Springtime is here and that means camping season has arrived as well.
Many families long for weekends spent in nature and roughing it for a few days with a pack of basic supplies and a blanket roll. Roughing it is the absolute furthest thing from what I want to do. My camping extravaganza generally includes a tent, an inflatable mattress, a fire starter, some fishing poles and bait and the second most important thing food and drink.
Out of all this one might think food and drink is the most important. Personally, for me, it is a close second to the inflatable mattress. Let’s face it I am getting old and my body does not enjoy laying on the solid, rocky ground. Still, food and drink comes in a super close second.
One of the toughest decisions for a camping trip is what food to bring. I tend to pack more non-perishable items – canned beans, canned meat and potatoes. Yes potatoes, because they are hardy, last a long time and can be eaten with just about anything, and canned meat just in case the fishing is horrible.
A subsequent decision to the food is how to cook the food. Do I take a propane stove? Do I pack a small grill? My answer is no to both of those questions.
Where I lack in manliness with the mattress I make up with by cooking over the open flame. There is nothing better than being out in God’s country, cooking over that flame and smelling the aroma as it permeates through the air and does its little dance in my nose.
Next one may ask what about cooking vessel to use. Whatever can fit in the car is one answer. My choice is aluminum foil. Depending on the length of the camping trip, one roll should suffice but I always take two to be on the safe side. Aluminum foil is a perfect cooking vessel for whatever meals one wants to cook over an open flame, a grill or propane stove. Foil not only makes a great cooking vessel it is also makes for easy clean up
At the campsite, I build my fire according to needs. A rip-roaring fire is an awesome thing, but it is not useful for cooking. Just like at home, too high a flame will cause burning.
I may also look for a flat rock to put over the fire as a cooktop. I still use the foil but sometimes the rock will make for a more even cook. Next it is on to preparing the aluminum packs for cooking.
Anything and everything can be cooked in foil packs from shrimp, sausage and corn to lemon seasoned fish. I know I said I generally take non-perishables, but if I get a wild hair I may take some frozen chicken to eat the first night. This is because one of my favorite foil packs is herb seasoned chicken and potatoes. When opened the aromacan knock the socks off. The chicken is succulent and the smokiness of the potatoes is to die for.
Another one of my favorites is fish and potatoes. The flakiness of the fish combined with the smokey flavor of the open fire simply makes my taste buds dance right off my tongue.
What food to take camping is always a personal preference and the use foil can make the experience greater and less stressful. People all over the world have been doing it for decades, and it does not appear to be going anywhere.