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Campfire Cooking


yeuxblu
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So I'm camping this weekend and am in charge of a lunch and dinner. This weekend will be a special challenge as I'm camping with a gluten and lactose intolerant friend. So far we have sesame noodles (gluten free) and tofu; a pre-prepped turkey sausage, egg and potato breakfast goodness; margharitas ala Nalgene bottle; fish in tinfoil with separate tin of veggies; and a mystery lunch which I have yet to figure out.

I started thinking of some of the fantastic (and dreadful) camping food I've eaten. What are you favorites and worst experiences?

Favorites:

twice baked potatoes

sundried tomato stuffed chicken

apples and red hots

Swedish pancakes with fresh berries and 2 types of fruit ladden sausages

Full bar of small liquor filled nalgenes (brought by a wise Grand Canyon kayker who explained beer weighed too much- brilliant)

campfire espresso maker- thank God

Worst:

Dinner of beans caught on fire..who forgot to remove the label

Racoons found and ate breakfast and lunch

Racoons in similar scenario as above with marshmallows

forgot to pack coffee

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Best:

Maine: low-tide foraged mussels with garlic

West Virginia: wild black raspberry pancakes

Cape Hatteras: Oysters gathered that morning, bought from a waterman near the beach camping area, on the halfshell for dinner and fried with eggs for breakfast the next day.

Mount Ranier: wild Oregon blackberries gathered by the roadside en route. They were so ripe that by the time we'd gotten to Mount Ranier and set up our campsite, they had juiced themselves and we drank them. Heavenly.

Worst:

Dehydrated "refried" beans

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What we made for the camping trip:

breakfast: oatmeal with dried pineapple and brown sugar

lunch: quinoa with tomatoes, mint, lime juice and red onion

dinner: tin foils of salmon marinated in lime, garlic and agave nectar with scallions then served with grilled veggies over dirty rice.

If anyone is looking for some gluten free options, I found some great recipes from Karina's Kitchen.

It turned out really well and I'm looking forward to some more trips (and more campfire cooking).

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An upcoming camping trip has me thinking again about what we can make over the campfire. Last time our friend hosted our monthly dinner club at the campsite - we had mexican style stuffed onions topped with fresh avocado and cilantro, bacon-wrapped trout stuffed with lemon and herbs, grilled asparagus, risotto made on the camp stove, and s'mores with red chile chocolate for dessert. And lots of beer and wine of course.

So what are your favorite things to make on the campfire?

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Paella is best when made over a campfire. But since that's a lot of work, I'm pretty happy roasting ears of corn, or triple-wrapping fish in foil pouches with herbs and slices of citrus.

My favorite? That would have to be the dutch oven peach cobbler that scoutmasters everywhere have made towards the end of summer camp week. We always made the biscuit mix variant, but I don't see why the cake mix version wouldn't work. Then again, my fond recollection is probably colored by context: after a week of eating food prepared by other kids, a well-seasoned boiled turnip would have seemed a treat.

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An upcoming camping trip has me thinking again about what we can make over the campfire. Last time our friend hosted our monthly dinner club at the campsite - we had mexican style stuffed onions topped with fresh avocado and cilantro, bacon-wrapped trout stuffed with lemon and herbs, grilled asparagus, risotto made on the camp stove, and s'mores with red chile chocolate for dessert. And lots of beer and wine of course.

So what are your favorite things to make on the campfire?

Since you seem to be going upscale, oysters scalded in the embers until they just start to open are delicious. We made them this way on Prince Edward Island on vacation a few years ago. Obviously you need a good pair of tongs to pull this off.

We made baked apples at our campout a few weeks ago. I brought them to the site already stuffed with cinnamon, brown sugar, and butter and wrapped in foil.

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You really can't go wrong cooking over a campfire. I've always said the five best chefs in the world are:

1) The outdoors

2) Free food

3) Hunger

4) My mom

5) My wife when she wears her hair down and has the apron tied tight

A cast iron pan and a wooden spoon can make pretty much anything you'd ever want to eat, and if Samwise Gamgee can lug his pots and pans halfway to Mount Doom...

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I love the idea of camp cooking-I read camp cook for ideas, have dutch ovens & iron skillets, portable stoves & misc gear, but I rarely camp (I love my hot showers & w/ new puppies, I don't need to camp, to sleep uncomfortably.)

If I were REALLY camping, I'd probably try to do as much cook-ahead stuff as I could, it's just not fun to lug the gear, but if I'm setting it up in the backyard, I could cook up a feast...

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Do most of my camping on MDI. So, it's red hot dogs, (you know you love 'em) Boiled Lobsters, (alas no more, a case of Paralytic shellfish poisoning last summer seems to have left me with a severe allergy), clams, foiled potatoes and corn, S'mores, small fish on sticks, and beer, (lots of it, helps to dull the itching of the mosquito bites). And blueberry soda, and something with my dad's bbq sauce on it, (doesn't really matter what, just don't ask what's in the sauce)

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Do most of my camping on MDI.

I'll never forget the smell joy of camping in a canvas pop-up trailer parked at the KOA, or the smell of Coleman fuel powering, well, everything. But there wasn't much cooking going on in my family; I think lobster dinners were like $5 at Abel's Lobster Pound in the mid-1970s, so mom insisted that we visit there frequently.

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