Camp cooking

camping cookbook

This week brought a brace of camping cookbooks, which I regarded with curiosity.  Though our family lives on 20 rustic acres, all my outdoor cooking–whether on propane burner or kettle grill–takes place no more than the requisite 10 feet away from the house.  Every dash back inside for a forgotten tool or ingredient counts as a hassle.  So how indeed, I wondered, do people with the camping bug manage a decent hot meal?

Annie Bell’s The Camping Cookbook has a wide variety of upscale recipes that just happen to be cooked outside, with one-pot meals, fish baked in newspaper, duck hash (made with pâté), soigné-looking pork and lamb roasts.  Although practical tips occur throughout the book, the main external clue that this is a camping book rather than a beach entertaining/summer parties/grill book is the heavily laminated, wipe-off cover.

On the other end of the spectrum is Mike Faverman and Pat Mac’s Ultimate Camp Cooking, whose motto seems to be “get it done any way you can.” From omelets in Ziploc bags to sloppy casseroles of chicken and Ritz casseroles, this is minimum-effort. filling, and occasionally unsightly food.

Either book, however, has got to be a step in the right direction–i.e., away from cold trail mix and rehydrated foil packets.  You still have to schlep the cookstoves and fresh ingredients though, unless, of course, you cook and camp in your vegetable garden.  Hey! now that’s an idea.

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