Family Camping Cookbook put to the test!

Our book-launch celebrations started off last weekend with a camping trip to the lovely Kitts Cottage Campsite (see www.kittscamp.co.uk)  with close friends.  Here was where we put the Family Camping Cookbook to the test with two other families.  Each family had three recipes from the book and had to cook for 6 adults, 2 teenagers and 7 children.  It was a little windy, but dry enough  . . . .

As it was everyone’s first camping weekend of the season, we all made sure we made use of the Equipment and Camping Store Cupboard Checklists, and then decided on the recipes.  With a couple of vegetarians and a full range of ages, we decided to mix and match a couple of meal plans.

Jim and I cooked up the first meal on the Friday night – Chicken Satay Skewers or Barbecued

Tuna with Thai dressing, both served with Asian Salad.  We felt with young kids to win over the skewers with their peanut butter dip, would go down a treat.  They certainly did!   And the tuna was delicious too (picked up from the fantastic fishmonger in East Wittering (‘Something Fishy’) earlier that morning).  Afterwards, we had Barbecued Pineapple Wedges – put on the barbecue while we we eating our main

course, and scrumptiously caramelised by the time we came to eat them! Dave and Miranda were our breakfast team, and Saturday breakfast was the must-have One Pan Full English.  Served with Dave’s special chutneys, we were in breakfast heaven (although with that many it wasn’t strictly ‘one pan’!)  And the delicious alternative for the veggies was smoked salmon and scrambled eggs . . . Yes, we were all happy campers!

Clare and Robbie and their four children were responsible for Saturday night: Lebanese Lamb Kebabs (Lahem Meshwi) or Halloumi & Vegetable Kebabs, both served with pitta bread and garlic dip.  Whilst their youngest got very busy skewering kebabs, their eldest was principle barbecue chef.  Again it was a huge success particularly as everyone, including the youngest children, were so involved in the preparing and cooking.

 

This family participation continued on in to the night as we all enjoyed a Chocolate Fondue, and listened to Clare and Robbie’s daughter, Anna B, on guitar.  (Listen to her perform her own songs on YouTube – she’s fab! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvW5zTshr1Y)

Dave and Miranda were back on duty for Sunday breakfast and we all enjoyed Apricot filled French toasts, with a few left over sausages and bits of bacon.  The perfect way to finish off our fanatastic camping weekend!  And think we all agreed that Family Camping Cookbook passed the test.

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.