The most important meal of the day #3

Sometimes we think it would be nice to have something lighter for breakfast … but it’s generally only a thought. We pretty much always end up having a cooked breakfast when we are camping – usually a fry up.

Sometimes we pack breakfast cereal. This is a good option if some of your camping party are the type who wake up hungry and can’t wait for the fire to get going and food to cook! The downside is that you need to store the milk for it. Long life milk could be an option, but we’ve a super cool box (which is just as well as one of the goats is a bit of a milk snob and likes fresh milk!!). Even so, milk is bulky.

Porridge is a good option, especially on chilly mornings. Even better it can be made very successfully with powdered milk, which is a versatile camping staple. I use a cup of rolled oats, 2 tablespoonfuls dried milk powder, 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt, boiled up on the stove to serve 2.

And of course porridge can be jazzed up in numerous ways – adding raisins is one of our favourites, or a sprinkling brown sugar on the top. Alpen museli also makes a good sprinkle topping. Or how about a swirl of cinnamon? Or stir through berries or chocolate chips? I like that ginger you get in syrup finely chopped and stirred through, but the other goat would not approve of that!

An alternative take on porridge is to make baked oats over the fire. This is oats (2 cups), sugar (3 tbsp), milk powder (3 tbp), baking powder (1 tsp) and a pinch of salt mixed up with an egg and some water (1 1/2 cups) and baked like a cake. Add some raisins and this also works well as a tasty snack for elevensies.

Being as you’re on holiday – how about treating yourself to pancakes?

Banana pancakes work well for breakfast: mash 2 bananas then stir in 4 heaped dessertspoonfuls of self-raising flour. Next stir in an egg, 2 dessertspoonfuls of sugar and 2 of milk powder. Thin the batter using 200 ml water and then cook spoonfuls in an oiled pan, turning to brown both sides. The end result looks like little scotch pancakes and taste delicious on their own as breakfast or with a little drizzle of maple syrup to make a dessert.

And who says you need to be camping to enjoy these breakfasts – I had banana pancakes this morning!

L

Campfire song

One of our friends always asks us whether we sing round our campfires. The answer is always no… except last weekend the excitement of the new camping season went to our heads and we found ourselves making up a song which made us laugh lots!

Not sure whether it will be quite so funny in the re-telling, but it will at least make you smile as it has a camping equipment theme!!!

The only piece of context you need to know is that we never seem to be able to find a spoon when we want one. You’ll be able to guess the tune… it goes like this:

On the first day of camping, my true love gave to me, a toi-let in its own tent!!

On the second day of camping, my true love gave to me – two shepherds hooks:

and a toilet in its own tent!

On the third day of camping, my true love gave to me – three dutch ovens,

two shepherds hooks, and a toilet in its own tent!

On the fourth day of camping, my true love gave to me – four camping chairs:

three dutch ovens, two shepherds hooks and a toilet in its own tent!!

On the fifth day of camping, my true love gave to me – five different tents!

four camping chairs, three dutch ovens, two shepherds hooks and a toilet in its own tent!!

On the sixth day of camping, my true love gave to me – six lovely lanterns

five different tents, four camping chairs, three dutch ovens, two shepherds hooks and a toilet in its own tent!!

On the seventh day of camping, my true love gave to me – seven mugs for tea:

six lovely lanterns – five different tents!

Four camping chairs, three dutch ovens, two shepherds hooks and a toilet in its own tent!!

On the eighth day of camping, my true love gave to me – eight wine goblets,

seven mugs for tea, six lovely lanterns – five different tents!

Four camping chairs, three dutch ovens, two shepherds hooks and a toilet in its own tent!!

On the ninth day of camping, my true love gave to me – nine plates and bowls:

eight wine goblets, seven mugs for tea, six lovely lanterns – five different tents!

Four camping chairs, three dutch ovens, two shepherds hooks and a toilet in its own tent!!

On the tenth day of camping, my true love gave to me – ten bottles of beer

nine plates and bowls, eight wine goblets, seven mugs for tea, six lovely lanterns, five different tents!

Four camping chairs, three dutch ovens, two shepherds hooks and a toilet in its own tent!!

On the eleventh day of camping, my true love gave to me – eleven missing spoons

ten bottles of beer, nine plates and bowls, eight wine goblets, seven mugs for tea, six lovely lanterns, five different tents!

Four camping chairs, three dutch ovens, two shepherds hooks and a toilet in its own tent!!

On the twelfth day of camping, my true love gave to me – twelve heat logs

eleven missing spoons, ten bottles of beer, nine plates and bowls, eight wine goblets, seven mugs for tea, six lovely lanterns, five different tents!

Four camping chairs, three dutch ovens, two shepherds hooks and a toilet in its own tent!!

As you can tell the goats are very happy to be back camping… and our new song will make sure we don’t forget to pack anything!!

R & L

A family day out!

My family of Dutch ovens emerged from their hybernation in the shed yesterday! Daddy pot, Mummy pot and Baby pot all got a sterilising bath of boiling water.

But it was more of a family day out than that!! COVID rules where I live allow us to have garden visitors, so my cousin came for lunch under the gazebo!

We had a simple lunch of sweet potato soup warmed over the fire and with the help of Paul Hollywood, we had freshly baked rolls to accompany it! Such a simple idea, not sure why I’ve never thought of finishing par-cooked rolls in the dutch oven before.

And of course food always tastes better outside!

L

What do you actually do when you go camping?

“When you’re camping, what do you actually do?”

That’s something we’re often asked.  In reality we do very little – by the time you’ve waited for the kettle to boil, had your cup of tea, trekked to the toilets, lit a fire, cooked your breakfast and eaten it, it’s about coffee time!  Then you realise you’re still in your pyjamas!!

So basically we cook, eat and poke the fire.

Occasionally we manage to fit in a little adventure between meals – usually a walk to explore the area.

Our latest stay was at Hook Farm.  We’ve been there loads of times, but we can never remember where we walked the time before.  So we’re going to start keeping a note of good things to do near West Hoathly.

We’ve also updated the Hook Farm campsite scores.

R & L

Wood storage

In the last post I was saying I bulk bought Heat Logs at B&Q.  We also never waste wood.  If we buy some when we’re camping and don’t use it all, we take it home and squirrel it away to use another time!

But I don’t have a lot of space at home, so where to keep it?  Well, here’s where it’s lived very happily all through the winter:

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An ordinary black dustbin!  Our council moved over to using wheelie bins, so my old bin was going spare.

It doesn’t look so pretty , but the flowers help a bit!

L

 

Fuel for the fire

A good fire is very important.  Especially if cooking your dinner relies on a getting a good blaze going.  Dinner is also VERY important!

Usually when we go to a campsite we buy whatever wood they sell us.  Indeed some campsites insist that you burn their wood.  But as you’ll have seen on our campsite reviews not all the sites sell good wood.  Sometimes it smoulders and smokes rather than burning nicely, I guess because it hasn’t been seasoned long enough and isn’t properly dry.

We’ve tried various different other types of fire fuel – including ones made out of coffee grounds and made out of newspapers.  However, our favourites are these:

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According to the packet they are made from recycled sawdust and shavings, which are dried and then tightly packed together after being compressed at high temperatures.  No additives or chemicals – just compressed wood.

You buy them in B&Q.  Well, when they are in stock, which seemed to be pretty much never last year!! This year I saw them sitting there before lockdown and although I  had no plans for camping or fires I bought a couple of packs, just because I could!

They always burn nicely and are a good to suppliment any substandard wood you’re made to buy!  Not only are they very dry, meaning they light easily and aren’t too smokey, but they are designed with a hole through the middle, which lets the air through, getting a good blaze going.

They are also a good size for putting on top of the dutch ovens for when I’m using them for baking.  Previously I used charcoal briquettes for this, as in the picture below, but that didn’t last long as I was forever losing the little lumps in the fire!

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Now I just stick burning wood on the top.  It can be a bit precarious and I need to swap them around as the logs on the top tend to go out. These regular sized, little logs with their holes to help them burn, work well for balancing on top.

L