Great Camping Recipes for Food on the Go

Cook delicious, portable meals for hiking, camping or on the go. Includes recipes for granola pancakes, Greek chicken, campfire corn salad, summer pasta salad, last day potatoes, fruit cream.

| June/July 1995

Ahhh—vacation time is here again. We look forward to it with a mixture of anticipation and apprehension, remembering those days of eternal car rides when we killed time playing "auto bingo" and "slug-a-bug." No doubt most of us won't be vacationing on the French Riviera, but instead will be piling that car rack high with tents and sleeping bags—preparing for a becoming-one-with-nature experience. Although I come from a family of great outdoors people, I failed to inherit the "campout" gene. From all appearances, male members of my family were born lighting campfires, whereas I find it no trouble getting hopelessly lost just trying to find the outhouse. My relatives love to laugh at my expense as they reminisce about the time they took Anne on the mountain-climbing trip, or the time at Yosemite when she thought she was being chased by a bear (it really was a bear). Consequently, for most of my married life our family vacations have taken place in cabins or bed-and-breakfasts. That is, until last summer.

Meals to be Proud of in the Great Outdoors

My husband caught a bad case of camping fever (probably from my relatives), which caused him to run out and buy a ton of camping equipment. This included two tents-the extra one for our teenage son so our tent wouldn't smell like a gym locker. We spent most of the following Friday attempting to squeeze everything that we'd need for our camping weekend in Michigan into our small car. When we finally arrived at our assigned campsite at sunset, I decided that it wasn't scenic enough and persuaded my husband to drive back to the park office to see what else was available. Out of the few remaining sites, I chose a beautiful setting at the bottom of the hill by the lake. Just about the time the grilled bratwurst were ready, it began to rain — and rain. Our lowland campsite quickly turned into a swamp while we sat in our waterbed-like tent eating cold brats, watching our rubber sandals and other floatables drift away. The rain stopped at noon on Sunday. At least one new family rule evolved from that weekend: Mom will never pick out another campsite. (Better yet, drop her off at the bed-and-breakfast on the way.)

Though my family may joke or complain, it's never about the food. We believe in good food around the campfire. What follows are some food tips, born of a hundred or so culinary mistakes and good intentions, to make your vacation dining a little easier.

Granola Pancakes

Mix up the dry ingredients in a Zip-Lock bag at home and label it with the recipe. Take these along on the trip, adding the wet ingredients just before preparation. The granola makes the cakes sweet and crunchy, so syrup isn't really necessary. My Rocky Mountain brother takes the leftover pancakes along on hikes to munch on later with nut butter.

1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
2 tablespoons wheat germ
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg-beaten
1 cup low fat buttermilk
1 tablespoon mild oil (such as canola)
1 cup granola, broken up if it's in clumps

Pour 1 Zip-Lock bag of the above dry ingredients into a large bowl or pitcher (for shaking). Mix in the egg, buttermilk, and oil. Have a hot skillet ready over medium-high heat. Swish a tiny amount of oil on bottom. Pour 2—2 1/2-inch pancakes, sprinkling about 1 teaspoon granola on each cake as soon as it's poured. The cakes will be ready to flip after about 30 seconds. Serve with fruit and plain yogurt.

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