Like a lot of other Aussies, we are heading off camping for our Easter holiday. All nine of us will be heading off for a few nights later this week. Last year we all went to a camp site at Big River (which is near Lake Eildon) but this year we are heading a bit deeper into the bush and staying at a place called Sheepyard Flat.
We will be bush camping which means besides the occasional stinky drop toilet (which is pretty much a big open hole with a toilet plonked on top) there is just grass and trees. So you have to be completely self sufficient and bring everything you need with you. No power. No showers. No tap water. No bins. Nothin.
We love roughing it and do all our cooking right on the camp fire. Last year we brought a custom made BBQ that sits over the top of the fire and that’s what we do all our cooking on.
While I was preparing everything this morning I thought it would be good to give a few tips and explain how we go about organizing food for the nine of us while camping. It’s a bit of a major undertaking as you can imagine, all the kids have pretty good appetites so we always have to have plenty if food.
We find it works best if almost everything is prepared in advance and then frozen. That way when it comes to packing its just a matter of taking all the meat and bread out of the freezer and putting it into the Esky. Everything lasts much longer as well because on top of the ice, everything is already frozen so it all keeps extra cold.
We camped for six nights over Christmas and we still had frozen sausages at the bottom of the esky on the last day. Now the quality of Esky does make a difference, we have a HUGE 150ltr Chilly Chest which will keep things frozen even in the hottest weather for days.
Now when I say we prepare our meals in advance that means that a few days before we leave I will chop up all the ingredients for each meal and bag it up in zip lock bags which are then put in the freezer.
When we camp we like to eat real food, no cup-a-noodles or baked beans for us. Nope, we go gourmet lol. So a bit of thought needs to go into things before we go.
For example this week, along with the usual camping staple of chops and sausages, we are also having bacon and eggs, beef casserole, chicken noodle soup and pork kebabs.
So for example, for the casserole I put all the diced beef, chopped carrots, celery and onion into one big zip lock bag which is then frozen. So when it comes to cooking it I just grab that bag out of the Esky, pour it all into the saucepan along with the stock, canned tomato and a few spices and away we go.
No messing around with chopping and preparing while there and getting covered in flies and dust, it’s so much quicker and easier.
I have done the same with the pork kebabs, I prepared them all and poured in a jar of sweet and sour stir fry sauce, and popped it in the freezer. For the chicken and corn soup I have diced up some chicken, onion, garlic and ginger and bagged it up together.
If your interested in the full recipes for those meals i’ll post them at the bottom. I don’t claim to be a awesome cook but the kids seem to like them and they are really simple to cook while camping.
So there you go, I’d love to hear if anyone else does things differently when camping. Or if anyone has any other tips.
If you are going away then have a fantastic time, we are all getting pretty excited now that things are being packed and organized, we didn’t even get the chance to completely unpack from when we went away on labour day and now we are packing it all up again.
Hopefully the weather will be kind to us.
See you on the other side
-diced carrots, celery & onion
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1 can diced tomato
- dry herbs to taste ( I use oregano, parsley and garlic)
Prepare the meat and vege before you leave and pop it all in together in a zip lock bag. I put the vege in the bag first and the meat last because it means you can empty out the meat first to brown it a bit before you add in the vege. When your ready to cook just heat up a large saucepan and add a bit of oil, brown off the meat then add all the other ingredients. Cover and simmer lightly for at least an hour stirring often.
Chicken and corn noodle soup
- chicken (either thigh or breast)
- 2 garlic cloves
-1 tsp of ginger
- can of corn
- can of creamed corn
- chicken stock (I use 2 ltrs for our clan but you can adjust that)
- noodles (I tend to use either thick Pad Thai noodles or alphabet soup noodles depending on my mood)
Prepare by dicing up chicken if it isn’t already, dice up the onion and garlic. Add all that into a zip lock bag along with the ginger, then freeze.
When ready to cook empty everything from bag into oiled saucepan and brown off, then add in corn, creamed corn and chicken stock. Simmer for at least 20-30 min or until chicken is cooked through. Add in noodles and simmer until they are cooked through.
Sweet and Sour Pork Kebabs
- pork (I usually just get a boneless roast pork and dice it up)
- can pineapple chunks
- jar of sweet and sour stir fry sauce.
- wooden squewers
To prepare dice everything up and put them onto the squewers alternating between meat and the other bits.
Pop them all into a big zip lock bag and then add the jar of sauce. Put bag into freezer.
When its time to cook just pop them on the BBQ, the sweet and sour sauce goes all sticky and caramelized, it makes a mess but its so worth i.