Saturday, August 20, 2011

Camping Food Prep

We're leaving tomorrow for a week of camping in the rustic cabins at Allegany State Park. I took the boys last year, and spent the week there with our great friends, Cassie & Pat and their boys. We had a great time, and we're definitely looking forward to going this year.
About the only thing that I did NOT like about camping last year, was trying to get everything together for the meals everyday. I had tossed different meats and things into the cooler, along with other foodstuffs, but I had no real plan.
This year I had a plan all written out, and wanted to prep as much stuff ahead of time, so I didn't have missing ingredients when it came to make things up. I got some great ideas from Make and Takes blog.

 Since this year my parents, nephews, aunt, cousins, and our friends are all going, we have a couple evenings where we have a community meal planned.  One night my dad will be using the big deep fryer and we'll be cooking up a Turkey.  Another evening we'll be having a garbage can dinner.  Wait!  Don't freak out!  It isn't a USED garbage can.  You use one of those big metal garbage cans with the lids.  My dad put a grate in the bottom of it.  He puts water in the bottom of it, so it comes up to the grate, and then we fill it with tons of food.  Everyone tosses stuff in.  A ham, a head of cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, sausages, steaks, etc.  It all then gets put on the campfire and the fire ends up steaming everything in the can. 

 So this is my plan.  Hobo Pockets, Sweet & Sour Pork, Deep Fried Turkey, Meatloaf, and then Garbage Can Dinner.

I got everything out for the Hobo Pockets and started prepping them for camping. We bought the stuff at Aldi's, so it was super cheap.  Here is a quick picture walk through on how to do the Hobo Pockets (super easy).  I'm sure yo could use fresh potatoes & carrots in this, but they take longer to cook and I find that we end up with burnt burger and raw potatoes, so we go for the canned ones.

Canned potatoes
Canned carrots
Beef patties
Salt & Pepper
Aluminum Foil
Get some canned potatoes and carrots. 
Some beef patties & onions

And some Aluminum foil

Tear off a piece of aluminum foil about 20 inches long.  Place a burger patty on it.

Take big slices of onion and place it on top of the patty.

Slice up the 3 of the canned potatoes and put them on top of that.

Add in a handful of carrots, top of salt & pepper.

Put a couple pats of butter on top.
And wrap it up into a nice square.  I wrap it up like I would wrap a present.
I was able to fit 4 packets into a large freezer bag.
When you have them all packed in freezer bags, just label them and toss them in the freezer.  When it is time to leave for camping, pull them out and toss them in the cooler.  This keeps everything colder longer, and it keeps everything together.  No more last minute scramble while camping to put a meal together.

When you are ready to eat these for dinner, just pull them out and lay the packets down in the hot coals and cook for 10-15 minutes. 

Another great meal to do in pockets like these is ...
Sweet & Sour Pork. 

Pork steaks
Green Peppers
Cubed Pineapple
Soy Sauce
Salt & Pepper

Lay pork steak out on a 20" piece of aluminum foil.

Cover with lots of onions (we love onions).

Add green pepper slices.

Scoop a handful of pineapple chunks onto that.

Add just a little minced garlic, a couple splashes of Soy Sauce, and salt & pepper.

Top with a pat of butter.

Fold the aluminum foil up and over it, creating a square.

I can fit 4 packs in a freezer bag.  Then label.
 Place in freezer, and take out and put in cooler when you leave for camping.  When you are ready to have these for dinner, lay them down in the hot coals and cook them for about 20 minutes. 

With both this and the hobo pockets, I like to double layer the aluminum foil.  So when I'm doing wrapping it once, I go back and wrap it once again.  This way, when you place these in the coals, you are less likely to get breakage.

For the dinner of meatloaf, I pulled the meatloaf freezer meals I made about a month ago out and put them in freezer bags to be put in the cooler as well.  Those will cook up nice in the coals.

One last thing I did before cleaning up after all this prep work was to get another couple onions and dice one up fine (to go on hotdogs the night we get there that isn't listed), and sliced up another one (to go on the hamburgs if we choose).  I don't want to get stinky onion hands while camping where there is no running water.  Just another quick thing now, that would be a pain while camping.

Soooooo.... the most important question now is ......

Are you all going to miss me while I'm gone this week????
I'll take lots of pictures while we are there.  My cellphone doesn't even come in down there! UGH!  So we will be 100% unplugged.  I keep telling the boys it is going to be great for them and to stop whining.  Little do they know that Mommy is going to be going through techie withdrawals herself!  Eek!

We had a wonderful time, and all the food was DELICIOUS!  We had some leftover Hobo Dinners, so we cut up all the ingredients in them and made a beef stew for the last night! Nom!Nom! :)

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