pronounced them excellent. I told him next time Don was away, we'd do a roast leg of lamb. :biggrin:

This was a wonderful trip. My son and I spent some time together and had some fairly weighty discussions about life and death and how sometimes things are unfair. Most importantly we relaxed. This will be our last camping weekend for about three weeks and we turn to other things. But this one is my most memorable one.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For my birthday my hubby got me ... okay, okay ... he allowed *ME* to get tickets to a Cookin' Camp directed by Johnny Nix, host of the popular Campfire Café television cooking show.

We'll be at the Hagerstown/Antietam KOA August 25-27.

I've been a fan of Johnny Nix ever since I caught his show on RFD-TV a couple years ago. The show promotes easy to prepare gourmet recipes cooked entirely over an open fire.

Hubby has declined to take the cooking class(es) with me. He said that he'd tour the battlefield and surrounding area. Of course, that was before we discovered that the Kamping Kabin (that's pretty "princess camping for a die-hard boy scout leader) will have WIFI access. That adds "just hang out at the Kamp" to his list of possible activities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is just about time to bring the RV out for this year's camping season. Except, we won't be. Well, maybe one more time. However, we're trading in our RV for a cottage, which we take possession of in June. I'll have a little more kitchen room, a kick ass BBQ, and almost as many kitchen toys as I have at home. :biggrin:

The kitchen in the cottage is a touch "rustic". Guess what is almost first on the list of "improvements". :biggrin: I've spent today packing up stuff to take to the cottage when we "move" and it should come as no surprise that out of 10 boxes, 9 of them are kitchen stuff. :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to let you know, Marlene, there is a photo of you and your brother (may he rest in peace) sitting outside together, a few years ago on a camp trip, both smiling, right before you smoked him with the grill-that photo, well, it sits in my mind as a touching testament to the love you share. And then, you wrote about a trip you took with your son, and the great conversations that you had while he experienced his first lamb. :smile: I think about those posts whenever I think of you. :wub: Bless you, dear!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just to let you know, Marlene, there is a photo of you and your brother (may he rest in peace) sitting outside together, a few years ago on a camp trip, both smiling, right before you smoked him with the grill-that photo, well, it sits in my mind as a touching testament to the love you share. And then, you wrote about a trip you took with your son, and the great conversations that you had while he experienced his first lamb.  :smile: I think about those posts whenever I think of you.  :wub: Bless you, dear!

The RV has produced some of the best memories I'll have forever. :smile: I have that picture framed and sitting on my office desk in fact, although the girl sitting beside him is his girlfriend, not me. For the last two summers, I lived in that RV while my brother was sick, and I think I made him every single one of his favourite dishes in that RV. I will never forget how much fun he and I had together. And my son. His first lamb, the first time I put a chef's knife into his hand, and the first time he made bacon on the stove. it will make parting with the RV, bittersweet, in many ways.

But, yesterday when we were out shopping, my son picked out two cookbooks for himself. They are "teen cookbooks" but they are his first cookbooks and he said he wanted them so he could try out a few things at the cottage this year. I taught him how to make a smoothie this past week, so he now makes them on his own when he comes home from school and will likely make them all summer long at the cottage. And so, we will build new memories. :smile:


Edited by Marlene (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Marlene, it's what in your heart that counts, not what's in the driveway! New memories will interleave with the earlier ones, and your heart will get bigger and fuller, all summer, I'll wager! Your son is a real joy, lucky you! Have a wonderful summer!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great thread Marlene!! This reminded my of the time about 5 years ago my friend Becki and I decided to go camping in Acadia National Park. We used to camp all the time with her parents when we were younger and figured it would be fun. So there we were about 20 years from the time we'd last camped together and loaded my car up with my idea of camping equipment. The standard stuff: tent, portable grill, flashlights, air mattress... and then I had to go get all "city girl" on her and packed my french press, all my knives and about 10 pieces of my All Clad. She cut me down to two pans and one knife to save on space in the car. But I did manage to wrestle in my citronella votive candles so the roll up coffee table I packed would look pretty. :D I don't remember cooking many dinners on that trip. We chose to go out to eat at the different places around Bar Harbor. But I swear that trip I made the best French Toast I have ever made every morning for breakfast along with killer coffee in the french press :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MMmmmmmmmmmm. Camping. Done some of the best cooking while doing so. And I love the challenge of planning, preparing and wowwwing. Often simple is best and quite memorable.

It is the stuff that does make memories. The effort, the travel, the laughs!

[Newbie (!) so glad to be here with other passionate food people!]

Unless the person in charge of the booze brings cheap stuff. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr. :angry:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is something about eating food you have cooked over an open fire in the middle of nowhere that makes it taste better. Maybe it is the wood smoke, the added protein and flavour from the flies or just being extra hungry from the paddling but it just tastes better when you are eating something off the fire while sitting beside a lake. I am so looking forward to getting out on the water this summer. I don't know why it is but when you roll biscuits out on a paddle they just taste better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*bump* It's time to revive this thread.

Some years back, my darling and I took a road trip. I'd flown out to central California to visit my mother; he'd left somewhat earlier, being of the "retired" set, and taken his own time to arrive and pick me up. We drove back together, camping and seeing some of the sights. We took a week to get back. By the time we arrived back home, we agreed on three things:

1. We enjoyed it;

2. A week wasn't enough time for that trek;

3. A pickup-mounted camper shell wasn't big enough for the two of us and our (then) 60-pound Siberian Husky.

We went shopping for something larger that we could live in for weeks on end. By the time we'd found a kitchen to suit me, we were up to a fifth-wheel trailer. Like Marlene, who started this topic, my darling and I like our comforts...and of course, I like to cook.

Most "snowbirds" seem to pick a winter home and stay there; if they live in a trailer, they situate it in a trailer park, cheek by jowl with other trailers. We prefer the mobile experience. Don't like the view? Don't like the weather? Within limits, they can be changed at will. Furthermore, we can take advantage of the local foods, checking out what's available, figuring out how to cook it.

Three days ago this was the view:

Gulf view.jpg

and this was our food for the evening.

Feeding the pelicans.jpg

Not the pelicans, but they were part of the pre-dinner entertainment. One of the gentlemen shown feeding pelicans had offered me some trout; he loved to catch them and had a beautiful stringer's worth. The very best fish is the kind that was flopping just hours ago. We had a fish fry that night on the family's venerable camp stove. If there's enough interest in this topic I'll get around to showing it; however, my attempts at photographing the lovely blue flower of flames from the burner, and the resultant dinner, were a bust. That's why you see the fish at the "being cleaned and feeding the pelicans" stage.

A Texas "norther" was blowing in the next day, so we moved into the woods, where we were sheltered from the fierce wind. In Minnesota we get brisk winds and sudden chills, but even the storms that accompany an Alberta Clipper don't usually match the dramatic change of a "norther": in the space of a half hour, our weather dropped from 87F and 80% humidity to less than 50F and commensurate humidity. We didn't hang around outside. This was that night's meal:

Chicken curry.jpg

Chicken curry (with sauce from a Patak's jar) over rice, which (now that I look at the photo) looked MUCH better in real life.

Dessert was homemade almond-vanilla ice cream:

Ice cream.jpg

We enjoy shrimp along the Gulf Coast, barbecue in the Texas interior, and a multitude of produce farther west...but, given that I am an inveterate packrat who should be participating in the "Klatsch: Don't Shop Now!" topic, we also have plenty of canned, boxed, and frozen goods brought from home.

Anyone else doing this sort of road-trip rambling cookery?


Edited by Smithy (log)
  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tonight: ravioli, stuffed with tomato-meat sauce from home, tossed with olive oil, chopped garlic and grated parmesan.

IMG_20131124_030027.jpgIMG_20131124_023220.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You,made those in the RV? Can you show us your kitchen space? What additional cooking equipment do you bring along such as grill or?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×