One of the most fun times you can have while camping is cooking for the group. Cooking is generally done over a fire or on a grill. You should bring foods that are easy to store and keep fresh. You should include snacks for the trail as well as foods to prepare for each meal. Perishable items should be stored in a refrigerator or in a cooler on ice.
Start your day off right with a breakfast that will get you ready for a day of hiking or exploring. Slice up some mushrooms, onions, bacon and potatoes and grill in a skillet over the fire until done. Mix eggs with a little milk and pour over the mixture to heat until the eggs are fully cooked. This is a great skillet meal that is easy to prepare and clean up. Another easy meal to prepare is a breakfast taco. Cook some eggs and place inside a tortilla with cheese and picante sauce. If you feel a bit more adventurous, try a breakfast pizza using pre made crusts and eggs. You can cook the eggs any way you like them and add bacon, potatoes or sausage. Heat the pizza crusts over the fire and top with your egg mixture and cheese.
Keep lunch simple and easy to prepare and clean up so you get back to your adventures. Sandwiches are a great lunchtime treat using easy to store and prepare foods. Sliced lunch meats with vegetables on bread make the perfect pick me up. For a hot side dish to accompany the sandwiches take some frozen French fries, chili and cheese sauce; combine them in foil, wrapping it tightly. Throw the package on the fire and cook until the fries are cooked through and then enjoy your gooey chili cheese fries.
Dinner consisting of a hearty stew is a great option. Using canned vegetables, mix equal parts of your favorites in a heavy pot. These can include corn, peas and beans. Also add a can of chunk chicken and pre made barbecue pork. Add two cans of tomato sauce and two cans of chopped tomatoes and simmer slowly over an open fire for a filling stew. If you went fishing and were lucky enough to make a catch, fry it for dinner. After cleaning the fish, cut it into fillets. Combine one can of beer with two eggs until thoroughly mixed. To that add twelve ounces of flour, two teaspoons of baking powder and salt and pepper to taste. Dip the fish in cornstarch then the batter. Place it in hot oil and fry until the batter puffs. This is a great way to enjoy the efforts put forth after a day of fishing.
No camping trip is complete without snacks to prepare and bring while you are out on a nature hike. Walking and hiking is hard work so you should bring some foods that will help boost your energy. Popcorn popped over an open flame is a fun way to prepare the next day’s snack. Trail mix is a traditional option and is limited to only your imagination. Use a combination of hearty ingredients with sweets. Combine granola, raisins, chocolate chips, M & M’s, cereal, dried fruits and nuts. Use whatever combinations you like.
My favorite camping meals though, are made with pudgie pie makers (also called pie irons). They are made of cast iron or metal and have long handles. Our family uses pudgie pie makers to meal delicious treats for lunch and dinner. Bread is the staple ingredient in making a pudgie pie. My favorite is grilled cheese. To make one, butter two slices of bread. Place the buttered side down in the pudgie pie maker. This will prevent the bread from sticking. Place a cheese slice on top of each slice of bread. Close the pudgie pie maker. Place in the coals of your campfire. It will only take a few minutes for the pie to cook. Turn the pie maker after about a minute. Watch your sandwich closely. Depending on how hot your fire is, the sandwich will cook very quickly. Ham and tomato are also very good additions to your cheese sandwich.
Pizza pudgie pies are popular with our family too. Again, butter two slices of bread and place the buttered side down in the pudgie pie maker. Add your favorite pizza toppings (ours are canned pizza sauce, pepperoni, and mozzarella cheese). Close the pudgie pie maker and place in the coals of your campfire to cook. Be careful when removing pudgie pies from your pudgie pie maker. Both the pudgie pie maker and your sandwich will be very hot.
Another favorite type of pudgie pie that our family enjoys are dessert ones. Butter your two slices of bread and place the buttered sides down in the pudgie pie maker. Spoon in some of your favorite prepared pie filling (cherry or apple are our favorites). Cook in the fire and enjoy.
And of course, no camping trip is complete without making smores. They’re also very easy to make. Start by roasting a marshmallow over your fire. Once your marshmallow is warm and gooey, stick it on top of a graham cracker and a piece of a chocolate bar, and then top with another graham cracker.
Cooking while camping can really be a lot of fun. Preparing foods should be easy and require little clean up and use few pots and pans. At the end of the night, though, no camping trip would be complete without toasting marshmallows. Cut some branches and skewer large marshmallows. Hold each stick over the flame until brown and toasty. It makes a great, gooey dessert and an ideal end to your day.