Family Camping Cookbook – Who’s it for?

As camping in the rain isn’t much fun, why not spend a bit of time stocking up on all the essentials needed for a great camping experience as soon as the weather breaks – and it will, it WILL!  And obviously I would recommend our own recently released Family Camping Cookbook to help you in your planning process and inspire you with lots of lovely recipes.   

This book is for people, who rather like us, make a last minute decision to go camping for a weekend, but don’t want to miss out on good food!  First of all, let it be clear that this book is NOT designed for people who intend to pack light and have all they need foodwise for a week when they set off, and it’s certainly not about freeze dried food and survival. 

Our shopping lists give you the food you need for three meals a day for 2 days. If you have a car, you can pile it all in before you go, and if you don’t, we would advise you to do a shop once you’ve a arrived and set up camp.  (You might want to do this anyway to source good local products). 

The other way you can use the book, if you are camping for longer, is to pack the key ingredients that we recommend (which won’t take up too much space), and shop for the rest locally every 2 or 3 days. 

If you want to travel light, but don’t mind eating unexciting food, then this ISN’T the book for you – but if you’re excited by food, you’ll realise that you can enjoy it camping if you plan your meals well.  In fact camping allows you the perfect opportunities of space and time to really enjoy and appreciate cooking and food.  Whatsmore, it’s the perfect place to get children involved in cooking and enjoying food, and from our experience, they’re far more adventurous if they’re involved in the cooking, and enjoying the great outdoors.

This book is for campers who want their meals to be central to their camping experience.  It is not for people who just want to sustain themselves whilst engaging in other camping activities.

Family Camping Cookbook

Hurray!  It’s out there!  If you’re keen campers and you want some inspiration about what to cook, go and buy our book!   Just click on the link, and if you get it please tell us what you think . . . .

Lebanese Kebabs with Chickpea Salad

This is one of our favourite camping recipes.  Although, at first glance, it may appear more complicated than your average camp cooking, in reality it’s very simple.  The marinade and garlic dip both have as their base a lemon/garlic mixture, a small bottle of which is really useful to have with you on any camping trip.  (By simply adding one or two different ingredients you can create a number of dressings, dips and marinades for all sorts of different meals.)  And in addition to the lemon and garlic, really the only other ingredients are the lamb, the pitta bread, a bit of yoghurt, olive oil and allspice, and the salad. Our kids love preparing this dish, partly because they enjoy anything that involves skewers, but also because they enjoy filling their own pitta breads. It tastes great too!

serves: 4
preparation time: 20 MINUTES, PLUS AT LEAST 1 HOUR MARINATING
cooking time: ABOUT 10 MINUTES

From Family Camping Cookbook by Tiff & Jim Easton © Commissioned Photography by Ed Easton / Duncan Baird Publishers

600g/1lb 5oz boneless lamb leg or shoulder, trimmed of fat and cut into bite-sized pieces
salt and pepper
warm pitta breads, to serve

marinade:
juice of 1 lemon
1 garlic clove, crushed
½ tsp ground allspice

garlic dip:
juice of ½ lemon
½ garlic clove, crushed
4 tbsp thick natural yogurt
2 tbsp olive oil

chickpea salad:
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
½ cucumber, finely chopped
410g/14½oz tinned chickpeas, drained
2 handfuls of parsley leaves, finely chopped
juice of ½ lemon
1 tbsp olive oil

  1. If using wooden skewers, soak them in cold water for at least 30 minutes before grilling. To make the marinade, put all of the ingredients in a plastic freezer bag. Season with salt and pepper, then add the lamb and seal the bag. Rub the marinade all over the lamb and leave to marinate in a cool
    box for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight.
  2. To make the dip, mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Cover and set aside.
  3. To make the salad, put all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and toss gently but thoroughly.
  4. Thread the lamb onto skewers. Cook, turning frequently, over a high heat on a barbecue or in a griddle pan for about 8 minutes until browned and crispy on the outside but pink in the middle. Remove the lamb from the skewers and serve in warm pitta breads with the garlic dip and the chickpea salad.

prepare ahead: Take the lamb in the marinade if you’re planning to eat it on the first night.

Easy camping recipes from New Zealand 4

Smokey aubergine salad with grilled beef, followed by Pavlova Mess

Chop up barbecued aubergines (ooh they smell so good!) and peppers and mix together with chopped raw tomatoes and parsley, and toss in a lemon/garlic/cumin/olive oil dressing.  Delicious with any grilled meat or fish, either on its own served with crusty bread, or mixed into couscous.  Camp cooking at it’s best!

On this occasion we had ‘pavlova mess’ for pudding, the perfect easy camping recipe.

Pavlova from New Zealand (was it really their invention?) is a lot softer in the middle than good old meringue, with a cakey consistency, and delicious broken and mixed up with creme fraiche and fresh fruit.  I think meringues go better with forest fruits, and New Zealand pavlova with kiwis and peaches.

 

 

Easy camping recipes from New Zealand 2

Lamb Chops and Rhubarb Crumble

We think lamb chops are probably one of the best meat cuts to barbecue. They’re best cooked over a fairly high heat, so that they crisp up nicely on the outside, but stay fairly pink in the middle. All sorts of marinades or rubs work with lamb chops, but for this one we simply used a little cumin, and seasoned with salt just before cooking.

For pudding we made a rhubarb crumble in the bread oven.  It worked a treat!

preparing the barbecue

enjoying the lamb

stoking the bread oven

testing the crumble

Easy camping recipes from New Zealand

I was lucky enough not be be indoors all winter as the relatives in New Zealand just had to be visited!  So we were able to continue with our camp cooking whilst our English buddies were enjoying their turkeys . . .So , on Christmas day we had barbecued sirloin of beef with my sister-in-law, Beth’s, ‘Kumara Salad’. The Kumara (or sweet potato) salad is the perfect easy camping recipe, and is great for campfire cooking.

Recipe for Beth’s Kumara (sweet potato salad), to serve 4:

Ingredients:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes (the pink-skinned, white-fleshed ones are best), peeled and cubed
  • 250g smoked bacon, diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 20 black olives, pitted and halved
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Take a large piece of tin foil, and place on all the ingredients, drizzled with a generous glug of olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.
  2. Carefully fold and seal the foil, and place in the embers of a campfire or barbecue, and cook for 45 minutes until done. 
  3. Open out onto plates and eat on its own or with grilled meat or fish.