Top camping tip #2

Here’s another top camping tip idea we came up with recently… pack a thermos flask to save hot water!

Nothing happens quickly on a campsite, but boiling the kettle seems to take forever! We spend a LOT of time waiting for the kettle to boil… although perhaps thats because we spend a lot of time drinking tea and coffee!?!

Once it has boiled, put any hot water you don’t use into a thermos flask. It will stay warm enough for washing up, or if you want another cuppa later, then using warm water in the kettle will save precious camping gas!!

R

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

The most important meal of the day! #2

I hope the post about fried breakfasts whetted your appetite?

A fry up isn’t the only way to do a cooked breakfast when you’re camping – here are a few more cooked breakfast options…

1) Shakshuka

This is a good vegetarian option – eggs poached in a tomato sauce with spinach or kale.

2) Omlette

This one is a mushroom omlette with tomatoes and spinach as a side. Mushroom is my favourite omlette and mushrooms also transport well for camping. I think the trick for making a good omlette is to cook it in butter. I cook whatever’s going in the omlette first and then add more butter to the pan. When the butter’s all melted I add the eggs which I’ve already beaten with a splash of water & salt and pepper.

3) Breakfast stew

We’ve been refining this over our last few camping trips. Basically it’s a fry up in a pot!! This is our best attempt so far – chipolatas, chorizo & mushrooms fried, then add baked beans, barbecue sauce and tinned cherry tomatoes, get it boiling and poach some eggs in the sauce.

Sorry if you’re now feeling hungry!

L

The most important meal of the day! #1

I’m sure someone such as your mother or grandmother probably told you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Certainly breakfast is a very important part of camping!

So here are a few breakfast ideas to inspire you.

The classic fry-up

This is our default camping breakfast. We like other things… but often you can smell the bacon from your neighbours and inevitably you feel a bit jealous. We mix and match to keep things interesting – here are some of our favourite options:

sausages – chipolatas are the best as they cook quickly and are less likely to result in the burnt on the outside, raw in the inside phenomena!

bacon – cooked until it is nice and crispy, who can resist the smell of cooking bacon?

eggs – fried or scrambled. When I make scrambled eggs, for every egg I add a knob of butter, a splash of milk and my secret ingredient a knob of cheese!

mushrooms – a favourite of mine, roughly chopped and cooked in a pan with some butter. If you are doing a vegetarian breakfast you could also add a little finely chopped onion and some handfuls of spinach.

baked beans – not my favourite, but the other goat likes them. Fortunately you can buy half sized tins for exactly this eventuality!

tomatoes – cut in half and cooked briefly on both sides to mimic grilled tomatoes

bread – either bought, or if there’s plenty of time I often make damper bread in the dutch oven over the fire.

fried potatoes – always cut them into smaller cubes than you think is necessary to be sure they cook through

potato cakes – made with leftover potato from the night before or with instant mash, mixed with butter and flour and dry fried

griddle scones – good to rustle up out of stock ingredients (self-raising flour, egg, milk) and fried, my favourite varity have shredded cabbage in them too!

orange juice – I think this is an important accompaniment as the sharpness of the juice cuts through the fatty fry up. I get the longlife fruit juice when we’re camping as it makes storage easier.

a pot of tea – I don’t do anything before tea, let alone cook breakfast in a field!

More breakfast options to follow in the next post.

L

PS don’t forget to pack the ketchup! (I often do forget, much to the other goat’s disappointment!!)

Damper bread cooked in the Dutch Oven

Tasty camping lunches

Over lockdown, in anticipation of better days, I’ve been trying out new recipes for our camping trips!

Tasty lunches can be particularly tricky to plan out. You want something light, especially if you had a cooked breakfast not so long ago! You also want something that’s transportable with ingredients which won’t go off if you’ve only got a cool box not a fridge. Warm lunches can be particularly welcome if the weather’s a little chilly.

Here’s my latest find – quesadillas!

These are super simple – you just need tortillas (the soft kind – I used wheat ones), grated cheese, any other fillings you fancy and a frying pan.

Place cheese and other fillings on the torilla, pop another tortilla on top. Lightly oil your pan and heat on a medium heat. Cook the tortilla sandwich until the bottom is crispy and the cheese is melting. The melting cheese will help hold everything together when you flip it with a fish slice. Once the other side is also golden and toasted, transfer to a chopping board and cut into wedges.

“Queso” is cheese in Spanish and you need that to help them stick together, but in terms of fillings you could try adding to the cheese how about:

slices of tomato

sliced mushrooms

chopped olives

sliced spring onions

sliced avocado

spinach (although can be bit fragile to transport when camping)

wild garlic

ham (but be careful of how you store it if you’ve not got a fridge)

thinly sliced onion

…basically anything you fancy! I’m going to make these this weekend and try adding capers, because they transport so well for camping and I think the little bit of acidic bite will cut through the rich cheese well.

Different types of cheese are also worth trying – guyere works particularly well, but for camping I usually take pre-grated cheddar as it’s easier.

I’d love to hear your favourite quesadilla fillings – leave a comment if you want to inspire me!

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

End of season sort out

I love the fact that even though the days are short, it’s getting chilly and the weather is generally blowing a gale, every single week someone asks us whether we’ve been camping!!

We hate to disappoint, but actually our camp gear is tucked away waiting for the new season to start!

After the last camp of the season is a good time to take stock of items that need to be replenished or replaced.  You may even get good deals in the sales! It’s also good to have items before first camp of next season – the UK weather is unpredictable and you want to be ready to go at short notice should we get a mild Spring!

This is also a good opportunity to do more thorough cleaning and repairs if needed.  For example, you might undertake any tent repairs or give the stove a thorough clean. Make sure everything is properly dry (particularly tents) before being stored away for the season.

At this time of year we give all our camping kitchen items a good wash – and even Henrietta gets a bath!  For those of you who haven’t met Henrietta before here’s a photo of her.  Clearly a tea cosy is an essential item of camp equipment!!

Henrietta guarding some Welsh cakes!!

We also clean out all the boxes.  These are plastic storage crates of varying sizes which we store our camping bits and pieces in.  Not only do the boxes keep things safe and dry when you’re storing them, but they make packing the car, transporting equipment and keeping the kitchen tent organised much, much easier.

Batteries should be removed from lanterns and head torches when you put them away for winter to avoid the batteries from leaking and potentially ruining your lantern.

If you have leftover camping food supplies, be careful how you store these.  Go through all the items checking their best before dates and if it’s before next Easter put them in your kitchen cupboard to get used up at home.  If you have items that you have decanted into separate containers (eg sugar and flour) it’s best to use these up and start afresh next year. 

Although it’s always a bit sad to have reached the end of a camping season, taking the time to sort through things now, means that as soon as the days start to get longer and warmer again, you’ll be ready to go at the drop of a hat!

R

Our knight in shining armour?

Ok well sadly not.  We would be very happy if a knight in shining armour did turn up to help out with the washing up, but for now we’ll just have to make do with a piece of his chainmail!

Yes, that’s right, the latest addition to our campsite washing up system is a scourer made of chainmail.

chainmail scourer

Chainmail scourers are ideal for cleaning dirty dutch ovens.  They scrape, but don’t scratch and the food residue is easily cleaned out of the chain mail cloth.

They are easily available online ( for example here ).

We are very pleased with ours.  It has been well used over the last month or so we’ve had it.  The dutch ovens are now all washed and seasoned and tucked away in the shed… although we’re hopeful there might be more fire food yet, even if camping might be over for the season.

L & R