Vittles for the Great Outdoors: Camping Food

What do you eat while you’re camping? Do you go easy and already prepared? Do you make up soups, stews, chilis ahead? Do you grill? Do you plan to the last detail or do you wing it?

Camping food is one of the best things about camping, in my opinion. A week or so ahead I’ll start playing with menus in the part of my brain that’s always set aside for food. I want variety. I want special things I don’t usually eat (like meat!) I want easy that doesn’t taste like easy. I want lots of flavor for little effort and as always, I want to eat in season, sustainable food from my local farmers’ market.

I understand the appeal of ready-to-eat foods, but cooking in the campsite is challenging and fun. The ability to make do with few utensils and pots and pans is like a puzzle for me. When it comes to dish doing time, I’m always amazed at how few dishes there are for such a fabulous meal. This trip was a little challenging because we found out about the fire restrictions when we arrived. Everything on the menu was cooked in one cast-iron pan and one small pot on our propane camp stove. The only things made ahead were the beans, yogurt, granola, salsa, curtido, and anchovy butter

Here’s a three-day menu:

Dinner # 1
Halibut tacos with Primavera tortillas, homemade cultured curtido, beans, homemade tomatillo-avocado salsa from Catalan Farm tomatillos, cilantro, and chilies, Lucero Farm sautéed okra and squash, radishes, and our own garden cucumbers.

Breakfast #1
Pancakes from Bob’s Red Mill Multigrain mix (pretty good!) maple syrup and bacon
Lunch #1
BLTs with Eduardo’s bread, bacon cooked that morning, River Dog Farm Tomatoes, homegrown lettuce
Dinner #2
Grassfed Hanger Steak from Highland Hills Farm, anchovy butter made from homemade cultured butter, corn on the cob, pan-fried potatoes, and salad

Breakfast #2
Toad in a Hole with Ludwig Avenue Farm Araucana Eggs and Full Belly Farm Melon
Lunch #2
PB & Js with Blossom Bluff peaches
Dinner #3
Let’s Be Frank Hot Dogs with Alvarado Street sprouted hot dog buns, homemade cultured curtido, beans, corn on the cob

Breakfast #2
Homemade yogurt and granola with Blossom Bluff peaches

What we got away from:

Where we ended up:


What we Ate:

Tacos minus tortillas and salsa
Toad in a hole
Fighting the yellow jackets

Steak dinner protected from vicious yellow jackets. We ended up eating in the car. Not an ideal situation.

Susan found these charming covers in a thrift store in Nevada City

Happy Dog. (photo by Susan Fleming). No! We didn't eat her.

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