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Camping food is like camping food rules: simple and you had better not mess it up. Nothing ruins the mood faster than having to chow down on an unappetising mess when nature is doing it's party and looking pretty for you. The opposite is also true. Good eating makes camping trips precious! So, keeping simplicity and taste and variety in mind, here are a couple of dozen meals that ought to make your nights under the stars perfect.
There are sprouts and then there are brussels sprouts. It's as much fun to hate the first as it is to love the second. Now, while most people usually just skewer and grill them over a fire, they are much tastier with roasted along with grated onion and garlic. And just for a little bit of kick, add whole grain mustard
Cut into a large banana down the middle, and make sure to leave the skin on. Chop up your marshmallows into little cubes. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Roast over fire. Wrap in aluminium foil. Take it out. Sprinkle crushed crackers for a crunchy texture. Instant heaven.
How monkey bread became a thing or got its name is a mystery we'll never solve (actually, you have Google now, so go do your homework), but it's no wonder barely anyone is aware of this camping confections outside of the USA. Cinnamon-y taste aside, the whole process of tearing down the cake's individual fingers is oddly satisfying.
As far as cooking goes, this is so basic you should be embarrassed to call it that. Have a pot of melted cheese slowly bubbling over a fire. Bring out the loaves of garlic bread. Tear chunks of bread off, dip into the cheese. Eat. Not only is it incredibly filling, but that cheese never seems to run out!
These are super convenient because all the cooking happens before you get to camp. Cheese, diced tomatoes, shredded greens, some salsa, black beans. Dump them all into a ziplock bag. Shake well. At campsite, warm up tortilla on something electric, or over a fire. Wrap and serve.
Grilling is fun, cebut skewering is fun-ner. What kind of meat it is, whether it's processed or not, marinated or not, freshly caught or store bought these are secondary considerations. The fun part is where you set up the Y-sticks on either side of a fire, then hang a line of carefully stabbed meat over it, gently turning it. Few methods of cooking are more hypnotic, especially since you have to keep turning your dinner round and round.
Believe it or not, some people really can't make up their minds whether parmesan, mozzarella or cheddar cheese is better. That is what makes macaroni and cheese so great. You don't have to choose a single one. You can enjoy a single, orgiastically gooey mixture of all three. The other thing that makes it great is how easy it is to cook over a fire in a cooker of any shape. This classic meal isn't fussy.
The inclusion of this confection is practically honorary, after all the times we've seen Snoopy and Charlie Brown accidentally set their own marshmallows-on-a-stick on fire. Classic preparation is to gently roast then combine with melted chocolate.
Whoever came up with the idea of sandwiching marshmallows and chocolate between crackers was as great a person as those who invented paperclips or zips. Yes, you have to roast the marshmallow over the fire first. For those of you who didn't know, the name is the literal contraction of 'some more'. Obviously, people can't get enough.
Few camping foods are made for a better side dish than corn, or for a nicer way to claim you aren't being naughty about avoiding your veggies. Have it raw, skewered over a fire, roasted in aluminium foil, or just cupfuls of boiled kernels. Flavour it with salt, pepper, lemon, any spice that strikes your fancy.
Simply packing potatoes into a foil and then baking them is too easy. You can have more fun than that. Consider potato boats. Get yourself a long and large potato and slick it thickly, like bread. Drop meats and cheeses into those slices, with salt and pepper to taste. Tomatoes add a lovely zing too. NOW you can roast them.
If you know how to spot and pick mushrooms off the forest floor, and you know how to tell which ones are safe and which aren't, then there is no better way to complete your camping food checklist. Sautee the portobellos with garlic and rosemary on olive oil and butter. Then have it with toast or pair it with meat.