camping { good eats }

This is something I’m very curious about: what do you eat when you camp out? I’ve thought about it, and I’m pretty sure the only givens are s’mores and hotdogs. What feeds you the other six or so meals of a three day camping trip? Any family recipes, old secrets?

Our camp food is no real secret – it’s straight from the Boyscouts of America. Matt Tennis (eagle scout & past program director at Camp Lassen) would never have it any other way, I’m sure. As it turns out, boyscout camp food is pretty good. I did a few of my own twists (you’ll see) but overall, the menu is satisfying, quick and just tastes like the outdoors. Which of course, everything tastes better when you are camping.

Let’s start with the standards, though…

{ hot chocolate in a tin cup }

{ hotdogs roasted on a skewer }

*Side note here, Matt and I loved the above photo because it’s such a classic hotdog (ketchup, relish and squiggle of mustard on a blue tin plate). Cameron, however did not. He promptly licked all the mustard and ketchup off, discarded the relish and smooshed the bun into tiny pieces. Oh well. I guess appreciation for that type of thing comes later?

{ s’mores, obviously!! }

*On another ridiculous side note: Matt does not care for s’mores. Yes, I know that he is insane. Cameron and I eat enough to make up for him, however.

Now we get into the lesser known meals. Starting with Sheepherder’s Breakfast.

Sheepherder’s is traditionally made with bacon, but I still am not fond of the stuff (although I am trying) so we used prosciutto as a substitute. Basically, you layer the bacon/meat on the bottom and sides of a cast iron dutch oven and add sliced potatoes and onions to the top (plus a little olive oil/salt and pepper)…

Pile hot coals on top. When the potatoes, etc are knife tender…

…pour on the whisked eggs. Let that cook for a bit:

With more salt and pepper. I sprinkled a bit of cheese on top, but you don’t have to.

It’s a very heavenly (but richer and smokier) breakfast quiche:

And may I point out one of the nice things about this dish is that you can all eat it together at the same time (pancakes come off in a more individual fashion, with no way to keep warm while camping).

Yum. But for posterity, here’s pancakes and sausage too…

Make the mix up at home before you leave, or there is batter blaster if you need a shortcut.

While we’re on the subject of breakfast, let’s talk coffee. Percolated camp coffee may be some of the worst tasting coffee out there. Seriously, that is no way to brew the stuff if you can help it. The solution is simple…

Use your percolator to boil the water, and then pour it through this simple one cup filter. Much, much better. You can thank me later. 😉

Next is dinner! A boyscout jewel, Hobo Stew is simple and can be made with no tools except a knife and tinfoil, if you had to.

What goes in Hobo Stew?

A: Whatever you have around!

Typically, it’s ground beef, potato and some other vegetable (read: carrot). I changed it up a bit by adding leeks and onions, and a smattering of fresh herbs grabbed from my kitchen pot.

Mix it together, salt and pepper it, and spoon servings into tin foil “packets”:

Place these packets directly on your hot coals/wood…

Wait a bit and then…

You are ready to enjoy! Crusty bread and wine do make a nice addition, although I’m pretty sure the Boy scouts didn’t have those on their hikes.

As for salad, I find this to be the easiest camping salad you can make…

Yay for easy Caprese!

On to dessert! A classic boy scout dish involves canned peaches and mixing the juice of them with yellow cake mix. Well, I’m not so into canned goods when I have fresh, so I did a variation on this:

Fresh Blackberries, plus a can of blueberry pie filling (for juice):

Add cake mix:

Cut a truckload of butter all over the top:

Cook in the dutch oven until done:

Cobbler. Happy sigh.

It should be noted that the one flaw in Matt’s Boy Scout recipes as he gave them to me is they all came out ready to feed a whole troop. If you try these recipes, do cut back the quantity to what you need. We had a LARGE amount of leftovers, as good as the food was.

There it is! Tennis family camp food!! What do you eat out under the stars?


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