Pass the Funyuns, Kemosabe

Reader Sal (love that name) wants to know what sort of camping I’m talking about here. Backpacking? Car camping? RV camping? That’s a fair question, Sal, as the equipment kit and larder capacity is different for each of them. I’m going to pick the middle road and say car camping, since that’s what Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts do, and it’s what I do with the family when I simply can’t resist their pleas any longer. We’ll assume everyone will have access to cooking gear and will have a cooler of the usual store-bought foods with them.

On which note I feel I have to ask why most camping trips are also junk food pig-outs? I’m not complaining mind you, I like it for the most part, but I’m always amazed at the degree to which the nature-loving indulge in the sort of eating they decry under normal circumstances. I know Mrs. Pastry does. She won’t touch, say, a box of Bisquick unless it’s under a starry sky by a camp fire. Clearly the reason is because foods that are full of preservatives (and I include very salty and/or sugary foods in that category) last longer and are generally safer when kept in a cooler for several days. I just make fun is all.

Here I’ll insert that I’m going to go the open fire route with the pastry this week at least. I’m going to have the brick oven going this Thursday and a Dutch oven won’t work in it. It’ll still leave me plenty to do!

5 thoughts on “Pass the Funyuns, Kemosabe”

  1. You answered your own question! The convenience foods are mostly already assembled, precooked, dehydrated, require only water, take up less space, require no complicated cooking techniques or equipment. When space is limited and facilities are rare or non existent, the more help you get from these products, the easier the meal prep. Plus, most people don’t go camping for the cooking experience, they go for the other activities in the great outdoors. As the main cook on our family trips, I’d have rather had better quality food, but I didn’t want to turn meal time into the drudge that it can be when you don’t have any of the kitchen conveniences for prep and cleanup. We limited our special, fancier meals under the stars to the first dinner and the last breakfast. In between it was whatever was fun to cook on a stick or in foil over or in the fire! FYI…A Coleman stove is great to bring, especially for perking morning coffee, boiling water or heating small quantities of something and may be a necessity if building a camp fire is restricted.

  2. For convenience at home or in the woods, perhaps Mrs. Pastry might like to try a homemade buttermilk baking mix/Bisquick clone. Nothing but standard pantry ingredients without the preservatives and the other suspiciously polysyllabic inclusions in the commercial varieties.

    I used make up batches of this fairly regularly, and it worked like a champ. With camping season looming, I think I’ll whip up some more. I’ve lost rack of the recipe I used to use, but this one I found online seems pretty close:

  3. Being an Aussie, camping for me always involves damper, which is a very basic bread cooked right the coals. Its origins are from the traveling shearers, or swagmen, who walked from town to town in the 1800s. In its most basic form, damper is a dough of flour and water put straight on the coals or wrapped around a stick and cooked over the fire. There’s a million and one varieties now, but most are still served with lashings of butter and golden syrup.

    1. I certainly did, Mahwish!

      I sent an email the very next day. I confess I wondered if you had received it when I heard nothing back. I am extremely grateful for your generosity and very sorry if you believed I had forgotten you. Very few people ever use the tip jar and I’m thankful any time anyone does. So please accept both my apologies and thanks. Technology sometimes does not work as designed. You were unusually good to me!

      Your friend,

      – Joe

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