Camp Kitchen Recipes
The cold months are the perfect time to sit by the fireside, read a book, or plan spring campouts. Or if you’re not in snow country, get out and go camping! Warm up the house in winter by cooking meals ahead of time for the trip. Then squirrel them away for the big appetites that go with the outdoors.
Jugged Pumpkin Bread
This bread bakes and “cans” in wide-mouth canning jars. It keeps for months.
2/3 cup shortening
2-2/3 cups sugar
16-ounce can pureed pumpkin
2/3 cup water
3-1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon each baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon each nutmeg, ginger
2/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Grease eight clean, wide-mouth, pint-size canning jars and put them on a baking sheet. Cover lids and rings with boiling water and set aside. Cream shortening and sugar, then beat in eggs, pumpkin and water. Mix dry ingredients and beat into pumpkin mixture until evenly blended. Fold in nuts. Fill jars half full. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until the bread firms and pulls slightly away from edges of the jar.
Drain lids on paper towels. Working quickly, remove jars from the oven one at a time. Clean any debris off rim, add hot lid and tightly screw on lid ring. Put hot jars on a folded towel and cool in a draft-free spot. You’ll hear pops when seals form. If any jars do not seal, eat the bread at once or freeze it. Store in a cool spot. Serve bread buttered or top with fruit yogurt for breakfast or dessert. Each jar serves two to three persons.
16-ounce bag chopped, frozen spinach
12-ounce package giant pasta shells (about 16)
Heaping tablespoon dried onion bits
24-ounce carton cottage cheese
3/4-cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3 large or 2 jumbo eggs
1 pint heavy whipping cream
Thaw spinach in a sieve and press dry. Cook shells al dente and drain well. Stir together spinach, onion, cottage cheese, 1/2-cup Parmesan, eggs and mozzarella. Spoon carefully into the shells. Arrange in greased, disposable oven-proof casserole pans and sprinkle with the 1/4-cup Parmesan left over. Carefully pour cream over all. Wrap tightly and freeze. To serve in camp, bake thawed casserole at 350 degrees until bubbly and internal temperature is at least 160 degrees. Serves eight persons.
“Spaghetti Western” Pronto Pies
Large onion, finely diced
Large green bell pepper, finely diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon canola oil
8-ounce package spaghetti
1/4-cup olive oil
2 pounds lean ground meat
32-ounce jar pasta sauce
8-ounce package shredded cheese
Saute onion, pepper and garlic in hot oil. Set aside to cool. Cook spaghetti, drain and toss with olive oil. Set out four large, deep-dish foil pie plates, spray with nonstick, and press a layer of spaghetti into each to form a pie “shell.” Let cool. Press an even layer of raw meat atop each spaghetti layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with vegetable mix. Divide pasta sauce over pies. Top with cheese. Wrap and freeze. Packed frozen in a well-chilled ice chest they should keep up to three days. Bake thawed pie at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or until meat tests a minimum of 165 degrees. Let stand 5 minutes, then serve in wedges. Each pie serves four persons.
3-pound London broil steak, 2 inches thick
1 teaspoon each pepper, granular garlic, onion bits
2/3-cup Worcestershire sauce
2/3-cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
Trim all fat off steak. Freeze steak, then thaw enough to cut into thin slices. In a non-metal container combine remaining ingredients. Add meat strips, mix well and marinate in the refrigerator overnight. Line cookie sheets with foil (to catch drips) and top with racks. Drain beef strips and place on racks in single layers. Discard marinade. Bake beef 4 to 8 hours at 225 degrees. Timing depends on thickness of beef and moisture level in the oven. Jerky should be thoroughly dry but pliable, not brittle. Package in batches and keep in a cool, dry place. This makes about a pound of jerky to eat on the trail or boil with potatoes and other vegetables to make buckskin stew.
Foods to Put Up
* Make dry rice and herb mixtures, breading mixture for fish, oatmeal with nuts and dried fruits, or other dried food combinations. Homemade mixes cost less, portions can be sized right and you can omit salt, sugar or other diet no-no’s. Seal dry mixes in individual bags with instructions on how to cook them.
* If you make your own pet food or baby food, freeze individual servings for future campouts.
* When you make fruit leather, put away some of each flavor and you’ll have a nice variety for the trail.
* Picture large ice cube trays divided to hold 1/2-cup, 1-cup and 2-cup portions. Food Cubers (/foodcubers.com/), are ideal for freezing portions. Pop them out, bag and keep frozen. Cubers can be used again and again.
* Make big batches of your favorite soups using only half the liquid needed. Can or freeze, then reconstitute in camp by adding water, broth, tomato juice or milk.
* Make “sun”-dried tomatoes. Slice plum tomatoes, drain on paper towels and dry on racks in the oven or food dehydrator until they’re chewy, like raisins. Dip each in vinegar, place in jars and cover with olive oil. Refrigerate.
* Prepare big batches of stew, omitting carrots and potatoes. Freeze in portions sized for your family. In camp add canned potatoes and carrots and heat through.
* The most versatile food to prepare ahead is a mixture of ground beef, onion, garlic, green pepper and celery. Cook thoroughly, cool and freeze in batches to make Sloppy Joes, spaghetti sauce, soup, Spanish rice and chili.
* Make “potted” cheese. Mix one part butter to four parts grated Cheddar and season to taste with Dijon-style mustard, garlic, horseradish and a hint of nutmeg. Press into crocks, cover with a thin layer of melted butter, wrap and keep cold. In camp, spread on crackers or bread.
* Put soups and stews in boilable bags (Reynolds roasting bags, Seal-a-Meal) and place bags in square containers and freeze. As soon as they are hard, containers can be removed. You now have compact “bricks” in bags that store better and keep longer in your ice chest. Heat the bags in boiling water and you have no pots to wash.
* Make your favorite burger recipe, form patties, stack with waxed paper between, and freeze in batches.
* Plan a week’s camping meals complete with shopping lists for Day 1 through Day 7. Mix, match and use it over and over. On a weekend campout you might use days 2 and 5 one time and 1 and 3 next time.
About the Author
Janet Groene’s books include Cooking Aboard Your RV, 2nd Edition. Visit her at /CampAndRVCook.blogspot.com./