I wish I could say that I cook sumptuous, gourmet meals while camping. However, cooking is not as important to me as it was when I went camping with my growing son. Then, I enjoyed fixing special things for him: campfire quesadillas, chili, huevos rancheros, and grilled meats. Oh, and the taste of s’mores! Now, food preparation while camping is more of a sideline rather than the main event. I don’t like having food around anyway. If I have too much selection, especially marshmallows, tortillas, chips, cookies, and any other type of munchie, I will graze, which is not good for my health. How easy it is to sit outside in my chair, reading and eating a box of crackers in one sitting.
Not packing tempting foods is especially important now that I have Half Moon. I sleep on the right-side pull out bed, which is easiest to get into. However, the kitchen is right next to my head. I can reach out and touch the refrigerator. If I lay in bed to read, as I often do in the hot afternoon, my mind wanders to that little galley kitchen that I can reach out and touch. What is there? What could I snack on? Is it lunch time yet? Dinner time? Is that the smell of last night’s steak leftovers? Did I put marshmallows in the cupboard? I usually succumb to the carbs. So, as I do at home, I limit my pantry contents and simplify meal planning. Even when camping, breakfast is usually oatmeal and yogurt. Morning snack is usually applesauce. Lunch is a sandwich, with fruit for dessert. Dinner is usually a one bowl affair with meat, veggies, brown rice or pasta, and fruit again. Hot chocolate (for the calcium of course) is my bedtime snack. On occasion I will make pancakes but only if I plan some serious exertion that day.
For Kerry I enjoyed making fancy egg breakfasts, but now, forget eggs, which stick to the pan and make for a messy, water-consuming clean up. So, I take only the easy-to-cook basics; meals are boring, but these foods are also healthy, and nothing qualifies as tempting on that list. I am not going to over eat oatmeal, grapefruit or veggies like I would with chips or sweets.
A whole other strategy for eating while camping is bringing along prepared food. I hate to admit this but on more than one occasion, I stop by Subway on my way out of town, where I get several sandwiches and then have dinner/lunch for days. One time I brought along a roasted chicken and deli salads, my favorite being red, white, and blue potato salad. I detest leftovers but I do keep a freezer stocked with portions of eggplant parmesan. By the time I get to my campsite, it is thawed and ready to heat—or not.
Perhaps more camping meal creativity is in my future. Half Moon came with an outdoor BBQ that attaches to the outside wall of the camper and runs off the main propane tank. The last few nights camping, I tried different meats, veggies, and kabobs. The result: a wonderful treat. I have a book on how to make pizza on the grill and hope to try that next time. Another goal is to learn how to cook over the campfire, like the pioneer camp cooks did. I have done some experimenting at home, as I have mentioned before.