As soon as the days get longer and the weather warms up, I get the camping bug. Lazy afternoons in a hammock, smores and pie iron pizzas around the fire, walks through the woods, sunsets by the lake… these are a few of my favorite things.
Thankfully, Andy loves camping even more than I do, which means it doesn’t take much convincing to get him to pack up the car and drive to the park. (In fact, he loves it enough to go camping/backpacking when it’s snowing and the temperature hovers near zero. Crazy! But that’s another story, for another day…) And since we’ve had beautiful weather here since March, I have been itching to get outside for the weekend.
As much as I love getting outside and roughing it (Yes, I willingly stay at rustic campground with pit toilets and no showers. I said I like camping, not that I look or smell good doing it!), there’s one thing I’m not willing to compromise on: the food. If we’re going camping, we’re going to eat well. No hot dogs and re-hydrated instant food, thank you very much. Good food doesn’t take that much more effort, and let’s face it: If I’m hiking 14 miles, I’m going to do it on a full stomach.
For camping menus, I break things down into specific meals, and I try to make ingredients perform double duty. For instance, if we’re having kabobs, we’ll also have pizza pies and use the peppers, onions and pineapple for both. I also do as much prep work at home, so 90% of the chopping and marinating is done, which makes dinner at the campsite so much easier. I’ve also started packing any meat that’s marinating in my Pyrex bowls, which has eliminated a lot of leaky Ziplocs in the cooler!
For this trip, we have two dinners, two lunches and two breakfasts, along with the must-haves snacks and desserts.
Dinner #1: Pork chops, roasted carrots, onion and potatoes (Pork gets cooked over the fire, and the veggies get roasted in a foil packet in the coals. Virtually no clean-up. Great for that first night, because we’re all but guaranteed to be eating in the dark.)
Dinner #2: Pie Iron Pizzas, topped with pepperoni, pineapple, peppers and onions (My all-time favorite camping meal. It’s even better if you can find the mini pepperonis for the pizzas… unfortunately, my store was sold out of them when I went shopping. 😦 Boo.)
Breakfast #1: Muffins, fruit, sausage
Breakfast #2: Cereal, fruit, muffins (We try to keep breakfasts simple on the day we’re packing things up.)
Lunch #1: Sandwiches, raw veggies, fruit (Easy to put together and very portable. After all, you might not even be at the campsite at lunchtime!)
Lunch #2: Sandwiches, raw veggies, fruit
Snacks/Desserts: Smores (a must-have!), Ranch Chex Mix and Pie Iron Pies (with raspberry filling this time!)