This past holiday weekend my Dad, Mom, Riggins and I drove my folk’s motor home to my sister’s families house in Oakhurst, CA (just outside of Yosemite). From there we drove a short distance to Bass Lake to spend the 4th of July at a campground. My dad does a great job of reserving early so we get the perfect camp site that can easily fit all of us and is just a short walk to the lake.
For the camping portion of our trip I was in charge of the menus. Partially because I volunteered but I also think my family didn’t want to hear me moaning and groaning about my stomach hurting after each meal. My stomach tends to get angry at 1/2 the things I try to eat. My taste buds and stomach DO NOT get along! Like any good social networker I turned to Pinterest for fun, yummy, and camp appropriate recipes. I thought I’d share them with you:
Lunch #1 – Tuna Macaroni Salad. (I skip the onion — because I don’t like it.) I actually make a batch of this at home every once in a while and eat it for lunches for a week. It’s super yummy. I usually use “Smart Pasta” because I like to fool myself that it makes it better for me. For the camping trip I used vegetable bowtie pasta and it was pretty delicious. Honestly the only reason why I used that kind of pasta, is because the day I went shopping was super hot and I was sick of running errands. By the time I got to Target (my last stop before the grocery store) I had given up and decided God put grocery stores inside Targets for a reason and who was I to question him?
Dinner #1 – Grilled Chicken and Fruit Foil Dinner. This one I have to be honest … I didn’t really follow the recipe. The grocery store didn’t have pears so I substituted with plums and apricots. The plums were delicious while the apricots where a bit tart. I also didn’t use dried sage leaves because I’m just not that fancy. Foil packs are the perfect camping dinner. You pile in some food into foil, wrap it up, and stick it in the coals. Tada! Dinner! I didn’t know how long to leave them in so made up a time when my dad asked me. Probably 45 minutes ish … maybe it was 30. I don’t know. Chicken scares me so I tend to over cook it. Just check it every now and then and pull it out when it seems good. I really liked these but they definitely didn’t win any “best of” awards.
Dessert#1 – Campfire Cones. Hells ya! These were the bestest in the westest. Take a sugar cone, stuff it with yummy stuff (we used pieces of marshmallows, pieces of Hershey bars, and strawberries), wrap up in foil, and throw on coals for a bit (no idea of the time … we let them cook until we couldn’t take it anymore and wanted to eat them). I like these better than S’mores (gasp). They were a big hit.
Lunch #2 – Lunch boxes. We needed something we could take down to the lake to eat so my sister and I sneaked (I originally wrote “snuck” but spell check didn’t like that word. I Googled it to see if it was right and just happened to be on the Google images page from a previous search. A TON of boobies came up. Why? Explain please. What am I missing? Snuck. How is that equal nudie time? Am I missing something obvious????) away from the water pre-lunch to put together our individual lunch boxes. We used regular Tupperware and cupcake liners (not the silicone ones — regular paper ones). Depending on who you were your box contained some of the following:
- cheese slices
- apple slices
- spinach & kale dip (If my dad asks you kale is just lettuce. It was tough enough getting him to continue to eat the dip after he learned it was made with yogurt. He wouldn’t be able to handle the honesty of kale.)
- trail mix
- turkey lunch meat
I dropped in a little bubble container (party give away size) in each one (different colors) to be able to identify whose was whose. Go on to Pinterest and search “lunch boxes” and you will see some real food art! We weren’t that fancy. We plopped ingredients in individual cupcake wrappers and shoved them in a container.
Dinner #2 – Sweet and Sour Turkey Meatballs Foil Dinner. The link to this recipe isn’t at all what I used but it was how I thought of the dinner so I’ll give them credit. In lazy mode I had my dad purchase premade/precooked turkey meatballs. Why not? It just makes the entire dinner prep that much easier! My mom and I put 4 meatballs on foil, topped them with a handful of pineapple, some red onion and sweet and sour sauce. Then we wrapped them up and stuck them in the coals to heat. That’s it! These dinners were really good and everyone’s favorite (except my Dad’s who doesn’t like pineapple. Add that to the yogurt dip mishap and he may not allow me to be in charge of the menu ever again.).
Dessert #2 – Campfire Cake. Sooo …. I’ve done this now …. don’t have to do that again. They were good but not at all worth the effort. First my mom and I took the time to scoop out the oranges. A task I’m afraid we both failed at. My mom insisted there had to be a way to get all the pulp out while I had long since given up and said “good enough” at a certain point. She finally fell in line with my thinking and we semi dug out the pulp in enough oranges for everyone. Somehow my dad and I choose the juiciest oranges on the planet and a good portion of juice and pulp ended up all over the front of my shirt and shorts. I was afraid the bugs would find me even more delicious with orange sauce so I covered myself with bug spray to keep them off the scent (it was too much trouble to go change). I did this spraying out side in the open which I learned was necessary from a small incident the night before when I sprayed myself in the motor home and set off some sort of secret fire alarm thing that my dad didn’t even know existed. Ooops. Back to the cake. I poured in cake mix, wrapped it up, and stuck it in the fire. Honestly they weren’t great so I give these a big thumbs down. Just make the cake the old fashioned way and be done with it. You also end up with a bowl full of orange guts. I was a good little girl and ate oranges during dinner that night and lunch the next day. My dad managed to gulp down some juice as well. Post camping lunch when I put them on the table for everyone to eat my dad let his real feelings show upon cleaning up when he said, “let’s just throw this orange shit away.” Done!
Snack – Cowboy Caviar. I’ve told you before this dip is delicious and I’ll tell you again … it’s delicious. As far as I’m concerned no party, social gathering, or camping trip should be without it. Make it. Eat it. You’ll be happy you did.
So there you go! Some of these will make it on the next camping trip menu while others will be ditched making room for some new ones. What camping meal do you like that I can try next time?