I (Tiff) grew up with camping holidays galore and parents who were never put off the quest for good food through squeamishness or lack of equipment. Among a host of other cooking adventures (most involving lots of skinning, plucking or gutting), I have vivid memories of them cooking live lobster in a frying pan (one parent holding the pan, the other firmly pressing the lid down) over a gas stove in a caravan in Wales. This sense of adventure stayed with me and I went on to travel and camp a lot independently, and later on as a teacher, I spent two years working in Namibia in a remote village on the Angolan border, where cooking out in the open was and still is a part of everyday life.
Meanwhile my husband (Jim) spent his early years in Lebanon eating Makouk and honey sandwiches for his packed lunch, and from there lived in many other far flung places, including Libya, India and eventually Egypt, where he studied for a year, learning Arabic and immersing himself in Egyptian culture. Food was always a central part of his life, helped by a mother who is still the best cook we know, and on their travels as a family they would always try everything on offer.
This is true of our family today: at our wedding in Suffolk, Jim and I organised our local Lebanese takeaway in Shepherd’s Bush to provide food and they drove four whole, cooked and stuffed lambs all the way from London. Thankfully, we have now have passed this love of eating adventurously on to our children and in the last five years we have taken them, our tent and our dog to all sorts of places, enjoying delights rustled up on our trusty old barbecue.