Sunday, July 5, 2009

Camping Tips (#5): Eating Out – REALLY out!

+ Organize to make it easy on yourself.

+ Plan all meals ahead of time.
Always plan meals for an extra day, just in case…and let them be of the non-perishable kind: granola bars, fruit wraps, string cheese, summer sausage, crackers, canned beef stew, etc. You never know when something unforeseen will delay your departure OR maybe you’ll just be having such a good time you want to stay an extra day.

+ Cookware. You can spend unnecessary funds on cute little cooking ‘kits’ containing pots & pans that don’t serve their purpose very well. The best bet is to purchase thrift store items that will stack comfortable inside one another. You will need a skillet, a large pot with 2 handles and a lid and a small pot with a bail wire handle and a lid. Nothing needs to match; they just need to stack. With these three items, you can cook anything.

+ Utinsels. No need for the fancy grill-master sets. You will need a good turner, a set of tongs, a 2-tine fork, a large spoon, a slotted spoon, a large sharp knife, a paring knife, a can opener, (a flat grater and a potato peeler if you have use for them).

+ Silverware. You may as well pick this up at a yard sale or thrift store as well. Unless you plan to throw away plastic at every single meal, you’ll be washing silverware anyway. Why not let it be a permanent part of your camp gear?

+ Tablecloths??? – Certainly. Take a couple of $1 plastic ones. Use one to cover the cooking supplies on your card table. Put another on the picnic table so that it can be wiped clean as needed.

+ Dishes You will possibly leave me here. I never used paper plates and I didn’t use the cheap plastic ones sold every summer, either. I bought melamine plates at a thrift store. 1) They are substantial enough to take the abuse of a steak knife. 2) I never paid more than $.25 for one. 3) They are thin and a stack for my entire crew took up less space than paper plates for that number of meals would have. Same thing with bowls. I made sure everything nested and included a size for mixing/salad, serving (veggies), and one each for single servings.

+ Cooler(s) – It is best to have two; a larger one that contains items to be used in meal preparation and will be opened seldom and a smaller one for drinks, etc, which will be opened more frequently.

+ Cooking Tips & Meal Ideas in a future post.

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