Grim's Grub: Minimalist camp foods
The weather lately has me pining for some camping.
On sunny days for the past week or so, the sun has been warm, but not sweltering, and the evenings have been breezy. Who could possibly turn down a camping trip in this weather?
Sadly, people with too much work could turn down camping. That's where I am currently. Times like these every year I attempt to satiate my desire for the outdoors using internet searches pertaining to the types of things that excite me about camping.
I like the "roughing it" aspect of camp. Sleeping on the ground, lacking electricity, and also the "survival" aspects of it. Of course, I also love the ingenuity of camp cooking, but not the way lots of other people do.
Some people bring out the "green machine" Coleman gas grill and go to town. I've had some real "glamping" trips in a pop-up camper with maple breakfast links and eggs in the morning, and let me tell you that the Coleman grill works wonderfully.
But I get joy out of looking up ways to make unique meals in my camp cookware. Specifically, a nesting stainless steel pan and metal plate from a military mess kit and an Army canteen cup cook kit combined with odds and ends that make up a small kit of one- to two-person cooking gear.
Sadly, not many people make recipes for such a small kit, probably because most recipes are designed for three to four people, and these kits are designed for much less.
That being said, I would like to compile a few camping or backpacking foods that you can produce with little or no cookware.
The cookware I am using consists of a single flat pan, roughly the size of a small plate, and a "pot" that is really just a steel extra large coffee mug. I will also include stick cooking and foil cooking.
Camp hash browns
Serving size: One
1 frying pan
1/3 cup dried hash browns
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon, or a single cube
Pinch of rosemary
1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon-1 lard or other similar cooking oil
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup dehydrated veggies (onion, green peppers, mushrooms, celery) in a baggie
1 cup water
2 slices fully cooked bacon, broken into pieces (optional)
Begin by rehydrating your vegetables. This can be done in a baggie. Only use enough water to cover the vegetables. In a separate bag or a cup, put about 2/3 cup of water, your bouillon and rosemary. Shake to mix, then add hash browns. Be careful not to break hash browns. Occasionally shake the bag gently.
Heat your pan over medium flames, then add just enough lard or oil to just coat the bottom. Drain off vegetables and briefly sauté them. Drain excess water from hash browns when they are fully rehydrated, then add this to your vegetable mix. Add one half of your remaining oil and then stir to distribute evenly.
For hash browns that are matted, allow these to fry in the pan with minimal stirring. For hash browns that do not mat, stir regularly to evenly brown each shred of potato. Once the liquid in the pan is mostly evaporated, add the remaining oil or lard and either flip your matted hash browns or continue to stir the individual shreds. Add bacon just before finishing, if desired.
Remove when evenly golden and crispy.
Fish in Foil
1 piece of heavy duty tinfoil, at least 1 foot long (must be long enough to wrap around both fillets)
1 fish, filleted
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
Pinch of lemon pepper
Pinch of garlic salt
Dash of dill
Cut the butter into small pieces and spread out in the middle of a piece of tinfoil. Sprinkle the seasonings on the butter and then lay out fillets, side-by-side for maximum exposure to the butter mixture (requires extra long tinfoil), one on top of the other.
Fold the tinfoil together in such a way that no seam is pointing downward into the fire. Roll the seams together to seal in steam and butter.
Place this directly on red coals for 15-20 minutes.
Boy Scouts Flour Sack and Stick Bread
1 container of bread flour or biscuit mix
1 stick with bark removed
Drizzle a small amount of water into either prelevened bread flour for Bannock, or biscuit dough. Stir with a stick to make a dough. Drizzle more water to make a larger ball of dough. Remove once the dough just barely sticks to your stick.
Either immediately hold over the fire at a medium heat area to cook it like a hot dog, turning until golden and not doughy, or remove from the stick, knead thoroughly and wrap it back around the stick before cooking.
If you have cheese or a hot dog, you can put it on the stick before wrapping your dough around it.