So... we bought a trailer! Ok, so we bought it over 6 months ago, but we haven't gotten to use it until this summer! So I'm pretty excited! Like I had mentioned, my husband and I spent the night a few weeks ago for our anniversary and although we've been up since, this will be the first time with the kiddos overnight! Yikes! :) Anyways, I've spent the week planning meals and I thought I'd share a few tips with you!
We are no strangers to cooking in the wild outdoors, we stay in cabins many, many times during the summer, and most of the time it's not too different than cooking in our trailer. We do have a generator, thankfully, that runs our microwave, but most of these tips are for no-heat or outdoor cooking.
PLAN!-- I am a self-proclaimed OCD planner. And in this case, it works to my family's advantage! ;) I have an extremely detailed list of the meals we will have, snacks and drinks.
PREP!-- Prepping what you can ahead of time will be a huge help when you are up on the mountain and all you want to do is relax with your family! For instance, I am cooking Broccoli Cheese Soup this morning, and after it cooks and cools, I'll pack it up and keep it in the fridge until we pack the cooler. Then tomorrow, all I'll have to do is heat it up on the stove (or camp-chef) or throw it in the microwave! I'm also pre-baking some rolls, and I'll just throw those in a bag to have with the soup.
But whatever you can do; chop veggies, pre-bake potatoes, make sauces, assemble tinfoil dinners... anything helps! You'll be SO grateful later!
Have Emergency Meals on hand-- Sometimes things don't go as planned. That's just how life is! What if my soup spilled in the cooler? What if it's 10 billion degrees and the mere thought of hot soup sends us into a heat coma? ALWAYS have a backup plan. a can of refried beans and a package of tortillas doesn't take up too much space, and may save your butt! I always keep cans of chili, salmon, boxes of 'suddenly salad' and a few other go-to's in the trailer cupboards, just in case!
Appliances can be your friend-- If you do have a generator, or solar panels, or some form our power hookups, I suggest bringing a few small appliances. We don't have much room in our trailer, but I bring a sandwich (grilled cheese) maker (use for grilled cheese, calzones, stuffed French toast, ham and cheese pockets, etc.), a small crockpot (for freezer meals, meat and/or soups), other good ideas are a small toaster oven or waffle maker.
Single servings are the way to go-- If we can afford it, and if it's available, I always buy single servings! I love juice boxes, small boxed cereal, and my personal favorite... mustard and mayo packets! I have yet to find somewhere to buy those (any ideas?) but whenever we eat at subway, I ask for an extra, or grab one or two extra at the gas station. Grabbing just one more than normal can add up and it's SO much easier than packing big containers of everything, and bonus, you can leave them up on the mountain!
Don't beat yourself up-- Camping is not the place for gourmet food. Since we do camp so much, I try and keep most of our meals as healthy and 'home-ey' as possible, I like to fix grilled chicken, raw veggies, fruit salad, lean red meat, and things like that. But sometimes, hot dogs for lunch, and doughnuts for breakfast just have to do. And that's okay! As long as you're not feeding your family that every single day, there's no harm in my mind!
Here's a look at a few things I'm taking up with us this weekend (all these things will stay at the trailer, none of this is for my planned meals)
Tortilla chips (I already have a jar of salsa up there)
pizza crust mix
garlic powder (I already have a few spices up there)
hot chocolate mix
box pasta dinner
pringles (our family favorite)
fruit/veggie juice boxes
Hopefully this gives you a little help next time your family is headed out into the great outdoors!
I'd LOVE to hear all of your ideas for camping food and recipes!! I'm always in search of new tips!!